Date: May, 2007
From: Music Connection Magazine
Sacha Sacket: L.A. Singer/Songwriter Goes National
by Dan Kimpel
On the eve of the release of his third CD, Lovers and Leaders, Sasha Sacket missed his flight from New York "by five minutes" and was a day delayed in returning home to his downtown L.A. loft. Historically, the road isn't always kind to those who traverse it, but for Sacket, touring has paid off with impressive dividends.
"Thinking outside of the box" is a phrase that the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter uses to describe his ongoing marketing strategy and it seems to be working. In the span of three releases, Sacket has presented concerts at over 100 college campuses while garnering airplay on 150+ independent, college and NPR stations. An early advocate of MySpace, Sacket used the social networking site to meet college students who were booking venues at their schools. When his audience swelled, national media outlets soon followed.
"Reaching people, though, has to be more on a street level now," Sacket believes, "because everybody is on the internet." Consequently, the performer now thinks of MySpace as more of an EPK (electronic press kit). "When you go to talent buyers or bookers, they want to see you on MySpace. It's important to keep it updated and to have it look active while maintaining a look of success. If [the bookers] see nothing is going on, they're not going to book a show with you."
The artist, who has been touring sans band, originally envisioned writing and recording Lovers and Leaders in four months. "That's just insane!" he laughs. "I'd gotten off touring, doing colleges and meeting kids at little venues and coffeehouses. It was going great, but it was so taxing. I can't write much on the road. I was doing everything; there was no one to help. I was meeting as many people as possible. I was exhausted."
Still, this artist pledges that touring remains an essential element in his outreach. "A lot of press comes from it. Being on tour indicates seriousness about your craft. Also, the reason I toured so far and wide was because of money. You can’t get every university in California to book you. You have to reach out to the nation to see what you can get. In Los Angeles it's difficult to find money shows, because you're competing with all the other musicians."
In concert, imaginative covers are a part of the equation; for example, "Hit Me Baby One More Time," the Britney Spears tune, is something that Sacket has included as a sure-fire crowd pleaser. "A cover is effective when a crowd doesn't know my stuff. If you include one song –– and flip it on its side and have the audience sing along –– you can really win them over. I choose songs that I can make my own."
Sacket's newest CD displays an evolved sense of songcraft marked by his literary sensibilities. The music is projects a notable cast of characters in sharp relief, such as an obsessed friend drying flowers and rearranging dolls on her bed, or a "cool kid" whose implied threats "keep the fat chicks and the fags in line." (That latter song, "Brandon Boyd," is named for the Incubus founder, a high school classmate of Sacket's.)
Sacket says even though he's revealing other people's lives, there are elements of himself in all of these songs too. And he acknowledges that taking time off between tours, living his life and falling in love have all influenced him personally and artistically. "In a way this is my love album. To me, love is like losing power. Lovers and Leaders is the idea of having love and power at the same time, of being a powerful person and also having an open heart."
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