Saachi

 

 

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.

Saachi Sen, born in India in the 90s, moved to London when I was 3.

Vladimir Vankov, born in Ukraine, moved across Europe when younger to eventually end up in the North-East of England.

Nathan Miller, born in the UK, grew up in South-West london

Carl Wikeley, born in the UK and hails from Southampton

Sam Keen, UK-born and grew up round Camden

We’re all a similar age, in our early 20s.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

Saachi is a Jazz/Pop act playing exciting, eclectic, original music. Featuring keys, kit, brass and bass, with high energy vocals, the band has played to packed out audiences at venues like the iconic Camden Assembly, Upstairs at the Garage and the Cambridge Junction. They also achieved finalist status in the Isle of Wight Festival’s ‘New Blood’ competition as one of 8 out of over 2000 entrant acts, as well as the Cambridge Band Competition, broadcast on Cambridge TV and radio. Lead singer Saachi Sen’s songwriting has gained high level recognition, winning PRS for Music’s Lynsey de Paul prize and featuring on compilation albums from Roundhouse and EMI’s ‘30/30’ project and SongAcademy UK. Saachi is a Roundhouse Resident Artist for 2017-18.

(The group is named after our lead singer)

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

We play jazz-pop. It’s taking elements from commercial music but with heavy jazz influences.

Anaesthetise is a break up song, written by the band’s keyboardist Nathan Miller. It’s about the numbness you feel after grief, about the attempt to block it out – the choice to feel nothing rather than pain. It makes allusions to today’s consumer-driven society. Sometimes it feels like the whole of modern society is in grief and is doing anything it can to block out emotions. We distract ourselves constantly, rather than face modernity.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.

I’m Saachi, the frontwoman of the band. I’ve been singing, writing songs and playing guitar since I was a kid, thanks to two very musical parents. I think it’s incredibly important to make music you care about, and create fantastic lyrics that mean something to you as the performer. As a solo act I wrote indie pop songs that were based on personal emotion and experience; a topic I came back to a few times was my experience as a woman of colour in the music industry. My foray into TV competitions and the like made me realise what a visual industry this is from an early age. When the band started out, it also became clear how few women there were making waves in indie/alternative music- for example, we were finalists in a competition with 7 other bands, and that whole night, I was the only woman on the stage. It’s been great to get recognition for songwriting and performance over the course of my career, especially from organisations that specifically work to address imbalance in the industry; any of my so-called ‘lows’ I could probably attribute to labeling or judgement, the kind of thing that causes you to lose out to someone with the right look on their side, get earmarked into the earliest slot of a night, or raced through a crap soundcheck. Every step further into the music business makes me learn something new and how to better navigate my career. I reckon the ultimate high is having people listen to your work and love it for what it is.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.

We all met at uni and started playing and writing music together. The band’s sound is often keys heavy, driven by keyboardist Nathan Miller, who also writes a lot of the band’s music. Vlad is the bassist, Carl is our drummer, and Sam plays trumpet as well as doing BVs.

This song was recorded at Abbey Road in a studio called ‘The Gatehouse’. We laid down rhythm section first, with a guide vocal track, before recording the vocals, trumpet and then just going crazy with the synths. The song was then mixed/mastered by engineer John Barrett.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I’ve been singing for years, going into very public forums from the ages of 11, and starting to forge my independent career at venues, clubs and pubs around London as soon as I was old enough to get in! The band formed a couple of years back and it’s fun to get a full, exciting sound. Our next steps are an EP, getting to some small festival stages, getting onto New Music Friday, then the sky’s the limit really.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

Life.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

Believing in it.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

Hope you find meaning in our music- even if that meaning’s just having an awesome time listening to it.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Well we define ourselves as upcoming I suppose, so I guess what I’d say to myself is to not give up. Don’t forget how much you care about what you’re doing.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

My first song release on iTunes, Amazon, etc, was with the Roundhouse/EMI project 30/30, where my song ‘Heal’ won a spot out of hundreds of entries to be professionally recorded, produced and released. I went on to feature on an EP ‘Till Tomorrow’ from the Roundhouse Music Collective, where I sang lead on my song ‘Darkened Graces’; we toured to Malta in the same year.

I did well in a number of music competitions, winning Disney’s ‘MySchoolMusical’ at age 11, then becoming a live-level semifinalist in London’s GIGs busking programme at 15, and was successful in SongAcademy’s young songwriter competition to have my song ‘Dollhouse’ released across all major music platforms. One of the highlights of my life was performing at the House of Commons. I received the Jack Petchey award for achievement in Music at 18, and PRS’ Lysney de Paul prize for songwriting in 2015.

The band has also done really well, getting to the finals in both the Cambridge Band Competition where we took the stage at the Junction, and the Isle of Wight Festival competition where we were in the final 8 out of 2000+ bands.

Anaesthetise was our first single release across all music platforms in September 2017.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

We’ve been featured on Cambridge TV (http://www.cambridge-tv.co.uk/cambridge-band-competition-2016-saachi/) after getting to the Final of the Cambridge Band Competition in 2016. We’re very thankful for them having made such a high-quality recording of us! We’ve been involved with the student radio CamFM, having headlined a show they run called ‘CamFM Presents’. The songs ‘Anaesthetise’ and ‘Jacob’ have also aired on Cambridge105, recorded live during lead-up rounds of the Cambridge Band Competition.

My solo work has been featured on Roundhouse Radio and SRL Networks.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

I find my best songs are ones where the lyrics and music pop into my head together. It’ll happen either if I’m thinking about an experience or a feeling, or sometimes entirely spontaneously. Wherever I am I’ll try to make a voice recording, or if that’s unfeasible, I’ll find a pen and paper and draw some very untidy straight lines for a stave and start jotting down the melody. When I record, I’ll usually do a couple of takes to warm up; do one ‘safety’ take where I try to get everything note-perfect, then the fun takes where I let loose and sing with all the emotion I have.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Snarky Puppy, The Cat Empire, Sara Bareilles, Supertramp, Portugal The Man.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

I’ve collaborated with spoken word artists before, it’s a really cool medium and can fit incredibly well with some of those standalone choruses I’ve written on occasion. As a soloist I wrote a song for the contemporary Sarod player and composer Soumik Datta, for his show Borderland, exploring the idea of east-meets-west, cultural clashing and friction, performed with a group of superb musicians on Sarod, Hang, Tabla and more. In the future it would always be welcome to join forces with someone to create something new- a different instrument or world music background to lead to some interesting fusion.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

https://www.facebook.com/SaachiSen.Music/

https://soundcloud.com/saachi-sen

https://twitter.com/saachisen_music

https://www.instagram.com/saachimusic/

https://www.youtube.com/user/SaachiSen

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

https://open.spotify.com/album/3TrpRLe8j2iQ5jp7Wzh45H

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/anaesthetise-single/id1280420033

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anaesthetise-Saachi/dp/B075G1QZXQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1509188373&sr=1-2-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=Saachi

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

This is a tough one. I feel like every day has its ups and downs!

Saddest day I can remember recently – working on a printable electronics project for hours and hours, took the substrate out the printer and it just flipped over and fell face down on the floor. Ink was still wet. (I am a massive geek btw.)

Happiest- summer-y, feeling like you have nothing to do or worry about at all.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Get ice cream for our fans!

Buy property so we never have to worry about that again (I’m pragmatic that way), then literally invest everything else into music.

 

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