Sasha Perera, aka Perera Elsewhere, joined us for an On the Couch session to tell us about her exciting career and why she loves to work at home.
Forged from the depths of London the music of Perera Elsewhere summons lost souls and presage of tomorrow in her craft. More than 16 years ago she moved to Berlin and found it to be her sanctuary, but she’s never stayed in town for long. From the grit of dark club to the absorption of indigenous sounds & styles along her travels, Perera melds inspiration into her own semi-acoustic, abstract and pop-tinged bliss.
She started her music career with the band Jahcoozi, with Robot Koch and Oren Gerlitz. The band dove into a lo-fi sound “to make a statement” but then they progressed to a sound that was no longer loyal to that. At 7:27 of the track above you can hear a 2010 Jahcoozi song.
When Perera started her solo project, she reconnected with that lo-fi sound and thinks of it as a kind of cyclic relationship. She explained this rekindling as connected to the rise in access to high-quality technology available on the market at the time. The response she had from her first release helped motivate her to keep going. Tune into 2:02 of the track above, you can hear her first release which was made on the first version of Ableton. After a listen, you might understand why people came up with the genre ‘doomfolk’ to try to cope with her ingenuity.
As she began experimenting with making solo music and observed the reactions of her audiences, she fed off that energy. The beginning of Perera Elsewhere came when she began to write on keys and guitar to get different results.
Living in Berlin has taught her the importance of having access to all the stages of music production on an individual and intimate level. Perera encourages a perspective of exploration. She learned invaluable lessons in working with the process and not having a deadline. This freedom broadened her experience and taste. According to her, when a musician is reliant upon others to record them, or when a producer can’t make the music from the instruments themselves, they don’t develop this in-depth appreciation of the entire process, and the possibilities that come from mastering it. In Perera’s world you work alone and you work at home.
Appreciating an approach like this recognises that we as consumers of music and followers of artists only ever get to see the good stuff. All the practice, the failures, and the divergent paths are not public. The results we are exposed to are the polished and practiced ones. Every artist makes genius stuff, but they can also make crap. So if anything fails, stay positive!
Lucky for us, Perera recently came out with her new album All Of This. You will be able to catch her in a live performance next week at the Torstrassen Festival happening in Mitte. Don’t miss her or that festival if you want to see musicians who are truly and deeply engaged with their art.
Here’s a little cheat sheet for the Guest Session’s hidden audio treats, timestamped for the track at the top of this page:
- 21:45 “Burundi in 1914” track drums recorded onto a Nokia phone in her kitchen
- 31:27 Remix of Candy Shop
- 40:00 – 50:00 Audio tour of her samples and distinct sounds
- 65:10 Another song
- 73:13 The song with a hook she didn’t know she was going to write