‘priestess’ (lower case, always) is a prolific Philadelphia born, London-based alt pop artist whose birth name is Sasha Nadein. She was the first person in her family of Russian immigrants to be born in the U.S. growing up just outside of Philadelphia, soaking in her rich family heritage and using it as inspiration to fuel her songwriting: Her latest EP “shopping for smiles” is out now with “frankenstein heart” as the focus track. We decided to learn more about her…
You have the artist name 'priestess' - what does it mean to you?
I’m a big fan of all things occult— I’d like to call myself a spiritual person, but I’m not one to push my beliefs on anyone either. It’s just something that has always interested me and has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I chose the name priestess for myself because of the tarot card ‘the high priestess’ which is all about trusting your intuition to guide you. That is ultimately what the message behind all my music is, it’s to have people feel more sure of themselves and how they’re feeling in knowing they aren’t alone.
Who were your musical influences growing up and who are your favourite artists right now?
My parents raised me on mainly rock and pop music so that’s mostly where I stay! As a teen I became a huge nirvana fan, the Arctic monkeys, paramore… I had a huge pop punk phase in my life when I started writing music. These days I’d say I’m more well versed in all types of music, with additions like hip hop and kpop. My favorite artists are Harry Styles, Bring Me The Horizon, and BTS.
You are from The US originally - what made you want to relocate to London UK?
Believe it or not, it’s always been my dream to live in London. It was something about the movies I watched growing up and my parents showing me mostly British artists like Depeche Mode, queen, and the Beatles that had me wanting to be here to see what it was all about. I moved here to attend university, I have a bachelors in songwriting now.
You have a new EP out 'shopping for smiles' - tell us more about it
shopping for smiles is all about accepting situations for what they are but still allowing yourself to feel. I wrote this ep throughout my years at university and I tried my best to capture exactly how I was feeling in each song. I know they are my personal experiences but I’m sure we have all felt this kind of heartbeat before. My goal was to provide some sonic nostalgia for those who might have forgotten what it feels like to be in your early twenties figuring life out.