Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sasha Papernik

I've been gone for awhile from my blog, but I am proud to be back and writing about the amazing Sasha Papernik. Listening to her music made me want to get to know her a little more, so the following is an email interview that I conducted with Sasha.

B: How long have you been writing and singing your own music?

S: I've been singing since I can remember. I used to be the kid who did all the musicals in school and then I joined an A Capella group in both high school and college. I LOVED my A Capella groups. I was very serious about classical piano though, and I never had time for formal vocal training until a few years ago. When I started writing songs and performing them, I thought, well if you're gonna do this you should probably learn how to sing properly :) 

       A little side note: I LOVE A Capella, so when I read this response I was like a little kid full of giddiness!

B: Why did you begin your career?

S: I kept trying to get away from music (for practical reasons) - I decided on a liberal arts college instead of a conservatory, I went abroad for a year, but it didn't stick and I always just went right back to practicing. And so, for impractical reasons, I moved to New York and got a Masters in piano performance. While I was at MSM, I heard a lot of different kinds of music in the City and got to know musicians that weren't just in the classical field. Around the same time, I also started getting into composition. My whole musical life, until then, was spent interpreting music that had already been interpreted many times before me, and I wanted to try writing original music. I was also going through a bad breakup and writing about it. I wrote a few songs and really loved fitting words to music. 

Side note #2: Screw the practical and do what you want to do always. Thank goodness Sasha did because her music is terrific. And bad breakups (although they suck) make for some great lyrics!

B: What got you to the point in your career that you are currently?

S: Hours of practice. Literally. And resilience. 

B: Tell me a little bit about where you have been in your career and what you have been up too...

S: I feel like my career is blossoming - I've had a really great year and next year is even more exciting :) Some of my highlights this year have been recording and releasing my bilingual Victory, playing original music at Lincoln Center, giving a classical performance at The Smithsonian, singing at a gig in Las Vegas, being selected for a 2012 and 2013 Artist Retreat in the Blue Ridge mountains where I composed new songs every day, and earning a favorable review in the Washington Post! Next year, I am slated for 6 performances again for Lincoln Center's Meet The Artist series and 8 shows for the Musical Explorers program at Carnegie Hall. I'm really looking forward to it! 

Side note #3: I would love to attend one of those performances next year ;)

Lastly, I wanted to know a bit about Sasha and what else she does when she isn't playing music and entertaining us.

B: Please tell me a bit about what you do other than singing and of course, about that cute dog of yours (we are friends on Facebook and her dog, Klee, is adorable!)

S: I'm a long distance runner and running is usually what starts each of my days. I like the routine and it gives me the time to ground myself and think, like meditation. I also love black and white photography - I'm trying to carve out some time for this hobby and it goes well with my love of traveling. My long-haired dachshund, Klee, is a great friend :) I adopted him from a family friend and I've had him for a little more than 6 years. He is such a funny guy. When I practice, he sits under the piano like it's his job too :) When my band rehearses, he sits with us even though it gets pretty loud. 

Now that you know a bit about Sasha Papernik, let me tell you what I like so much about her music. First, I am a huge fan of the piano, especially when it is played by someone as passionate as Sasha. And of course, the fact that she writes her own lyrics is my absolute favorite. Her song Victory, which is the title of her latest album, really resonated with me and that is one of my favorite things about music. If I can relate to it, it is that much better. I can't forget to mention that some of her album is in Russian has she is a 1st generation Russian/American. I think that is pretty awesome too!

I urge all of my readers to check her out. Her album is available on iTunes and there is also a link on her website (website link below) to check out her music. Her site also has some wonderful video of some of the things she and others she works with have created! I look forward to hearing more from her and hopefully seeing her live someday!