From singing in the shopping cart when she was two, to singing all over the United States and the UK, British Country singer/songwriter Sasha McVeigh says music is her life. In a very short time Sasha has already gained experience and accomplished goals that even seasoned artists would be in awe of. Gearing up to record her first full length record, Sasha took some time to chat about her journey, her biggest moment so far and what's ahead.
A few years ago you graduated [from the US equivalent of high school] and were accepted into numerous university programs, yet you chose to pursue music.
Music was something I have always wanted to do and being in school made it difficult to focus on that completely. I started playing piano at age ten and writing songs at age twelve. I only began playing guitar three years ago, when it became apparent that it was going to be difficult to take a keyboard everywhere I went! I just became obsessed with the guitar and now I cannot go anywhere without it. I even named my guitar Dean because he is a Martin!
After graduation, I told my parents what they expected-that I wanted to focus on music full time. They believed in me and supported me 100%. They sold everything so I could go to Nashville in 2012.
Why did you gravitate to the country genre?
My dad got me into country music. We would dance around the coffee table to the music of Willie, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. I love songs that have a story behind them and I think country is one of the only genres where when artists play their songs you can hear their stories. It is a very personal genre. I have always been a storyteller and when I began writing songs, they naturally came out country.
Are those artists that you mentioned being exposed to in childhood some of your influences?
Yes, some of my biggest influences are the artists that I listened to at an early age. I have been listening to Elvis since I was seven years old; I absolutely love his music. I listened to a lot of Shania Twain and my mom often had Motown playing. I also am influenced by Zac Brown Band and Kasey Musgraves.
You started your musical journey in 2012 and it seems to be progressing fairly rapidly.
It’s kind of crazy really. I don’t come from money; my parents are pensioners who really did sell everything so I could pursue my dream. Telling them thank you seems redundant now because it doesn’t begin to cover how grateful I am. My message to people is that if you are dedicated to your craft, if you focus on your dreams and have a good support system anything is possible.
When I went to Nashville in November of 2012, I planned on playing a couple shows and ended up being booked solid for two weeks. [Sasha played at Tootsies, The Rutledge and The Bluebird to name a few]. I returned to Nashville in May 2013 and toured again. But the biggest thing for me so far was playing at the ACM kickoff party in Vegas in April 2014 with Hunter Hayes. I still can’t believe that happened.
How did that come about?
It was a bit of luck actually. I performed in Colorado at the Country Jam Festival singing in the VIP area and Bob Romeo, who is the President of the ACM, was there. I was taken over and introduced to him and we got to talking. He really liked my music and said that if I was ready for it, he would love for me to do something with the ACM in Vegas if I was ready for it. Naturally, I said I was ready and in April of 2014, there I was opening at the LINQ! I was the first artist ever to get to perform on stage at the Linq, which was just unbelievable! I was an unsigned British country music artist, so for him to have that faith in me and to think I was good enough to do something like that is just incredible! I mean, even now I look back at the pictures to make sure I wasn’t dreaming the whole thing!
Will you remain in the UK or relocate to Nashville?
I am kind of deciding that at the moment. British country artists usually focus on the UK first while I started off in America. The main reason I wanted to start in Nashville was that I knew if I got into scene and played shows I would be given the foundation to develop my sound and my skills. I feel that my time in Nashville was like attending the University of Music. I was really able to go outside of my comfort zone, as I was a bit shy, and am now able to play in front of all ranges of audiences.
What are our plans for the rest of the year and 2015?
I will have a single out in January called “Two Ships,” which is about a previous relationship. On November 1st, I will head to Nashville to record my first full length, full band album which will be funded through Kickstarter. I hope to have the album out in in either March or April. I wrote everything for the record thus far and more or less decided on the track listing. When I’m in Nashville, I am going to be doing some co-writing, which is something I have never ventured into before, so maybe some of those songs will end up on the album as well.
We will tour in the UK and Europe and we are working on lots of exciting things I cannot talk about yet! I am just so excited to get out to perform, tell my stories and see the audience’s reaction. I am really living the dream!
Finally, I always like to know, is there one recent release that you cannot stop listening to?
That’s a tough one, let me think. I'm currently listening to Dustin Lynch's new record and of course Elvis, I always have him on. You can’t really get better than Elvis.
Find her on Facebook and Follow her on Twitter To help Sasha make her record, visit her Kickstarter