In a bit of a work slump right now? Welcome to #PlayTime, Grazia Daily's new music feature bringing you a different hot track every day of the week. From just-dropped music premieres to cool covers and throwback classics, its the new soundtrack to your afternoon.
20-year-old Disturbing London signee Sasha Keable may be, for the moment, most commonly known as the voice behind Disclosures 'Voices' but the South London hailing singer is making quite a name for herself off her own accord. Since unveiling her debut ep 'Black Book' just last summer she's been the name on tastemakers lips the world over, and with the release of her second EP 'Lemongrass And Lime Leaves' it's about time everyone gets to know.
We caught up with Sasha to talk being signed to Tinie Tempah's label, anxiety and maneuvering the music industry as a good-looking female.
Tell us a bit about you for those who don’t know...
I'm Sasha Keable, I’m 20 years old and was born and raised in South London. I’m a soul / RnB / hip-hop singer signed to Disturbing London and Polydor.
You recently went on tour with Katy B - that must have been pretty awesome! Anything in particular you picked up from touring with her?
There’s things that more developed artists have stored in the back of their little trick cupboard… It sounds really weird but the way that she used her body; there wasn’t one part of her body that she didn’t use. Like when she’d extend her arm she wouldn’t like half extend it, she’d fully extend it. I definitely took all of that in and was like okay… I have to do some stretches kinda thing.
Do you get nervous at all before performing?
It’s not really like a ‘Sasha Fierce’ moment… I’m definitely backstage like “Ohh my God!” I literally don’t talk to anyone for like five, ten minutes before I go on. I get nervous but then as soon as I’m on stage and I’ve kind of opened my mouth and sung the first bit of a song I’m like “okay cool, phew I can sing!”
Tinie Tempah and Sasha Keable modelling for Tinie's Disturbing London clothes line
How did you meet Tinie Tempah and end up signed to his label Disturbing London?
I did a gig when I was 14 for like a local radio station and he was there performing. My friend called me over and was like ‘oh come and sing to Tinie’… this was before [his breakthrough hit] ‘Pass Out’. I sung to him and he took my number then he called me and asked me to do a few shows with him so I ended up doing a showcase and Wireless [Festival] with him, just doing adlibs and singing hooks and stuff. I got to know his manager who then said he wanted to manage me, too, and it just kind of went from there.
Has he given you any words of wisdom that have stuck with you?
He’s always just like to me “just keep your head down, you can party later as long as you just do this you can pretty much do whatever you want afterwards.” Basically just work hard.
All your songs are based on your experiences. You’ve previously spoken about ‘Asking For More’ off your debut EP which is about anxiety. Is writing a form of therapy for you?
I really quite enjoyed having that song on the last EP because I feel like it’s definitely something that I enjoy… not exactly writing about but like reflecting about. It affected my life so much for like four years and I didn’t really have anyone that I thought was going through the same thing that I felt I could relate to. It was quite difficult for me to find people that actually genuinely understood what I was going through. It’s a really odd that thing that people treat mental illnesses very different to how they treat physical illnesses even though its pretty much the same thing so I guess that was like the starting point and I was like sh*t, maybe I could actually connect to people that have anxiety and help them or whatever. I guess that’s like an aim for me since I wrote that song. I feel like I could actually be someone who helps other people… not to get over their anxiety because that’s a very individual thing but to be like there are so many other people who feel that way too.
Do you think it’s easier or more difficult to make your way in the music industry as a good-looking female?
It’s a really tricky one because in some respects you can get what you want by being a good looking but I definitely think the respect thing is something that is really difficult to try and grasp. I always try and keep my head above it and I’m like ‘if I respect myself, If I act in an appropriate way, if I am assertive and don’t feel any different because I’m a woman then it shouldn’t be any different…’ but the sad thing is it really is in some men’s heads.
The part where I see it the most is definitely when I’m out with Tinie or whoever and we’ll be in a club - just because I’m a good looking woman and I’m with these successful men, people assume - bouncers, promoters, other women who are just there to get free drinks - they just assume that I’m only there to get a free drink or for whatever reason. They wont come up to me and just assume that I’m a hard working young woman who’s actually there because I’m signed to the label and I’m a singer and songwriter and intelligent.
How would you describe your style?
I’m quite boyish with my style. I like clean cuts and clean colours, I’m very much monochrome or grey or navy blue, and that’s kind of it for me. I’m more like comfort over being uncomfortable but I definitely spend a long time getting ready.
Rihanna in Silver Spoon Attire
Which are your favourite labels at the moment?
Silver Spoon Attire – they’re really good friends of mine. Their label is so cool, Rihanna’s been wearing loads of it. I’m all about Alexander Wang. The day when I can just have a whole Alexander Wang outfit… that will be the day.
Your EP came out yesterday! What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’m playing at Wireless and Ibiza Rocks and Mallorca Rocks as well as getting my album done really, that’s kind of it. I’m going to be a hermit for the rest of the year pretty much.
Check out the playlist of tracks Sasha likes getting ready for a night out to, created exclusively for Grazia Daily.
Like what you hear? Check Sasha Keable out on May 26th at Birthday's.