Sasha Belyaeva Interview
Sasha Belyaeva is something of an enigma to the world currently, the 20 year old Russian singer has essentially disappeared for a year to advent as music’s most anticipated artist of the year. Sasha defies categorization as a musician who embraces technology, and knows how to use it to her advantage; Sasha is complex, deep, and able to talk philosophy and Self without quoting someone else’s work; she’s evolved separately from modern society, while still understanding it. It is this separation that allows her to create with clarity and with confidence that her work is something completely new.
The formerly thin and sullen girl has transformed into a star that pulls all eyes towards it when entering a room. DNA Mag has been friendly with Sasha for over a year and we’ve connected to speak about all that she’s been up to, which includes helping to successfully organize the fashion industry to hold Kendall Jenner responsible for some nasty comments, recording her EP which is out March 20th, 2019, and starting a magazine which will launch the same day.
I hear your family comes from a line of saints, is this true?
Just one saint, my great-grandfather Saint Nikolai Kandaurov.
Do you find a connection to your great grandfather as you create music and take over the world?
Well, if you find connection, then I find connection. This is how it works right?
Why would you say you are creating music?
I’ll be honest, I’m self interested but I have the right intentions. Also, It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that some interesting characters are needed in the music scene, especially in the more popular genres. I’m working to be the best, the most successful and influential, I am not shy to say it. I want to be embraced by my fans, and want them to be proud of listening to my music because I don’t sell my soul nor cause them to lose theirs.
But you’re still having fun, right?
Oh yes absolutely. The other day I had a log of firewood delivered to a friend via seamless.com. Just because. Fun.
That is really funny actually, ok give us three tips on how to have fun in New York?
1. Stay in your apartment and stare at the wall for 20 hours straight.
2. Send unsuspecting people strange things via seamless.com such as firewood logs, a pregnancy test (which is a very confusing one), or something cute like a Valentines day gift. There’s this deli in the Financial District that has everything. You don’t get to see what happens when the surprise is delivered, but you can imagine as many funny scenarios as you’d like. Enjoy.
3. Walk around and imagine everyone is gone.
When are you releasing your first song?
March 20th, 2019. I’ve been working with “How to Dress Well” Tom Krell .
Can you tell us a bit about what it will sound like?
Are there any artists who you find are creating material that is inspiring you?
I feel Townes Van Zandt can stand his ground with Bob Dylan when it comes to songwriting, listen to “Marie” , you’ll cry. Enjoy.
Can you try and make the readers feel sad, happy, and angry with three songs? Link them below
We hear you are starting a magazine?
Yes, Fourth Turning where we’ll cover true-culture, completely un-biased; when needed, we will play an active part in organizing and effecting history directly. We have no intention to just write about society; we are activators of would-be activists.
Why did you decide to organize and take action on Kendall Jenner after the “Love Magazine Comments”
I knew you were going to ask that. Well, it took a whole team of people; my friend, Pauline IV, and ESPEON, who are some of the best hacktivists in terms of strategy, put a plan together when the idea was ready, a couple of weeks before execution. The reason why was quite simple, all my friends were feeling powerless and whispering “I can’t believe i have to walk with this person at shows and nobody thinks its wrong”.
When you hear that enough times, and you have the connections to make a difference, it simply becomes the right thing to do. You also can’t deny the fun-factor haha, you know, creating a bit of chaos and mischief while being just is a dream situation.
How did you do it?
Good technology (do not fear technology, it is magic), fearlessness, no hesitation, and finding the pressure points of key people and pushing, hard, then allowing those people to use free-will to make a decision on their own to comply or not. It was surgical, a game of chess, not checkers.
The people you guys “put on the stand” so to say are literally the most important people in fashion, was there any second guessing or cold feet?
None. Never. Ever.
Would you say you’re an activist?
You won’t see me holding a sign or venting my feelings about one issue or the next on Instagram if this is what you mean. I am here to help other people’s concerns when they aren’t being heard, any messages I have will be communicated through my music.
Were you afraid or concerned that the brands or decision makers would be angry?
You know, it’s funny you ask. When they found out this story was happening (someone leaked it during the pitching process I’m told, it was very spooky), reps from the brands and casting directors reached out and asked if they could not be included by name directly in the interview; I suppose they didn’t want to show that they had liked or supported the action when it was going on, it’s cute. Anyway, if you want to see who supported it, go on the instagram and look who liked, commented and followed. We won’t post the conversations we had here such to create problems for them, that would not be just.
Would you say that disruption and disturbances are good or bad?
Isn’t that was life is about? Managing the disturbances you make?
What about other press and news sites?
Their anxiety was too much to run this story (we think what we did is interesting and cool, why not write about it?). We’ve had amazing support all along my career from the press, but once this one came along, we got nothing but shivery spines. That’s why DNA is great, you are above that all and you have been good to us in the past, so it seemed like the correct collaboration and outlet. We also really embrace our Mexican fanbase which is strong, DNA Mag essentially introduced me to the Mexican Music and Art Scene a year ago so having this story run in English and Spanish was the right thing to do.
How did you get so much engagement on the MIC Instagram Page?
It was good targeting that was being worked on weeks before to get people engaged, You come up with imaginary people in your head, you think of what would speak to them; then you begin to bring them into conversation. We had 30,000 comments within a few days on the Instagram page and 700 sign ups to the MIC email list (that is big chunk of the high-fashion crowd); we targeted purely off instinct. We didn’t think of using so much big-data like you see people in marketing use; it was psychic essentially. Hence ESPEON; “Age of Psychic Ability” is what that word is, in addition to an amazing Pokemon.
So you merge psychic abilities with technology, that is pretty cool
Wow yes, suppose you can say that. Very Nikola Tesla sounding. I just sat at the table he used to eat at every day in New York, isn’t that cool?
That is really cool! Ok back to the subject, How did the New York Post Involved?
This one is sort of secret, its called conversation leveraging; guide conversations online then move it up the press chain. It’s a Ryan Holiday tactic, you know him? He’s the one who had the American Apparel ads on everyone’s mind awhile back.
See more here.
And you were speaking directly to them?
To the New York Post? Yes via the Instagram. We gave them leads and helped put the story together.
Wait, that article dropped on the first day of fashion week last season, this interview is a direct follow up a season later, right?- Very Stylish.
Yes, timing is everything.
What was the feeling like on September 7th, 2018 when the press release was announced that she would not walk?
Well, you challenge the highest paid figure in the business, where they get their credibility from, which is fashion, and you succeed . It’s symbolic. It means genius ideas beat flat ideas, no matter the budget of the PR team. We spent a total of $300 Dollars to make this happen which is hilarious.
Would you do it again?
We have and we will. This is just the start, we’ve organized three campaigns so far and have earned mainstream media coverage on all three.
What three tips would you give a 17 Year old who wants to pursue something more “interesting” as you put it
1. You don’t have to do everything alone, others want to create as well; being an artist requires a team, go and build one.
2. Learn how to be functional in technology outside of just email and internet browsing.
3. Be true to your self.
One last thing, Are you also in a movie this year?
Oh that’s right I nearly forgot, yes, with Luc Besson. I am not supposed to speak much of it right now, you know how things are Ella. I’d also like to say thank you personally to you and your support of me.