Before releasing her second album, I Blame The World, we chatted with Sasha Alex Sloan about her creative writing process, taking a major leap of faith, and what it’s like going from a viral meme to an alt-pop queen.
Sasha uses her voice and musical talents to speak candidly about life, growing up, relationships, and everything in between–making no topic off-limits– which is why we adore her! Using her platform to discuss topics that normally people journal about is refreshing and makes Sasha’s music more relatable and endearing. She embraces the cynicism and relishes in the small things, while cleverly and realistically loathing them at the same time. I Blame The World is out everywhere now! Be sure to catch Sasha Alex Sloan on tour starting this July! Get tickets here.
How did you get into songwriting? Have you always had a creative outlet to express yourself?
My mom bought a piano off craigslist when I was a kid, and I was always messing around on it. She tried to get me into piano lessons, but I was a bad student and tried to make up my own songs. As a teenager, I became obsessed with writing, and it was all I would do when I got home from school. I’ve always had a creative outlet, and I feel really lucky to have a way to express myself.
What are your earliest memories of music— who or what inspired you?
The first song I remember falling in love with was “you were meant for me” by
Jewel. I think I called it “Sasha’s song” and would belt it at the top of my lungs as a 6-year-old. My biggest inspirations are Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor, Brandi Carlile, The Killers, etc.
How was the process of I Blame The World different from Only Child?
When I made Only Child, I probably wrote around 40 songs, and then I picked my favorite ones. I was more focused on the individual songs than the album as a whole. With I Blame the World, , I focused on creating a world, no pun intended. I really wanted this album to feel cohesive, and a lot of songs I loved didn’t end up making this record because I didn’t feel they fit the theme. I also wanted this album to feel more fun, and I hope people feel that when they listen!
How is your creative process— do you always start with melody or lyrics?
I love starting with lyrics! I try to come into every song with a concept or lyric idea. For me,
it’s the easiest way to start and get a blueprint of the song.
You have an exciting beginning and rise to fame— how did the Reddit picture come about?
So my parents were painting the outside of our house while I was at a sleepover. They painted the word “dork” in capital letters with an arrow pointing to my bedroom window. When I came home, I was like, “wow…” (lol) and took a picture of it. About a year later, while I was at Berklee in Boston, I posted the photo to Reddit, and it went viral. I then decided to post my SoundCloud in the comments and the next week got a call from Warner Chappell saying they wanted to sign me as a songwriter. I left college and moved to LA at 19.
Moving to LA, a large and cutthroat city, was a massive change. How did you know you were ready and certain to take that leap of faith?
To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was it was a great opportunity I may never get again, so I decided to follow it. In the beginning, it was extremely hard. I was working at a coffee shop in the morning and then doing sessions in the afternoon. It was tough, but when I moved out to LA, I had so much growing to do as a songwriter, and it really helped me become a better writer.
What three words would you use to describe the tone and vibe for I Blame The World?
Sad, mad, fun-ish?
What can fans expect from your upcoming tour?
I hope this upcoming tour is fun! I think it will be. I can’t wait to be back on the road. I
thought a lot about the live show while writing this album, and I think the new songs will add a lot of tempo and diversity to the show!
What song are you most proud of?
This is such a hard question, but if I had to pick one off the new album, I would have to say “Global Warming.” I love the feel of it, and I think lyrically, it really captures where I’ve been in the past year. The world is burning, but I have someone I love that keeps me going, and I think that’s a universal motive for a lot of people.
You’ve written with various artists; Camilla Cabello, Kygo, John Legend—which do you prefer: writing for yourself or with/for others?
It really depends on the day and what mood I’m in. I enjoy both equally because they’re both so different from each other. When I write for myself, I get to tell my story, but when I write with other artists, I get to help tell theirs, which is awesome.
As an artist and a young person growing up in the roaring digital age, how has it been staying confident and motivated in your craft? Are there days when you think you made a wrong career choice?
There isn’t a day where I don’t question what I’m doing, lol. I think in the age we’re in. It’s
easy to constantly be comparing yourself to others. I’ve gotten a lot better at focusing on what I’m doing and what I want to achieve, which has helped my mental health a lot. I never feel like I made the wrong career choice, but I do wonder what else is out there in the future.