Sometimes it’s the under-radar talents that give you the best tunes. That’s certainly the case with Veiga Sanchez aka Salt Ashes, who seemed to have a knack for making brilliant floor-filling jams the moment she came out of the pop womb. Now with an album packed full of said cuts, we catch up with the lady behind the confident stage persona and find out more about her journey…
Salt Ashes certainly gives a certain flavour when you say the name. What was the thought behind it?
It was actually something that I saw scratched on the side of a wooden boat on Brighton beach. I kept saving it for a lyric or song title but it never made it. It really summed up my whole writing style at the time; love, loss, fires and seas so it felt right to me.
How did you start off in music in the first place?
Singing specifically has always been a huge part of my life from a very young age. I feel like I always knew I was going to do this and create music. I went to a music college in Brighton and was always in different bands so it evolved very naturally.
How would you describe the Salt Ashes mission statement (if there is one)?
I’ve never thought about it until now but I would say… To evoke emotion, inspire sexuality, ignite individuality and most of all… DANCE.
Tell us a bit more about bout the album. We’re big fans, so we’re keen to know more about the thought process behind it.
I actually wrote the album over the space of about 4 or 5 years so was just writing whatever came out at a leisurely pace. It’s a little insight into my life around that time and everything that I was feeling and going through. The message is for the listeners to decide.
We’ve got your lovely new video here. What was the idea behind that?
I wanted to create something dark, artistic and abstract but still maintaining the main emotions and sentiments – passion, tension, rebellion, sexuality. I wanted to contrast some kind of ritual like vibe with unbinding passion and rebellion.
There’s quite a lot of female-driven pop out there. Does it ever feel intimidating? Who do you look at as competition / inspiration?
I find it empowering. It’s difficult to be a woman in this industry and be able to express yourself in the way that you want to without being judged or sexualised in some way or another. Artists like Madonna, FKA twigs, PJ Harvey, Bjork, MØ, M.I.A are always inspirational to me for their strength, courage and individuality. There’s so much conformity, striving to be what media advertises as ‘perfect’ or ‘beautiful’ that it’s comforting to witness artists like these females who do whatever the fuck they like and never follow what’s fashionable at the time.
Your real name – Veiga Sanchez – obviously sounds a bit ethnic like us. Has your background influenced your music at all?
Whatever I have lived through will influence my music in one way or another as that is me and I am the one writing the songs but I wouldn’t be able to pin point exactly what parts have influenced what. My imagination is also pretty wild so I wouldn’t say it’s all based on my background.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Currently listening to Bonobo, Haelos, M.I.A, Olafur Arnolds.
Final question that we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?