Sasha Carassi, one of Italy’s hottest properties in recent times, was welcomed to the iconic UK imprint Renaissance Records at the beginning of October. His four track ‘Invain’ EP (out now) adds further strength to his already outstanding back-catalogue that spans almost two decades across labels such as Diynamic, Drumcode, Bedrock, Atlant and IAMHER. Following the release of the Invain EP, we caught up with the man himself…
Hello Sasha, a pleasure to have you with us today following your recent Renaissance debut! First off, how are you and where are you based right now?
Hello guys! It’s a pleasure for me to join you. I’m really well and I’m at home, near Napoli, right now.
How have things been for the music scene where you are in recent times given the effects of the pandemic?
The things in the music scene haven’t been so good during the last year, as in the other parts of the world. The situation is complicated and our industry is still to restart right now in Italy. It’s really sad to see the whole musical scene forgotten by the political authorities. I hope they make a decision as soon as possible.
The 1st of October saw the release of your ‘Invain EP’ and debut on the famed UK imprint Renaissance Records. Congrats to you on what is a brilliant release. What can you tell us about this one and how does it feel to see it on the label?
Thanks, I’m glad you like it! Specifically “Invain” was born during the first lockdown, when I started looking to collaborate with singers to try different things in the productions. This track, sung by Davide Celiento aka Kendah, is a great work of inspiration. Spending a lot of time in the studio, I had a lot of ideas to realize. I started to produce with no particular schemes or a proper genre as such, just always keeping an eye to the dance floor, as you can hear especially in “Desert Drop”. And last but not least “Pathos” is a more introspective journey, the most natural of the EP. It’s very satisfying for me to see my music on an iconic label like Renaissance. I’ve always followed it since its birth, when I was just an adolescent.
The EP also features the vocal talents of Kendah. Are we correct in thinking this is the first time you and Kendah have worked together? How did you find each other and what was it like to work together?
Yes, this is the first time me and Kendah have worked together. It was very easy because we had a great feeling between each other from the beginning. He immediately understood me and my direction, so he knew how the lyrics could fit with my music. The collaboration was born through a mutual friend and after a conversation, I realized a great collaboration could arise and it was worth a shot.
How do you usually like to approach creating a piece of music?
I have never had a specific approach during my creative process, my inspirations come in every moment of my day. Everything inspired me, mainly my vinyl collections. I didn’t have a well-defined plan, but I certainly gave importance to my roots, which include funk, soul, rock, house, techno and breakbeat, trying to mix and balance the different influences.
What are your favourite bits of equipment to use at the moment and were there any pieces that played a key part in the Invain EP?
I have collected a lot of gear over the years but my favorite synths are the Moog Sub 37, the Arturia Matrixbrut and the Korg Minilogue. I don’t use a mixer or analog compressor but I do use a lot of VSTs such as Arturia V Collection, Waves and Roland Clouds. Regarding the monitors I’m a big Adam fan, my references are Adam A7x and A8x. Specifically in Invain I used a Korg Minilogue pad called Flutter Pad.
With releases spanning almost two decades now and with all the experience you have gained along the way, is there any advice you would offer to your younger self who was just starting out?
It’s not easy to answer because I think everything you’ve done and built during the years, also the mistakes, help you to grow. But maybe I had to be less impulsive and to reflect more.
Sasha, thank you for time today, it was great to chat with you! To round things off, what else is in store for you in the near future?
I’ve a lot of stuff to show you, hope you will appreciate my next releases on labels such as Bedrock, Knee Deep in Sound and also my new imprint soon to come. I hope I’ve been exhaustive in my answers. Thanks for having me!