Quotes

"Sasha’s blend of traditional classical technique with pop and folk influences has produced a homegrown sound that moves indiscriminately from aching to foot-stomping."

Christopher St. Clair

"strong, hook-based, pop songs that effectively synchronize human emotion with musical expression...a worthy debut"

Stephen B. Griggs, muzikreviews.com

"The flurry of fingers behind her voice locates the energy somewhere in between Broadway and a slinky Casablanca evening club"

John Stewart, Place Your Bets and Wait

"Without affectation or device, Sasha Papernik dwells on the beauty of human imperfection and nobility in song... If you hunger for honesty in art, then Love In A Box is gift-wrapped just for you."

Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World

About Sasha Papernik

"My favorite artists take from real life and, through their imagination, rearrange things we see everyday into something extraordinary,” says songwriter and classical pianist Sasha Papernik. That’s an apt description of her own artistry: Sasha twists familiar music traditions into exquisitely original music. Her stunning third record, Victory, is the most ambitious and assured release of her acclaimed career.

“What I like most about being a musician is learning, reaching—always honing your craft, getting closer to writing what you know and finding what you can do and what you can do better,” Sasha explains.

Sasha makes strikingly unique music drawing inspiration from her Russian-American heritage, as well as the distinguished lineages of jazz, folk, country, and pop. Lyrically, her clever and poetic wordplay weaves together nature imagery, a keen understanding of both Russian and American folktales, and themes of love, loss, and solitude. Sasha’s songs span genres and the continental divide. She’s garnered favorable comparisons to Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, and Neko Case. Her diverse influences include Russian folk music, classical music, Irving Berlin, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Hank Williams.

The critically acclaimed artist has performed at Lincoln Center’s esteemed “Meet the Artist” series. She toured the country as a singer for Touchtunes Interactive Networks. Sasha was a recipient of a Wildacres Artist Residency in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In Spring 2014, she will have the honor to perform at Carnegie Hall, as part of their prestigious Musical Explorers Series. Critic Christopher St. Clair says: "Sasha’s blend of traditional classical technique with pop and folk influences has produced a completely new, homegrown sound that moves indiscriminately from aching to foot-stomping, often within the same song." Place Your Bets and Wait says: "The classically-trained pianist Sasha Papernik is blending Tango, Broadway, 30s European Nightclub, and, most surprisingly, Schubert...the flurry of fingers behind her voice locates the energy somewhere in between Broadway and a slinky Casablanca evening club."

Sasha is first generation American and she grew up weaned on her Russian parents’ opera and classical record collection. At age four, she began a rigorous classical piano curriculum which led her to a degree in classical piano performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. “It was the first time that I was surrounded by musicians working and playing in all sorts of genres.” There, Sasha began to explore composition and jazz improvisation, and she discovered the joy of songwriting. "Songwriting combined my passion for writing poetry, composing, performing, playing piano, and singing,” she enthuses.

Her recent album, Victory, is elegant, expansive, romantic, and playfully irreverent. Sonically, it’s a lush record with imaginative arrangements enriched by strings, horns, and elegant details like Mellotron and spy-theme guitars. Victory is also Sasha’s first bilingual album, and it features a lavishly poignant rendition of the Russian folk ballad “Tonkaya Ryabina.” Here Sasha’s vocals are limber and sensual; she outlines the exotic vocal melody with silken grace. For the title track, she composed a smoldering 1960s “done wrong” ballad, complete with tearstained lyrics such as: You said you knew exactly what I needed / You laid out your plan and followed through / You sold me your heart for all my kisses / Was I just a victory to you?

The sultry standout, “Kiss Me Fast,” was inspired by a deftly heard motif from a Billie Holiday improvisation and a misread message in a band’s fanbook. “I was watching a band perform and when the band's fanbook came around, I saw that someone had written ‘kiss me fast!’ The phrase struck me as kind of outrageous and interesting and I imagined what the girl must have been thinking when she wrote it. I wrote the whole song immediately - it played like a film in my imagination - and only months after - my friends in the band told me that it hadn't said ‘kiss me fast!’ - it actually just said ‘kiss me fool’ which was a lot less interesting and would have probably not ended up as a song,” she says laughing.

Victory is a masterwork of confident creativity and bold musicality. It captures that moment in the artistic continuum when there’s total clarity of vision. “’Victory’ is a powerful name, but it felt right. This album is a step forward for me; in a way it is a victory,” she says.

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