5 Questions with … Sista Sasha
Sista Sasha is determined to do it her way in an era where dancehall gospel singers who had found fame on the secular stage are still earnestly carving out their path and shunning all mention of their former lifestyle altogether.
Cognisant of her truth – that she is a Christian act with a background steeped in dancehall – Sista Sasha keeps it very real. She recently released her second gospel set, titled Bumpy Ride, which is also the first single on the EP. A rather unconventional seven-track offering, Bumpy Ride features the tracks Soldier, Clean House, Nuh Trouble Me, Power, Prayer 4 Ja and the title track.
“It expresses the reality of my journey in the Christian faith as one being rough and rugged, but still finding the mental strength to keep on going,” she told The Gleaner.
In another life, she was known simply as Sasha, the diminutive dynamite whose collab with dancehall crossover star Sean Paul, I’m Still in Love With You, rocked reggae and urban charts globally, reaching number six in the UK, number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was also a top 10 hit in Italy, Ireland and Switzerland.
Sasha followed up this success with the song with the provocative title Frontline (Want A Natty), alongside Rastafarian singer Turbulence, after which the duo also gave fans We’ve Got the Love. In a move which caught many off guard, she abandoned the worldly glory for what she describes as the greater glory of God.
She has since scored with songs such as Pree Life, Jesus Ah Di Don and the controversial Sticky Situation, a collaboration with Rastafarian artiste Chuck Fenda, which sees them exploring the unequally yoked theme, a real challenge for some persons of faith.
In a candid interview with 5 Questions with , Sista Sasha speaks about racism, her original dream career and why she takes ‘a trod’ down the unconventional path.
1. How has the coronavirus affected your career?
The coronavirus pretty much put a pause on my travelling to various concerts but I used the time to work on my EP Bumpy Ride that was recently released.
2. As a Christian and someone who has lived in the US, what is your response to Blackout Tuesday? Have you ever experienced racism in the US?
I stand behind Blackout Tuesday. Racism has a more lethal effect on blacks in the US than the COVID-19 virus. I have experienced it many times over a 20-year period of living in the United States of America.
3. Do you shy away from the former Sasha who was a successful secular artiste, or can you still learn from her? How do you feel when you hear your Sean Paul or the Turbulence collabs?
At times I do [shy away] depending on my surroundings. Sometimes, the church community can be very judgemental of my secular music past. However, I have learned a lot from being Sasha, the former secular artiste. For example, I was a very determined, bold and straightforward artiste and it kept me standing tall and strong, regardless of any challenges. So I applied the same applications in the Christian faith where it was needed, or I would have given up a long time ago based on some unexpected challenges that I never imagined I would face on this journey. As far as how I feel when I hear my collaborations with Sean Paul and Turbulence, lol, me just seh GOD YOU TOO GOOD!
4. Tell us something that people would be surprised to know about Sis Sasha.
A lot of people don’t know that I wanted to be a dentist and I am a licensed dental radiographer with expanded duties in the dental field, but music changed it all.
5. Sticky Situation with Chuck Fenda was a great song. Would you do a similar collab with a non-Christian artiste? And is this album conventional?
Sticky Situation lol!! This album is very unconventional. I like to bring reality to the church community. I like to talk about real issues we face in the world as children of the King. We need to deal with some real issues and not sweep them under the rug. And yes, I would do a song with a secular artiste if the message is positive and will sow a seed to save a soul.