Sasha McVeigh Interview

Sasha McVeigh Interview

Still beaming from her packed out Saloon stage performance at last month’s C2C festival, singer/songwriter Sasha McVeigh is preparing for her UK & Ireland tour which she will co-headline with American singer/songwriter, Sonia Leigh.


The tour kicks off on April 8th 2015 at Water rats London and stops off at The Roadhouse Manchester on April 15th. Sasha and co will play one of the last remaining slots at this iconic venue which will close its doors for good in May 2015. She will follow in the footsteps of Coldplay, the Cribs, Fallout Boy, the Feeling, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, the Gossip, the Guillemots, Ian Brown, Paulo Nutini, and the White Stripes, all of whom have plied their trade at The Roadhouse.



The songs were little diary entries. I’d write about things at school, or at home, good things and bad things, trivial things, instead of writing a diary to be read, I wrote a diary that was to be sung.


Sasha started writing music and poetic lyrics from the age of 12 by which time she already had 3 years practice on the keyboard, once she put the disciplines together - ‘Something just clicked’ she told me during our interview last Monday.


It became my outlet, my diary. She explained


The songs were little diary entries. I’d write about things at school, or at home, good things and bad things, trivial things, instead of writing a diary to be read, I wrote a diary that was to be sung.


Anxious to develop her stage confidence and determined to share her music with the world, the would-be songstress was ready to perform live a mere 2 years later. She remembers the awkward faces the venue owners would pull when she told them she wanted to play country music, disguising the genre as America or folk did little to excite the key holders. But that was then, today the country music genre is represented everywhere.


Thankfully, the genre is now widely recognised and liked - which is wonderful for me. She said, going on to enthuse about the genres down to earth exploration of all things normal.


It is very honest, not disguised with electronic sounds and vibration. You can hear the passion in the singer’s voices, I love that. I like to think that listeners in the UK are starting to realise that and are taking to it.


Country music is all about story telling. If you want to hear a story about broken relationship or your dog dying, country music will provide. The genre explores normal everyday things, that’s why I love it so much.


Sasha credits her parents varied music tastes as a positive influence on the music she makes, Oh and the king of rock and roll, he got a mention too…


I’m a massive Elvis fan. She delights


I remember when I was seven I ran into the kitchen shouting for my mum and saying, ‘mum there’s a man on television with blue hair, he’s wonderful’, of course on TV his hair was so black it looked blue. Mum thought I was watching something on MTV but of course it was Girls, Girls, Girls the Elvis movie, I was 7, and from there I’ve been hooked.


Listening to a mixture of genres has been priceless when I’ve come to write my own songs.


My parents don’t share the same musical opinion, Dad loves Country and Folk, a little rock and roll, Cat Stevens, Mum likes Motown and the Rolling Stones - between the 2 of them I’ve had a good musical grounding.


All of those musical influences have influenced how my songs actually sound. Because there is definitely hints of all those genres in my music. Listening to a mixture of genres has been priceless when I’ve come to write my own songs.


The promise that made it possible…


My parents made me a promise that if I did well in my exams they would help me with my music, when I finished school in 2012 and brought home my A stars, sure enough - they kept their promise, we’ve pretty much sold whatever we can to fund this, it really is a family effort.


A strong driving force indeed and a level of commitment that isn’t going un-noticed. In April last year, Sasha was invited by The Academy of Country Music to perform at The ACM Award Kick-Off Concert in Las Vegas, along with Hunter Hayes, Cole Swindell and David Nail.


Playing gigs is great fun and helps with exposure but if you really want ‘to put your foot in’ you need to record an album, and if you are living and breathing the Country genre in the way that Sasha and the McVeigh’s are; then there’s only one place you would consider laying down tracks, (nope, it’s not Manchester) I’m talking about the capital of country music, Nashville; a rite of passage for any discerning country music artist. Sasha described the experience of recording her debut album with a band as ‘simply amazing'.


I learnt so much working with a band, they’ll be coming on tour with me in April.


You want your music to reflect what you’re doing in your live shows. That’s why we decided to record the album and the full instrumentation with a band.


I releases an acoustic EP in 2013, it was the first time I’d released any music. And up until recently my live show consisted of just me and my guitar, maybe also the banjo if there was time but I’d never really done a huge amount of band stuff, I sang in Nashville during the Summer of 2012, where I started to work with bands, people seemed to like it, it was like my music university.


Upon returning from Nashville in January, Sasha recorded an interview for the The Mark Forrest Show (after being chosen as "Best of the Best" on BBC Introducing), where she announced the April tour dates, and it was broadcast across all 40 local BBC radio stations in Great Britain. She is currently opening for Canadian artist, Lindsay Ell, on her Europe Tour, which is also building anticipation for Sasha’s single and album release. 


It’s a co-headline tour with Sonia Leigh, she explained


Sonia is amazing, she co-wrote 2 number one songs Sweet Annie and Goodbye in her eyes by Zac Brown Band, they performed at last year’s C2C festival as headliners.


It should make for a good dynamic because we’re both Country but we take it in different directions, she’s has more of rock, pop alternative edge I would say, think K T Tunstall crossed with Janice Joplin, and we also have local openers, Gary Quin and Luke & Mel, they’re both from the Manchester area, It should make for a very interesting show.


Sasha’s album and merchandise will be available at all the live shows on the tour including the Roadhouse on April 15th (Tickets, QR Code), the general release is later on in May. | @sashamcveigh