On Feb. 16, Sasha Spielberg released the first single, “Coolhand,” from her upcoming EP Facepaint, under her stage name, Buzzy Lee. Previously, she has published music with her band that she formed with her brother Theo, called “Wardell”.
For Facepaint, she collaborated with experimental electronic composer Nicholas Jaar to create an emotive and vulnerable work of art. Although it’s worth noting that she is the daughter of acclaimed film director Steven Spielberg, Sasha deserves to be recognized for her eclectic and captivating music on her own merit. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview her about Facepaint, which will be released on April 27 via Future Classic.
1. When did you start working on Facepaint? Was there any particular motivation or inspiration?
I started about two years ago actually. My boyfriend was on tour and I had all these songs I needed to put down on paper. I’m used to writing with my brother but I made it a goal to finish a song a day on my own, even if it wasn’t very good. I flew to New York to record with my best friend Nico. Every day was cathartic — a therapy session for me. We would rewrite lyrics that weren’t going deep enough until we got something really meaningful out of the EP, and so I present to you Facepaint (in a few months.)
2. Why did you pick “Coolhand” to be your single?
Coolhand was always just so fun and trancelike. It felt dreamy and understated but also meant a lot to me. The next single will be a lot darker.
3. How would you describe the mood and message of Facepaint?
The message is: help me, I feel insecure and I feel these feelings a lot. I’m jealous, I’m not a grown up yet, I want everyone to be happy, how can I be happy? So basically it’s four years of therapy in one EP. Call my therapist, she might have a better answer.
4. What’s your favorite aspect of making music?
I love that first moment when the melody comes to you, and it could make you cry or gives you this immediate flutter. That flutter is what I live for!
5. Who are your artistic influences (musical or otherwise?)
I love Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Judee Sill, Hall & Oates, Joni Mitchell, and then I grew up with movie scores.
6. What is your creative process like?
I feel a lot of feelings. I have green tea. I sit at my piano and occasionally check Instagram and quickly realize how bad it is for my creative process and turn it on airplane mode and usually start with a C# major. I come up with a solid verse melody and then chorus melody and then I go to my journal and start writing lyrics. Is this boring? How can I make this process more interesting? Maybe I can say I sometimes get wild and start with a D minor. There.
7. What are you listening to, reading and/or watching right now?
Listening to Love Apple “There’s No Answer Without You,” reading The Immortalists, watching every Albert Brooks film for the first time. Also just watched North by Northwest for the first time, wowie!
8. If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
I say blue, but recently I was told purple. Which color says “easily swayed?”
To check out Sasha’s work, you can listen to her single on Apple Music, Spotify and Soundcloud and preorder the EP on iTunes and Bandcamp.