Hi Sasha, how are you doing?
Sasha: “I'm good. I'm just in my bedroom. Cause my wifi is being weird, so I can't be at like a desk. Is that okay?”
Yeah! Absolutely fine. Wish I could be in bed right now. How about we get this interview started. So, how did you first get into music?
Sasha: “ I always played music as a kid. Like I've got all those photos with the wiggles guitars. Like the plastic ones, but I started riding properly in grade 10, so maybe like five or four years ago.
And I bought a Mac that year and saved up all year for it. And then I started producing and that's how it all started.”
Yeah. Incredible. So what, um, I think you said in a previous interview that it was your dad that started got you started on guitar?
Sasha: “Yeah. My dad taught me guitar when I was seven and then I would, um, just write really bad songs.”
What's one of the best bad songs that you've wrote that you remember?
Sasha: “There was one that was called back to school and it was about how I didn't. I was like on school holidays and like grade three and, um, I didn't want to go back to school and I just said how all my friends don't either and we just love holidays.” Sasha laughs.
Do you keep any of those songs so that maybe you could use them in the future?
Sasha: “No, I think probably use my new brain and see what happens, but maybe I get desperate I’ll go back to that.”
Solid choices. You’re from Brisbane. What's your favorite thing about home?
Sasha: “Um, well, I just moved out to this new house and we have panoramic views of the whole city of Brisbane and it’s very cool! We are very lucky to live here.
And so I kinda, I liked that you could have a backyard and like have our own space in compared to like Melbourne or Sydney where you're like, kind of in these little block houses. So I liked the space and like kind of escaping the big world.”
Yeah. Incredible. Do you think that influences your music?
Sasha: “Yeah. I feel like my music kind of goes all over the place at the moment.
So I think because I'm not in like a central place, maybe that influences all of these weird surroundings. So maybe that's where I draw that influence from. I don't know.”
Those four or five years ago when you started writing, who were your biggest influences?
Sasha: “Um, I think back then, like, it was probably like The 1975 or something. Like a band, that I kind of knew, who we're making it on their own, in producing it by themselves. And then I kind of like learn more about Tame Impala, they've definitely shaped who I am as a person and my music. Now I really listen to Charlie XCX. I just love really innovative artists that kind of take it somewhere, like pop music somewhere else. Not even pop music, just like, like rock influences. I don't know.”
And you're playing with Tame Impala towards the end of the year. How exciting!?
Sasha: “Yeah. Excited for that. Very excited. I can't think about it too much. Otherwise I'll get too scared, but the best news ever.”
So have those first influences changed now? Are there any others?
Sasha: “Yeah. I'm currently listening to heaps of Caroline Polachek. I don't know if that's how you say their name, but, I love songs that make you think, how did they do that? And like this doesn't seem earthly? Like this seems foreign from what I've ever heard. And I think that always influences me. But I'm trying to not get to in my head about comparing and like, just trying to like hone in on what is me. And what speaks to me truely and kind of make music based on that. But yeah. That's why I've been listening to.”
So you were nominated for the Artist of the Year for Triple J a couple of years ago, 2020. How did that change things for you? Seems like a lifetime ago 2020.
Sasha: “Covid was such a like energy zappa and time zappa. I feel like the whole world just paused. So I, I don't really remember what I felt, but I it's been really lovely having like Triple J Unearthed support and Triple J’s support. It's definitely helped me have more belief in my own music. So it's been very reassuring and validating.”
And you performed a Like A Version as well. How was that milestone moment?
Sasha: “That was sick! Yeah. It was huge. I, um, don’t think I've ever felt more anxious on a day for music. It was very scary, but, um, yeah, I've always dreamt of doing one. So. Very nice to be asked and recognized in that world.”
Did you have a song that you thought about that you always wanted to perform when you were asked? or did you have a long thought process choosing ‘Embrace’ by PNAU?
Sasha: “Yeah,I had like a full list that I'd been compiling for years. Um, And I used none of them!: Sasha laughed.
“And then my manager suggested this song and I was like, oh, that will be sick. And I always wanted to have Tame Impala in there somewhere.
Um, but it was also, I was Oz music month. So it, it was easy to like, well, not easy, but like, um, I can hone in on one specific thing. Otherwise I think I would just like combine a billion songs into one.”
Hey, If Illy can do it and other artists can do it, so can you for sure and it was turned out amazing.
I love that outro that you had. Um, so like you said, you were quite nervous before that. Did you have anything that you do before shows and before big gigs and stuff to help calm those nerves?
Sasha: “Um, we're starting to try and implement some things now, but usually we'd just be like, have a good show. Now. I think we're like, we'll do the huddle and be like, like whatever happens out there, we're playing a show and just like, cause I feel like you can get kind of get in your head when you're playing a show every night.
