Sasami has gone from playing the French horn in orchestras to multi-tasking on keys, bass and guitar in local rock bands, gaining a reputation as an all-round musical genius in the process. Now, she’s taking centre stage and is bringing her headline show to YES in Manchester on September 4th.
When and why did you start playing?
Piano when I was 5 because I’m Korean.
Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.
My Dad is tone deaf but used to be a self-proclaimed guitar shredder in the 70’s. My Mom is an epic, secret Japanese-Korean folk song karaoke queen. My sister loves only basic top 40’s hits and Vagabon whilst one of my brother’s loves country and secretly wants to be in Creed and the other is an epic musician in a band called Froth.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
At the moment I’m very into Rosalía – so talented and hot! Alice Coltrane too. She’s very virtuosic and zen at the same time. My best friend forever, Mitski because she’s crushing it right now and is a work horse like me. She is my rock and light in many ways.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Playing FORM festival, making my record and playing orchestras growing up.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Fleetwood Mac Tusk, Rumours, Tango In The Night, The Beatles Every Single Album, Steely Dan Pretzel Logic, Can’t Buy A Thrill, Ella Fitzgerald. Just to name a few.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I did it on purpose.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Practice practice practice! Don’t play anything live you haven’t nailed in the practice room. Then when you play live let your muscle memory do the work, let go and enjoy! Only being under-prepared makes me nervous personally.
Tell us your best story from touring.
I played Le Route du Rock fest in France and there were goats on top of the large building next to the outdoor stage. Magnificent.
If you could pick three fellow musicians to have a meal with who would it be and why?
Mica Levi, she’s an amazing composer, prouder and seems mysterious and interesting. Grace Jones as I bet she has STORIES for days. Neil Young too, I have so many questions about his rig.
You’re playing YES in Manchester on September 4th – I don’t know if you’ve heard, but they do great pizza there – what’s your favourite pizza topping?
Mushrooms and rocket. Literally anything.Buy Tickets interview / sasami