For an artist who has only just released her debut EP – the brilliantly off-kilter So Polite – Sasha Siem has already racked up an impressive CV. Since graduating in Music from both Cambridge and Harvard, she has gone on to write music for the London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Opera House and Rambert Dance Company, to name but a few illustrious institutions. Combining distorted strings, elastic rhythms and a slightly other-worldly vocal, Siem’s often bare sound relies on its innovativeness and the strength of the composition, much like Abi Wade, Hanne Hukkelberg and Linnea Olsson. If you like intelligent, left-field folk that flies defiantly in the face of conventional song-writing, we suggest you check out Siem immediately.
Tell us a bit about your latest release?
I just released my debut EP, So Polite. Gearbox Records have produced a beautiful limited edition vinyl of the record. It contains 4 tracks as a sneak peek into my music before the release of the full album later this spring.
What was your best ever gig?
I recently produced a choreographed show of my songs at the Royal Opera House in London. It was interesting bringing something so different into an establishment typically known for staging classical opera and ballet. The musicians in my band were choreographed to move around the stage while playing. I’m not sure about it being my best gig ever (I did shriek violently and very unmusically at one point after being lunged into unexpectedly by one of the dancers), but it was a lot of fun!
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
There isn’t a worst thing. I feel privileged to be living as a musician.
What inspires you?
The experience of being alive – love, loss, memory, presence, expectation, desire; other people – especially those who dare to think, to question, to be fully themselves and fully present; space; the sun and the moon and honesty. And anything too small or too big to grasp.
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
Put it towards bringing meditation into schools, and setting up unique spaces across the globe for artist, scientists and philosophers to meet, collaborate and exchange ideas.
Which of your songs is your favorite and why?
‘Kind Man’s Kiss’. It’s humorous and heartbreaking at the same time.
What are you plans for the future?
I’ll be releasing my debut album, Most of the Boys, later in the spring. A lot of care, love, and life has gone into its making so I’m excited to finally share it. I have too many ideas for the future but I aim not to let them take over my present.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
I’ve got a keen eye on Cosmo Sheldrake.