Sasha Gradiva has landed stateside. The Moscow born Russian singer, songwriter, performer and fashion fanatic is ready to take the US by storm after her success in Europe with her solo albums “Sasha” and “Say My Name with Love.”
In addition to gracing the covers of European Vogue and Cosmopolitan, Gradiva’s debut solo album, self-titled Sasha was released by ARS Records and generated six hit singles that catapulted Sasha to European stardom. Sasha followed up the stunning success of her debut solo album with another hit record- Say My Name with Love. Her first English speaking album is set for release in early 2012.
We caught up with Gradiva before her show at Score on March 17th in Miami.
IC: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist?
SG: I would say I’m multifaceted artist. Many things interest me. I like to be in the center of attention. I write ballads and I write loud smash tracks. I notice small details but always think big at the same time. And I love to perform a lot. I want to make a huge show in the US so bad that my tooth hurts when I think about it.
IC: What happened at the Grammy’s?
SG: The Grammy’s were fun, except for the fact that I was kicked out of the ceremony. I showed up in my gun outfit as you know, did the red carpet and press, but then a security guard came up to me and said, “I personally think it’s the best idea ever, but there are people in the room who don’t feel comfortable.” Even fake guns are illegal in public places, so security asked me to take them off. I thought it would be so shallow of me to destroy the outfit that had such an important message. Not gonna lie I felt a little bit like I was in a Soviet Union school where they force you to wear a uniform!! So as a result I was escorted out of the ceremony. The security guards took a picture with me though!
IC: A little controversy is always good in moderation, was any of that planned?
SG: I didn’t plan to cause such a commotion. We were just sitting with my team and brainstorming ideas as we always do. I didn’t want to play it safe and wear a pretty dress for the millionth time in the history of Grammy’s. Also I thought about my single WANTED that was to be released right after. So we decided to make a controversial outfit, to put together very opposite things: A Barbie-like wedding dress and guns. I was shocked to find out that every single media outlet covered my appearance at the Grammy’s and showed “the gun girl outfit” in more than 15 countries around the world.
Unfortunately, journalists were buzzing about the “Barbie -Terminator” and “Gun girl” theme rather than paying attention to the message I had. Just a week before the Grammy’s, I joined the organization Kids Creating Peace and visited Palestinian schools where the nonprofit has a social education program. I was fascinated by the fact that these kids actually can be exposed to the things no kid should see. Living behind huge concrete walls, separating Israel and Palestinian territories, surrounded by military forces, these kids don’t know life the way we know it. It touched me a lot and influenced my creative process while choosing the outfit. I think artists should be more involved in what’s happening in the world. And the world constantly is about to start a new war! I suggest that we use all the weapons in the world for artistic purposes only.
IC: When you write, what influences do you draw upon?
SG: When I write I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. It just comes to me while I walk, shop, see a handsome guy or if I am really disturbed by something. Then of course all events in my personal and public life find their way into my songs. I usually come up with a hook and then the melody and the main words come together. I have dozens of those! Then I go to the piano and the song comes alive.
IC: How is your first single ‘Wanted’ doing?
SG: My single WANTED is doing great. It’s too early to talk about charts and numbers, but it definitely has received a lot of attention from both music and media outlets.
IC: Why is club music crossing over into the mainstream? Is that a good thing?
SG: Club music has been pushed in the mainstream by the younger generations. It’s definitely a good thing. It’s the way music evolves. Dance music is starting to sound pretty much the same. I personally would love to hear larger variety of styles.
IC: Playing Score in Miami, tell us about the show you have planned.
SG: I’m performing at Club Score during WMC. It’s the largest gay scene club in Miami. At the peak of Lady Gaga’s career she showed up there on New Year’s just to pay respect to her first supporters. This place is known for igniting stars. I’m very excited about this performance.
IC: What is on the horizon for you?
SG: I’ll be releasing my second single which is also produced by Tricky Stewart and touring, touring, touring!
IC: Where did you get the name “Sasha Gradiva?”
SG: Sasha is my real name. As soon as I moved to New York one of my friends, the extremely talented designer and extraordinary illustrator Leonardo Gurevich, started to call me Gradiva, referring to the muse of all Impressionists. Salvador Dali called his muse and wife Gradiva. Since then all of my friends started to call me Sasha Gradiva, so I just left it that way.
IC: Describe your everyday style inspiration.
SG: I’m inspired by people who think outside of the box and who think big and act big. I’m inspired by people who don’t just care about one room, one house, one million dollars in the bank, but those who care about one big planet Earth.