Sasha Samara is a developing voice in Belfast’s alternative scene.
She has songwriting skills and a narrative flair. Her work is informed by her background in art, design and photography. Her stories are intense and relatable.
“What I want to present to the world is me,” she says. “Which is dangerous, ’cause it’s just you and your heart and your ability to play music. It’s completely up for scrutiny. It’s terrifying, but also very exciting.”
She was a finalist in a young songwriting contest, organised by the music company Dawson’s. She upgraded from concert ukulele to a baritone model, another advance. “I’m not selling myself as a girl that plays the ukulele,” she says. “I’m presenting myself as a songwriter.”
The first version of the song ‘Broken Vessel’ was recorded simply last year with a uke and a laptop. Now she has some extra resources, courtesy of the Oh Yeah Music Centre and their development programme, Scratch My Progress. The new version is enhanced by her friends from the band Anna’s Number. But vulnerability is still a key element.
“I’ve always been an open book and I love engaging with other people about how they feel. Here it is, folks. Here are all my messy emotions, ’cause we all got them.”