You think it's for you, but it's actually, the audience has come to see you. And so to remind ourselves of that and like to play a good show is always nice. Instead of being like, oh, I messed up this one chord. And so the show sucks or something.”
Yeah, focused on everybody is coming to hear how good you are. Like they won't notice that messed up chord as they’ll be loving themselves sick to your music anyway.
Sasha: “Hopefully, yeah.”
You've had like heaps of success with your single ‘Dribble’. Was there anything that specifically inspired the writing of that or that you particularly love about that single?
Sasha: “I love how strange, like an unexpected, everything about it was. Like the song I didn't really know what I was writing about until like months later. And like, we kind of put it out on a whim. Cause Covid had just hit. And I was going to put out a song called germs that I have, but we thought that was a bit insensitive considering the time.
So we put out ‘Dribble’ and I don't know, it was very happily unexpected. When I was writing it, I was severely hungover and it's kinda just like, couldn't really talk to the producer. And he, he was hung over too. So we were both like our words, it was about that day, I guess.”
Yeah, incredible. That's a good story to have on the backend. So, um, and on you've also worked with Alice Ivy on ‘Weakness’. How has that?
Sasha: “That was awesome. That was also over Zoom! So many songs over zoom, um, and that was the first time we met. And yeah, like we haven't properly met. Since releasing that, but I get to play shows with on the weekend at Groovin’ the Moo, which will be fun. but, um, it was lovely. It was an awesome song. We finished it in one day. It was really quick and fast.”
So that's the first time that you're going to meet in person at Groovin?
Sasha: “Yeah, well, I've, I've seen, um, Annika in the crowd, but, um, haven't been able to like talk to them cause of like tour bubbles and stuff.”
Are you excited to play Groovin? Is this your first festival experience?
Sasha: “Not my first, but like first festival tour, which is really cool. Um, I've dreamt of playing Groovin’ since forever, so, and everyone says it's really fun. So I'm really excited.”
Is there anyone particularly that you think you might get up on stage and collaborate with while you're there?
Sasha: “Maybe Alice Ivy. Who knows!”
Um, is there anyone that you'd like to collaborate with in future? Who's your golden person to do something with?
Sasha: “Probably Tame Impala and Charlie XCX. Wow. Even them to get all three of us, that would be so sick! Yeah, I feel like those two are like my pinnacles.”
So you’ve released your EP in 2021. How has it been performing those songs now live for shows after being in COVID for so long? and performing over zoom?
Sasha: “It's been awesome. Like, I feel like it was a kind of re revival for those songs. Cause like they kinda got released and then couldn't really play shows. So it's been like, we played like one show in Brisbane and like a few festivals, but like this year we got to do the the tour, the rest of the shows and it was just so lovely, the response of the songs.
And like people actually knew like lyrics to songs other than ‘Dribble’ which is really nice.”
Is there any song that plays live that you particularly enjoy playing that gets a good reaction from the crowd or is every crowd different?
Sasha: “I would say the ‘Time's Up’, um, it's like a song that like it's kind of long and it doesn't really have a structure.
The crowd tends to get into it, which is really nice. And, um, they like yell the words and I go: Sing it! And they go: Yeah! The whole thing. And, um, it's, it's really nice.”
Amazing. And you're heading on tour to Europe after Groovin, are you excited to be going overseas?
Sasha: “I am and all my families is there I get to see them.”
Oh, beautiful. Are you originally from somewhere overseas or is it just family visit?
Sasha: ”I've never lived there, but my family, like my mum's family is all there. My mum's actually leaving to like go live there for a few months now, well today. Um, so I'm very excited.”
Where are you most looking forward to playing on that tour?
Sasha: “Oh, I don’t know. I think playing in like Amsterdam or Paris will be wild.
Cause like, I don't think I've even like, that's not even settled in. Cause like I've always dreamt of doing that. So wild, like playing to people that like don't, like English isn't their first language is wild.”
Do you speak any second languages?
Sasha: “I had Duolingo going for a bit on French, but, um, that didn't last very long.” Sasha laughs.
In between all of those tours, is there any new music that you're working on?
Sasha: “Yeah, I'm working on an album at the moment, um, and just seeing how that pans out. Um, yeah.“
And are there any cool collabs on this new album?
Sasha: “Not yet, but hopefully they will be..”
Are you in the song writing process at the moment, or is it at the production stage?
Sasha: “Yeah. Songwriting at the moment and producing, both! There's a bunch of songs. I didn't really know how we're going to go about it yet, but it's coming together quickly and sporadically.”
Catch SYCCO at any of their upcoming shows or listen to their newest single ‘Superstar’ out now on Spotify.