Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Careca, Club Sound, Ecuador, Encore One Fois, Frankie Mccoy, German Dj, La Trec, Life Goes On, Ralf Kappmeier, Sash!, Sasha Lappessen, Thomas Alisson Lüdke, Trilenium
In 1998, Romania was still isolated from Europe. The first foreign artists were making their way to Bucharest, the capital city … the Copyright Law had been passed just a couple of years earlier.
One of the first foreign artists to play in Bucharest was the german producer team, Sash!, fronted by Sasha Lappessen (b.10.JUN.1970, who works in the studio with Ralf Kappmeier and Thomas Alisson Lüdke).
Sash! has sold over 22 million albums worldwide and earned more than 65 Gold and Platinum Awards. Interestingly, in the UK, the first three Sash! singles were sung in three different languages (It's My Life, Encore one Fois, Ecuador).
The interview took place at the A&A Records (former Warner Music licensee in Romania) record company office the morning after the show.
RiCo for TV Satelit, Dec.7, 1998 (CZB): What is it like to be in Romania for the first time?
Sash!: It's a very joyful day. It's like a dreamland looking outside. Everything is so white, and it's very sunny and the sky is blue. People are very very friendly. We had a great after show party. We did 13 songs in an hour.
CZB: You used the pseudonym Careca?
Sash!: That was at the very beginning, in 1994. I had an idea to write a song named Indian Rave. This was supposed to be fast techno music. The song had an American Indian influence and the group name had to have this kind of vibe. One year later I had an idea for another song and we changed the name again, also because of the record company, as there was another famous British DJ already using the name.
Now with Sasha, we have a big irritation because of this new pop singer. Sasha has been a teenie star for one year, doing a very different kind of music. The funny thing is that because he is writing his name similar to mine, that's when I put the exclamation mark on the end. Even today the newspapers confuse these two names in Germany.
CZB: You grew up in...
Sash!: Moenchengladbach, in Nettetal-Lobberich, a very small town, with 10,000 people, 10km away from Monchengladbach, then Duesseldorf and then Koeln… so record companies decided to say I was from Koln …everybody's heard of that city. People know Cologne, let's say Koln. The first club I worked in was also from Nettetal-Lobberich: King's Club had a capacity of 1,500 people. I was the resident DJ there every weekend.
CZB: Is that where you met Allison and Kappi?
Sash!: Definitely Tommy. I was a light jockey there. He was the DJ. One day I told him I had some ideas and asked him if I could go with him to the studio …and that's when we started. I started DJing when I was 16, listening to songs, going to the Youth Club …we used to play games, talk and do music - and every Thursday we used to play CDs and records. That is how I started learning to make songs by myself… It's been 6 years.
CZB: Why did Sash! decide to adapt to a more commercial sound and not a Club sound?
Sash!: The thing is it's a normal follow up. Our first songs were club friendly and I was very big in the club scene. I wanted to do this because I was a DJ and I wanted to have Club tunes… but this underground song went so big in the charts …once an underground song goes big in the charts, people call it Commercial! You can't do anything about this. We said OK, but we wanted to follow the middle path on this - so both clubs and radio would play the songs. We made a very big step with It's My LIfe and Encore Une Fois - radio stations said they won't play these because it's too clubby.
That's when we knew we were going in the right direction.
CZB: What is the difference between Dance music produced in Germany and England?
Sash!: In the past there was a definite difference. The UK promotes more of a Club, underground orientated rhythm. We broke the market there. All of our singles went Top 10 in the UK. When I go in the London clubs now, I listen to music very similar to music played in the German clubs. The British producers have changed their image as well; it's a more European sound.
CZB: Robert Miles, Faithless and Sash! are very similar. Who influenced who?
Sash!: I am definitely not influenced by the British music scene. Always, very British producers do British versions for Sash! songs to have more success there. They've never accepted the original. They look for better sales. I'm always telling them I don't like their versions; it's definetely not my style. With Robert Miles and Faithless and so many artists it's similar because they all do some kind of similar truancy progressive, melodic house music … but boy groups (Boy Bands) 'NSync, Backstreet Boys and Boyzone are very similar as well.
CZB: Every single you've released has promoted a different vocal artist. How do you meet these people?
Sash!: I started with my voice on It's My Life. On Encore Une Fois I worked with a good friend of mine (just a friend!). On Ecuador we worked with a friend of ours. We've been DJing for a long time and we've gotten along together and we've always found special voices we've featured on our songs. We didn't have the money back then to pay for big artists. When we produced Stay in the studio, the female voice (Frankie McCoy, alias La Trec) was recording next door …we could hear her voice. We discussed and got along great. Now we are a big name and are being asked by Tina Cousins, The Shamen and Dr. Alban to work with them!
CZB: Do you have a personal opinion on the relationship between drugs and music?
Sash!: I don't have a relationship with it. It is definitely true that in the Dance / House scene lots of people are taking drugs although it's not healthy. They'll always say they need something to have fun …we need this to stay awake… but I've been on the road for two years now - we did so many shows - and I can't understand the phenomenon; I don't need this. I enjoy myself and have fun by myself.
If I'm tired, I go to bed. Why do I have to make a longer party? There are so many other drugs, like alcohol. I don't understand how people say: We need this to have fun! I have so much fun …you should just enjoy yourself. Every person must know and be conscious of what he's doing with his own life. No one can stop them. Each one of us has to figure out what to do with our own lives. When you're older, you see what happens.
CZB: What are your future plans?
Sash!: I've just started to work on my new LP, which will come out after summer, next year. It will have new songs and feature new artists. I'm clear enough. I know that one day things will be up; the next day things will be down. I've been three years in the business with Sash! I think that's a long time. I've seen lots of other Dance groups having one or two hits and not staying so long in the business. I am happy to have two LP's or 6 hits. I hope the net album carries on and I hope we can last in time and that people like my music just as much next year.
The artist was interviewed by RiCo
DEC.7,1998. Bucharest, Romania.
Sash! did some more shows in Romania, between 2004 and 2008.
- It's My Life (1997)
- Life Goes On (1998)
- Trilenium (2000)
- Best Of Sash! / Encore Une Fois (2000)
- Encore Une Fois - The Greatest Hits (2000)
- S4!Sash! (2003)
- 10th Anniversary (2007)
- The Best Of (2008)
Sash! Encore une fois
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