Sasha Assad interview

BIMM University / Together We Create

Sasha Assad at DIY’s Class of 24: Interview by Amy Perdoni

8th January 2024

At the heart of BIMM University is a thriving community of creatives who share a passion for pushing boundaries and breaking new ground. Whether you’re a musician, filmmaker, game developer, or performer, you’ll find a place to apply and extend your specialism in our dynamic community.

‘Together We Create’ isn’t just a slogan – it’s a living testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the BIMM experience. It’s about forging connections, amplifying ideas, and bringing dreams to life through collective effort.

Two BIMM Music Institute London students, Sasha Assad and Amy Perdoni, caught up at DIY Magazine’s Class of 24 just after Sasha’s performance.

Firstly, Congratulations on graduating from BIMM! How did studying in a musical environment influence your progression and creativity as a songwriter?

Sasha: I was quite used to working solely by myself back home before I came to BIMM. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me collaborate with people – that was part of the course – and enjoy collaborating with people because I was quite selfish before then. It allowed me to be very open to writing with others and take on ideas I usually wouldn’t have thought of.

Tonight is incredibly cool and being showcased by DIY – how do you feel, and what does this opportunity mean to you?

It means a lot. I’ve been to a few DIY events. My friend who also went to BIMM, I saw her play a DIY show, and I was like, I want to work with DIY. So when I got the offer, I was like, let’s go, let’s do it. So yeah, it means a lot. And these events are really well put together. They’re really cool.

This year, you signed to Fierce Panda Records, and then you released your first single, ‘Still’, with them a couple of months back, which I love, by the way. What’s the response been like? And being signed to a label, has it impacted much for you?

Releasing under a label is great. They put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure it’s getting reviews and press, so to get emails through saying ‘this magazine in Brazil has done a review on your song’, that’s really cool – having to Google translate all these reviews it’s like, really fun. The response has been really warming to have random people messaging you, saying that the song’s touched them – that’s the goal – to make music that reaches people. It seems like it did that more than I think I expected it to. I loved releasing under a label, and this was my first opportunity to do that.

Do you feel as if it restricts you at all, or does it give you more freedom?

I don’t think it restricts me. It’s nice to have people who know what they’re doing backing you. It’s an excellent indicator that I’m on the right track. It makes me want to stick with it.

I saw that Coldplay used to be signed to the label.

Yeah, Simon, who’s here, he’s the one who signed Coldplay, and he’s the one who signed me.

You can be the next Coldplay?

Touch wood. But thank you.

When writing your songs, do you follow a step-by-step procedure, or is it more natural?

I always start with guitar – and then from there, it changes. I’ll either bring a song into rehearsal and show the girls, and we’ll work through it, or I’ll go onto Logic and see what I can come up with. Very occasionally, I’ll use a piano to write a song – but that’s rare because I’m terrible at piano. The keys all look the same! If you can play the piano, well done, bravo.

I completely agree. What would you say inspired the writing on your recent single?

There’s an artist, Connie Converse, an old artist from the 50s. Her songwriting and her voice is beautiful. She went missing off the face of the earth, and I was like, that’s so weird, and I became obsessed with trying to recreate her sounds. The song is just another heartbreak song – which is so been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

It doesn’t matter if it’s been done before – it’s still relatable and necessary. You dropped your debut EP last year and have plans for another next year. What’s changed for you in that time?

I’ve changed a lot; I’ve become much more comfortable not writing in just one genre. When I released my debut EP, as much as I loved it, I focused on establishing myself as an indie rock artist. But your mind changes constantly, and as an artist, you’ve got to adapt to that. I started writing with different chords and structures and about different things, so I definitely have changed as an artist since then. I’m so grateful to showcase that with a label also backing me.

Besides the upcoming release, is there anything else you’re particularly excited about for 2024?

As far as I can say, I’m playing a lot of festivals, which I’m so excited about. I got to play at Truck Festival last year, which was my first-ever festival. It was so much fun, so I’m really excited to play with others.

I’m sure we’ll find out about that soon.

Yeah, the lineups will come out. Stay tuned!

Finally, how did you feel performing?

My eyesight was significantly impaired, and the lights were really bright, but it was so much fun. It was hot and sweaty. I was shaking coming off stage, but that was a good sign. The more nervous you are, the more the show means to you. It meant a lot. It was so cool. I loved it and am so happy to be doing this.

‘Still’ is out now via Fierce Panda Records.


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