Salt Ashes is the stage name of Veiga Sanchez, a Brighton-born pop songstress whose debut single Somebody - a dark and twisted disco ditty – has been top of my iTunes playlist for months. Her sound mixes elements of Giorgio Moroder, Kylie and nighttime naughtiness : all breathy vocals, haunting melodies and an erotic sense of darkness on the dancefloor. Intrigued, I sat down with Salt Ashes to find out a little more about what makes her tick…
The name Salt Ashes is actually nicked from a boat.
“I’m from Brighton, and I like walking along the beach quite a lot. I often get my inspiration from there. Around that time I was writing about sea, fires and a love lost. That name just felt like it summarised what I was doing at the time. I saw it scribbled on the side of a boat and thought, ‘Yeah I like that.’”
There wasn’t really a moment when she discovered her penchant for dark disco.
“It just is me. That part of me only seems to come out in my music, really, or very late at night. It didn’t realise it until someone pointed it out and I thought, ‘Yeah, that dark side of me does come out in my music’. I really like listening to different kinds of haunting things, as well as disco. Obviously, disco can be quite light and happy, so I think mixing those two together is what’s happened without me realising it.”
Somebody was, in fact, inspired by a break-up.
“The song is basically about that shit period you have to go through just after a break-up. It’s all of those emotions that you feel when you’re bumping into your ex at a club and seeing them with another person. You can hear in the song that he walks into the club with another girl and it fucking kills you, doesn’t it?”
The song’s video, is, erm, a bit NSFW…
“The steamy element wasn’t really in my vocabulary when I was thinking about the video. What I wanted was passion, fire and aggressiveness because fundamentally that’s what the song is about. It’s about that raw passion between people, then breaking up and still feeling that passion but feeling aggressive towards them. I wanted all that pushing and pulling.”
Despite being referred to as the “S&M Kylie”, Salt Ashes doesn’t really hear much of La Minogue in her music. However, she really doesn’t mind the comparison.
“I think with any any artist, the natural thing to want to do is relate it to something that you’ve heard – so you know where to place it. I think that Somebody is definitely very Kylie. I’m not going to deny it. It’s kind of a dark Kylie. I don’t mind, really. I think I’m going to be continuously compared to people. The aim is to be as individual as possible, which can be difficult as the industry is so saturated with new musicians. But as long as I’m trying then I’m happy.”
She wouldn’t turn down a collaboration, either.
“I think I’d be silly to turn down Kylie, right? I think she’s a great artist, and as long as we can do something dark and something a bit twisted then I’d be up for it.
Coming from Brighton, Salt Ashes is not a prude. That said, people performing fellatio under the pier might be “going a little too far”.
“I certainly wouldn’t make a scene about it, though. I’d just turn around and walk on. People can do what they want to do, and I think to a certain degree people should just live their lives how they want to live it. As long as they’re not hurting anyone, and being too out there. But fuck it, just be who you wanna be, you know?”
She also believes that Madonna can be whatever she wants – even when the Queen of Pop says she’s “ratchet”.
“If she says she is, then yeah, she’s ratchet. Madonna is who she wants to be and no one could argue with that.”
The future might be uncertain, but that’s OK.
“We’re still in the process of doing the next single. The video is coming next. That’ll probably be released in the next couple of months, I hope. I do want to release an album before the end of the year. I just work hard, and see what happens. As much as you can try and make things happen, you have to just let it come to you.”
Watch the video for Somebody below: