British Country singer / songwriter Sasha McVeigh seems to be living proof of a ‘dare to dream’ philosophy. It was as recently as 2012 that this young lady completed sixth form college to find a handful of attractive offers awaiting for university places in the UK. Whereas many would follow the ‘sensible’ path by accepting the chance for higher education and supposed greater career opportunities, the career that Sasha hoped for was to be found down a completely different path. With huge support from her parents, both emotionally and financially, as the family sold whatever they could to raise the necessary funds for a two week trip to Nashville, Sasha embarked on her journey.
Country music was a love of Sasha’s from a young age, she recalls that her father used to ‘dance me around the living room to CMT when I was just 18 months old‘. Learning to play the piano and guitar whilst growing up led to trying her hand at songwriting, a form of expression that the artist continues to feel very strongly about ‘songwriting is extremely important to me, I cherish every song I write because each one is so personal; they’re like rhyming diary entries‘. Years of honing those skills culminated in that visit to Nashville, on which it was hoped that Sasha may get the chance to make just a few performances. In fact those two weeks ended up being jam-packed with appearances, including stage time at Tootsies Orchid Lounge and the legendary Bluebird. The success of these sessions led to the artist returning to Music City for extended periods in the autumn of 2012 and spring 2013.
It would seem foolish to be in Nashville for a few months and not take the opportunity to record some material, naturally Sasha capitalised on this and recorded her debut EP, simply titled ‘Sasha McVeigh’. Released on the singer’s birthday in June 2013 and comprised entirely of original material performed acoustically, the EP is a milestone that the singer was justifiably delighted about ‘the whole experience of being in a professional studio was a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier with the final product‘. Across its’ six tracks ‘Sasha McVeigh’ showcases the reasons why a career in music looks to have been the absolute correct choice for the fast-rising British artist.
Gorgeous heartbroken-ballad ‘First’ opens the EP and boasts impressively mature songwriting, with its tale of a woman being pushed aside in love. Strong harmonies on the wonderful chorus perfectly support an emotionally note-perfect vocal from Sasha. ‘Teardrops Fall’ is surprisingly uplifting despite its title and languid pace, promising better times ahead and featuring slick picking. The stripped-down production actually enhances the track, allowing the singer to shine and again show off that splendid voice. More heartbreak is served up on ‘Inside My Heart’, a sombre testament to the refusal of lost love to fade. A song that proves without any doubt the Country credentials of the singer, a no-frills, straight from the (broken)heart composition the likes of which our genre thrives on.
‘No Strings Attached Romance’ sees Sasha add a little attitude to her music, to reflect the ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ nature of the liaison described in the lyrics. Not quite ‘unleashing the wild child’ referred to in the song, it definitely makes for an enjoyable change of pace with a bluesy-feel and sassy vocals. A similar sound carries over on ‘Like A Player’, with the singer putting a no-good charmer firmly in his place and suggesting that she is not a lady to cross. ‘I Should’ve Realised’ is the final track of a highly accomplished EP, and ends the record as it began, with a ballad that may lack a big, powerful production but revels in that fact. The song is the most important element here, expertly crafted again and sung exquisitely.
On the back of the release of her debut EP Sasha toured the US in 2013, playing in seventeen cities across thirteen states. The record itself was picked up by radio station ‘Coast To Coast’ AM as part of an emerging artists feature, which allowed the music to be broadcast to an audience of 3 million plus. Unsurprisingly the response was terrific, ‘I had all these emails and messages from people I didn’t even know, telling me how much they loved my voice and the songs on the CD, I was overcome with emotions‘. In April of this year Sasha was chosen to play at the Academy of Country Music Kick-Off party held in Las Vegas, opening the show for the artists that followed (Cole Swindell, David Nail and Hunter Hayes no less!). A second US tour also took place during the middle of this year and again saw this shining light of UK Country music opening for notable US stars, including Dustin Lynch (yep, yep!) and Thompson Square.
Sasha is currently in the midst of a UK tour which sees her playing in Liverpool, Exeter, London and a whole host of cities in between. On the evidence of her EP (a full album recorded in Nashville is set for release in spring 2015) and her success in the US, a visit to see her live in the UK is a chance not to be passed up. Check out her website for full listings (details below). If you do miss Sasha on tour this time around expect to be able to see her again soon, this is a seriously talented lady with a big future ahead of her. Refreshingly for us cynics out there, it seems that sometimes dreams do come true.