LOCAL SOUNDS: Sasha Milan – Multi-Instrumentalist Singer/Songwriter
Admittedly, I’ve seen a handful of Sasha Milan of times before we sat down to interview. I first met Sasha on a cold December evening in 2017 in Somerville MA, where another local musician, Keith Cooper, was hosting a musical Christmas shindig lovingly dubbed “Tree’s Company.” Sasha and I bonded over similar interests and work, and although she didn’t lend her musical talents that night, I did make a point to keep up with her career as we moved into the new year. I’ve seen Sasha play local open mics and shows around the Cambridge area over the last year and her creative talent leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Her soulful and honest lyricism, multi-instrument abilities, and flavor for story telling is unique without being boisterous. Her sound has easily detectable folk influences that feels nostalgic and warm. Time and again I’ve witnessed Sasha sing through old mythos and manage to capture every audience member wholly and faithfully.
I caught up with Sasha over coffee to find out her plans for 2019, as she gears up to record another EP called Digital Age.
When did you begin playing music for more than recreation? Was there a clear transition between “I play music” and “I’m a musician” for you?
I spent a lot of time playing with other musicians assisting with things like back-up vocal. Around 2015 I was attending a weekly open mic night at Serendipity Café in Maynard, MA. Being part of that community really helped encourage me and inspire me to eventually set out to pursue my own projects, which is how I’m here now.
You’re a storyteller, that’s apparent. Why do you feel most connected to folk music, and folklore tales and mythology in particular?
I feel like the oral tradition of storytelling is being somewhat lost and there’s a lot of joy in incorporating that into my music. I’m not really connected to other musicians doing a similar thing. I think even ancient stories carry a kind of relatability and connect us again as human beings, so that’s what I’m trying to do with my music—reconnect with others. N
Your first EP, “Groundhog Day,” had a lot of humanity, stories of human perils and plights. Do you foresee your music coming out in 2019 staying within that realm or deviating a bit?
The elements of storytelling will be there, for sure. This year in the new EP, I’m going to be talking a bit more explicitly about connection—the EP is called Digital Age. But even as it implies that we are disconnected more than ever, I’m going to be writing this EP largely around connection, too.
Can you talk a bit about your community; the ways community supported your music, and how you hope to reactivate your community/scene through your music?
My community has really held me up from the beginning. The members of my band, which is now a three-piece situation, also have other projects going on simultaneously, and we all take turns mentoring and supporting one another as friends as well as artists. I see that in the larger community too, and I really want to continuing fostering that going forward. I would say that would be true in a greater sense, it’s about the community of musicians in the Boston scene and that mutual support .
What have you learned since making your first EP?
I actually produced my first EP quite literally all by myself. I mixed, recording, produced—everything. I wore every hat for that one. So, I really got to appreciate the love and work that goes in beyond the initial writing stage. I think because of that I have a more concrete direction with the sound for Digital Age, and it will be all the better for that.
Do you have any upcoming shows in the area? Where and how can listeners support you?
You can keep up with what I’m doing on any of my social media pages. The best way to support me is to come out to shows, which will be happening!
You can find Sasha and her music here:
More photos from my time talking to Sasha: