R&B pop artist Dasha chatted with us and talked about her entire journey into the music industry, her latest single, new EP and how she’s working to get more women into the music industry. Read on to properly get to know Dasha.
Beyond the Stage: How did you get started in music?
Dasha: I started performing when I was three in dance shows and in musical theatre. When I picked up the guitar and piano around age eight, I naturally began songwriting without even knowing what I was doing.
A local singer/songwriter named Deb Henderson, who I am forever grateful for, took me under her wing and helped me play shows at local coffee shops and restaurants in third, fourth and fifth grade. I fell in love with everything about songwriting but thrived off of performing and engaging with people through my artistry. My older brother, Bardo [producer] was a big influence on me as well. He was always in a rock band but steered me towards pop music when he started messing around with production.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Dasha: My songs are pop/ R&B. The production and feeling of the music are very pop-centered, but the lyrics and melodies are inspired by R&B music.
BTS: Who are some of your musical influences?
Dasha: My very first influence was Taylor Swift. You can’t deny her songwriting gift. Especially as a six-year-old hearing her songs for the first time, I was so inspired. Currently, I’ve been really influenced by Ariana Grande, Bazzi, Dominic Fike, Jeremy Zucker, Kacey Musgraves, Pink Sweat$, ROLE MODEL and Tove Styrke.
BTS: You’re dropping your EP, $hiny Things on Friday. What was the writing and recording process like? Was it different at all because of the pandemic?
Dasha: The pandemic, in a twisted way, actually inspired me to be more productive and served almost as an incubation period for my songwriting. I wrote “None Of My Business”, “21st Birthday”, “Make It Work With You” and “More Than This” all since the pandemic started. I had been getting into engineering and producing my own vocals, but the pandemic forced me to get really good at it, really fast out of necessity, which I am grateful for.
BTS: Your latest single off the EP was “21st Birthday” which there is now a video for. What was creating the video like?
Dasha: The lyrics in “21st Birthday” are already so descriptive and visual, so it was really fun creating a video to highlight them. The director, Tanner Deutch and I decided it would be really cool to shoot the music video to be more of a short film, rather than a traditional music video with lip-synching in it. A lot of the shots were very spontaneous. There was a lot of pressure around the acting on my part but it was so fun getting into the character of it.
My mom called me the day it was released and started genuinely asking if I was okay and still hung up on a certain individual who shall not be named. So I guess I did okay on the acting front of things.
BTS: You’re a big advocate for women in the music industry. What is it that inspired you to speak out on the topic?
Dasha: My grandma, my mom and my sister inspired this. My grandma is the most amazing, resilient woman. Her story of how she persevered through medical school as the only female, while being pregnant with my mother is incredible. My mom inherited the same moxie and thankfully this passion and drive were passed down to me and my sister.
The music industry doesn’t have enough females working in it. Only 2% of its producers are women. That’s some bullshit. I’ve made it a goal of mine to get as many females as possible involved in my projects as possible. This includes hiring female creative directors, stylists, songwriters, etc. I’m just doing my part at evening out the playing field between men and women.
BTS: What are you most excited about when it’s safe to tour again?
Dasha: I can’t wait to meet all these new fans and friends I’ve made in the past year. One year ago, I had a couple hundred monthly listeners. Today I broke 100,000 monthly listeners. That’s absolutely insane. Performing is one of my favorite things ever. There’s so much variety in each show, especially growing up as a dancer.
BTS: What artists have you had on repeat recently?
Dasha: Right now I’m on a Upsahl, Kehlani and Alexander 23 bender. I think it’s super important to listen to lots of different types of music, as you can see.
BTS: What does 2021 have in store for you?
Dasha: So many new opportunities, new friends, new songs and hopefully some type of live show! If Dasha a year ago looked at where she is today, she wouldn’t believe it. I’m just so grateful for my team and my circle of creatives who have always believed in me. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Stream $hiny Things by Dasha on Spotify below.