Sasha Keable is feeling slightly rough following the night before’s BRIT Awards afterparties. Despite this, she manages to be chirpy and endearing as Clash catches up with the London newcomer to discuss her roots – and how she’s growing from them.
“My background is in R&B and hip-hop influenced music,” she explains. “My stuff is always, like, 90BPM, so it’s quite chilled. I don’t even have that many ties with dance music, although I feel like people assume that because of the stuff I’ve done with Disclosure and Zinc.”
While the names she has been associated with could suggest chart-focused pop releases, Sasha’s work tends more towards full-length headphone listening.
“I prefer to push bodies of work,” she says. “I’m pretty old school with how I listen to things, which comes from my dad. It feels a lot more natural to me as a creative to push things as a whole story.”
A week earlier at London’s Soho House, sporting a floral two-piece, she apologises for the fit of her trousers, joking as she tries to bend down for a glass of water. She somehow retains her optimistic upbeat charm, describing a relationship that inspired one of her songs, informing us that she can’t allow herself happiness as it leaves her with nothing to write about.
Her second EP, ‘Lemongrass & Lime Leaves’, provides a contrast of her melancholy lyrics and moving vocals against a more up-tempo selection of ’80s disco and soul-inspired production. “The EP is sonically a lot brighter than on [previous EP] ‘Black Book’, but the topics are actually a little bit darker. I can’t fully give away my happy side yet!” she laughs.
The contrast is partially inspired by Dev Hynes, who she has been working with on material for her debut album. She was initially introduced to him via her manager.
“I’m a massive fan of Blood Orange, so I was like, ‘Oh, shit!’” she recalls of heading to New York, where the pair spent four days in the studio together. “But then I was like, ‘Maybe it’s going to be one of those things where his sound is so defined that it wouldn’t really translate into my more R&B stuff,’ but it completely did and it was amazing!”
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WHAT: Soulful, hip-hop influenced R&B
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Voices’ (Disclosure feat. Sasha Keable), ‘Careless Over You’ (video above), ‘Asking For More’
FACT: Sasha played football for an all-female team for seven years.
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Words: Grant Brydon
Photo: Liam MF Warwick (website)