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Music Spotlight: Sasha Sloan

She’s an artist that needs to be on everyone’s radar. Alexandra Artourovna Yatchenko (born March 11, 1995), known professionally as Sasha Sloan, is an American singer, songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Sasha grew up outside of Boston and is of Ukrainian descent. She taught herself to play on a piano her mother purchased when she was five. Her grandparents lived in Siberia, and she spent summers on their farm there as a child. When Sloan was nineteen, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a songwriter; she worked at a coffee shop to support herself. She made her US national TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on February 6, 2019.

Sloan got her start by contributing vocals to tracks for better-known electronic artists. Throughout 2017, Sloan was the voice for singles and standout songs by the likes of King Henry, Kaskade, and ODESZA. She also sang lead on Kygo’s “This Town” from the Stargazing EP, a five-song collection where she joined guests Justin Jesso and Selena Gomez. By late 2017, she’d begun releasing her own tracks, starting with the moody, tumultuous “Ready Yet” and following it up a month later with the melancholic “Runaway,” which candidly chronicled a raw breakup with a long-term boyfriend. A barrage of singles including “Fall,” “Normal,” and “Here” all led up to the release of Sloan’s debut EP, Sad Girl, which appeared in April 2018 on RCA Records. A pair of singles, “The Only” and “Faking It,” followed later that year and were included on her second EP, Loser, which was released in November.

Call her your new best friend…

Sasha Sloan is that girl you can chat about “deep cuts” with in a diner until four AM between cigarettes
and coffee. Sasha Sloan is a normal, yet “completely complicated human.” Sasha Sloan is totally sad, but exuberantly funny. Sasha Sloan is from South Boston, but lives in Los Angeles. Sasha Sloan melted a Hershey bar on her laptop, was too lazy to get a new one, and writes all of her lyrics on a refurbished iPhone 5. Sasha
Sloan describes her style as “Target chic.” Sasha Sloan is trying to speak to “the quiet girls at the party
who struggle with what they look like.” Sasha Sloan writes songs you “can listen to late at night when
you’re all fucked up and alone—and maybe feel better.”

A self-proclaimed “low key masochist” who “isn’t happy all the time,” Sasha Sloan is real. “I would say I’m just someone you can chill with and talk to,” she affirms. “I’m someone who doesn’t have their shit together, but is trying. I don’t know…you could also just say, ‘I’m a loser’,” she laughs. Self-deprecation aside, this kind of honesty quietly cemented her as an unassuming phenom. As the story goes, a viral photo ironically kicked off her career after she started writing songs at just ten-years old. At 18, her parents decided to paint the house. They took the opportunity to write “dork” under her window with an arrow, which was “super embarrassing.” Still, she posted the pic on reddit, and it exploded.

So, she added her Soundcloud link to the post and landed a publishing deal with as a result. Dropping out of Berklee College of Music, she moved to L.A. at 19-years-old. A whirlwind followed. As she primarily penned her own music, she also wrote “Never Be The Same” and “OMG” for Camila Cabello and featured on Kygo’s “This Town” and “Falls” for ODESZA. In 2017, she released the songs off her first EP sad girl independently prior to being signed. Within a year, “Runaway,” “Normal,” and “Ready Yet” each surpassed 19 million Spotify streams, while averaging over 4 million monthly listeners on the platform. Along the way, she signed to RCA Records and assembled her 2018 EP loser alongside “Ready Yet” collaborator and producer King Henry.

“It captures my life from nineteen until twenty-three,” she goes on. “It’s more multi-faceted than sad
girl was, because I got more time to sit down and ask myself, ‘What do I want to say and how do I want
to say it?’ Some of it is loneliness. Some of it is about my parents. Some of it is about falling in love with
a new person and being vulnerable to them. It deals with not feeling good enough as a songwriter. I’m
always asking everyone around me, ‘Does this sound like basic white girl pop?’ That’s my biggest fear.
There’s a focus on lyrics and real instruments, which I really love. It just covers every insecurity I’ve ever
had.”

In doing so, it might dispel some of those insecurities. Right out of the gate, loser garnered acclaim from Billboard, Flaunt, and more. The opener “The Only” pairs her delicate delivery with sparse acoustic
guitar as the lyrics detail, “being lonely and not knowing what to do when I moved to L.A.” Meanwhile,
airy guitar and minimal production underscore the sweet “Chasing Parties” where she admits, “My
boyfriend and I found out we were so happy to just stay at home with each other instead of going out.”
“Older” hinges on a heartbreakingly confessional, yet catchy chorus, “The older I get, the more that I see,
my parents aren’t heroes, they’re just like me…Lovin’ is hard, it don’t always work, just try your best not
to get hurt…I used to be mad, but now I know, sometimes it’s better to let someone go. It just hadn’t hit
me yet, the older I get.”

“It just means my parents aren’t perfect, and my dad and I have a really strange relationship,” she
admits. “My mom and my dad married, divorced, and remarried—like a bunch of times. I never really
understood why everything was always so off and fucked up. My dad was 24 when I was born. We have
the same birthday. I’m turning 24 next year. I thought about how I could never take care of a child at 24.
After my first big breakup, I saw how hard relationships could be. I understood and sympathized with my
parents more than ever. It hit me all at once and came out.”

In the end, you’ll feel right at home hanging out with Sasha Sloan. “If one person out there is like, ‘Oh shit, I’ve felt like that,’ that would be dope,” she leaves off. “My favorite music makes me feel things and think about my own life. I hope you walk away feeling like you know me. That answer made no sense. I’m such a loser, dude,” she smiles.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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Written by Neill Frazer

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