Exclusive Interview with Singer/Songwriter Sasha Hromyk
Born Alexander Ryan Hromyk and raised just outside of San Francisco, CA, singer-songwriter Sasha Hromyk was determined to succeed as an artist from a young age. After auditions on The X Factor USA and The Voice and even finishing school and obtaining a barber license from the state of Washington, he eventually became connected with the Nashville music scene and released his debut EP Brighter Paradigm in 2018. He just released his latest single “Tell Me”, a song he feels is crafted true to the sound of his roots.
I got the chance to talk to Sasha about how he got into music, his musical influences, the story behind “Tell Me” and much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I was going through artist development a few years ago and a fellow by the name of Jason Wyatt took me under his wing. He was from my hometown in Washington State but relocated out to Nashville for music. He connected me with songwriting opportunities out there and I just went for it. I didn’t always know what I was doing but I learned along the way. Jason would connect me with a writer, I’d show up to their house (invited) and just start writing.
I had been performing for years prior, though. I loved being up in front of people in everything from musicals, plays, church productions, choirs, talent shows, etc.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Actually yes. Aaliyah would be the one. I loved the fact that a young person could be so influential and leave the kind of legacy she did at just 22. It was her effortlessly cool sound that intrigued me most. I wanted to take that vibe and run with it. Her songs had a great mix of vocals and production; layered harmonies, cool beats, all of it just worked. She had a great team working along side her: Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Static Major, etc. They produced some of the greatest songs together. I wish more of her catalogue would be available on streaming. “One in a Million” is my favorite song of all time. That whole album is a game changer. Not to mention her last album Aaliyah being a frontrunner for alternative R&B.
You auditioned for both X-Factor and The Voice. What did you learn about yourself both as an artist and a person from those experiences?
As an artist, I learned that I shouldn’t change who I am for a producer’s taste. They know what they’re looking for before any artist walks into the room. You could be great but not match their image or desire. That’s ok.
As a person, I learned that there’s always room to grow. Being told “no” doesn’t mean it’s the end all be all. Timing and preparation are everything.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. Your sound would generally be described as R&B/pop, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
Mature and grown.
Kind of going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
So many. Aaliyah, Craig David, Tori Kelly, JoJo, Boyz II Men, Brandy, Sugababes, Jazmine Sullivan, Destiny’s Child, Selena, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston… the list goes on and on.
Let’s talk about your single, “Tell Me”. What inspired this song?
Everything in my life was changing. My friends and I were growing up and growing into the people we were becoming. Dealing with change isn’t the easiest thing. Life in general throws curve balls we don’t see coming. In good times and bad times, we seek a sure thing. This song symbolizes stepping forward into the unknown.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
It all came about very naturally. I wrote the song with two other artists, Jordan Marcotte of SECONDCHANCE and Lauren Scott. All three of us lived in three different states and three different time zones. Three seemed to be the number for this song. We actually wrote over the phone and the notes app. It even took us three months from start to finish once we got going.
Something I’ve always been curious with songwriting is how topics come to mind. Did you know what you wanted to write about going into the song session that birthed “Tell Me” or did it just come about organically once you were in the session?
A little of both. We had a general theme and direction set when we started. Being at a crossroads and choosing which path to take is something all of us can relate to. The challenge, though, was getting from point A to point B while having everything make sense; lyrics, story, intent, sentiment, all of it. There were times I wanted to get too wordy lyrically. Lauren and Jordan were great with getting me out of my own head. Once we started working, everything just came together.
Was there any major changes made to “Tell Me” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
We didn’t have a bridge when I went in to the studio. We had the rest of the song written but nothing to “take us home”, so to speak. I was curious as to what we were going to do with it. We recorded everything before the bridge and when we got there it was like, “Ok, now what?” That’s when Judah Earl, producer, suggested we try simply going off the chorus. “Tell me that you are, Tell me that you are yeah yeah…” and that was that.
Also towards the end of the song, I wanted to riff all over the track. We tried it, but it just wasn’t working. It would have sounded too cluttered vocally.
I know this single just came out, but are there any plans for a new EP or full length project to come out anytime this year?
I don’t have other releases planned this year. That could change if an opportunity presents itself though. I have songs written I’d like to record and from that hopefully assemble a new project.
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
One goal is relocating to Los Angeles. I’m making preparations to do so this coming year. I’d also love to release albums, work with my favorite artists, tour, and overall just create music I’m proud of. There’s something truly satisfying about it.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I love Spanish shows on Netflix. I’m a nerd for period dramas and Spain produces some great content. Currently, I’m watching the latest season of Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls). Some other shows to check out would be Velvet and Alta Mar.