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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Sasha fierce: Russian singer on gay rights, fans
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 4771 times since Tue Mar 12, 2013
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Russian pop singer Sasha Gradiva has a new song, "Come With Us," produced by Tricky Stewart, of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies" fame. The track encourages young gay men and women to come out of the closet. Her first single, "Wanted," was co-written by Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons.

The singer is remembered for the red carpet and a gun sleeved dress at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards that caused controversy although she does not encourage violence.

Gradiva recently performed at Spin Nightclub as part of her "Lovers Wanted" club tour; Windy City Times caught up with her while she was in town.

Windy City Times: Hi, Sasha. When did you come to the United States from Russia?

Sasha Gradiva About four years ago.

WCT: You live in LA now?

Sasha Gradiva Yes.

WCT: How do you like it?

Sasha Gradiva At first I hated LA. I spent a couple of years in New York. I love New York and have no idea how I found myself in Los Angeles.

WCT: Chicago is a bit like New York.

Sasha Gradiva I love it. I was walking yesterday on the streets and it is very much like New York.

WCT: Is this your first time here?

Sasha Gradiva Yeah.

WCT: You can check out the whole gay area while you are at Spin.

Sasha Gradiva Yes!

WCT: It's dollar drink night so it will be hopping.

Sasha Gradiva So we should expect a lot of people ready to get fucked up and all of that stuff, cool!

WCT: How many songs are you performing?

Sasha Gradiva I do two remixes. My performance will be 15 minutes. I will sing "Wanted" and "Come With Us." They are very energized, uptempo tracks.

WCT: "Wanted" was written by Justin…

Sasha Gradiva Justin Tranter is a very fun guy to work with and very talented. We jelled very well together.

WCT: He is good with anthems and this one has a good hook.

Sasha Gradiva It is a very interesting combination. He is a rock/grunge-oriented artist. My work consists of pop dance hooks so it is really interesting to work with him.

WCT: Good mix. How did you become so involved with the gay community?

Sasha Gradiva It just happened naturally. From a very early age I was surrounded by my gay friends. We grew up together. We were listening to the same music, going crazy with our outfits, going to parties and living life together. It has been a lifelong relationship. They are the first ones that supported me in my music. The gay community is good at indicating that something good is going to happen in pop culture, the first ones to sense it sometimes.

WCT: They will stick with you.

Sasha Gradiva Yes, and I have a very big appreciation for that.

WCT: Tell me about your connection with that and you new single "Come With Us."

Sasha Gradiva I just wanted to write a song that would have something else inside of the track rather than just having a good time and partying. I want to believe that all I do has an essence to it. I just want to convey more than just a lifestyle and passion, all the superficial things.

WCT: The lyrics talk about closeted gay people, correct?

Sasha Gradiva It does yes. I'm from a very small city and grew up in Moscow but I moved there when I was 15. It is obviously a big city full of art and happenings but I spent a lot of years in a small northern city where my gay friends would never be able to show their true selves and say out loud that they are gay.

So I know how it feels to be in the closet. We felt and lived that together. I feel for people, not only for gays. In Russia, especially back in the day, it was just terrible. It is still not good for gay rights and people who are not the majority. They need to be more accepting for people that are not in that majority group.

WCT: Hopefully, things change.

Sasha Gradiva They will. I think they are changing even since when I moved to the U.S. Don't you think so?

WCT: I do, yes, about the United States.

Sasha Gradiva [Same-sex] marriage has come a long ways. They will do it. It is just ridiculous how anyone else on the earth can tell you what to do with your own life, body, and mind.

WCT: Is there a video yet for "Come With Us?"

Sasha Gradiva As soon as I get back to LA we are shooting a video for it. It is produced by Tricky who is a superstar.

WCT: Will a whole album come out soon?

Sasha Gradiva Yes, I am working on my album. It will be an EP first. I write and record constantly. It is an ongoing process. I get inspired by so many things. I get ideas every day.

WCT: What did you think of the Grammys this time?

Sasha Gradiva I saw a few snippets of it. I love Rihanna's performance. It was very simple. She was not trying too hard and very natural.

WCT: So you are in the middle of a tour right now.

Sasha Gradiva Yes, I am doing a North American club tour and it has been going pretty well.

WCT: It's a good chance to get out and meet fans.

Sasha Gradiva I am actually surprised when someone sees me for the first time live and when they hear the first song they turn into a big fan. I feel like Michael Jackson or something! It is fascinating to me, honestly. There was one performance in Dallas and I asked the audience if they knew my name and they said, "Grandina!" I said, "No, Gradiva" and they all chanted it all night. It was fun.

WCT: Do you talk to your fans on Twitter?

Sasha Gradiva I live on social media. It is my home. [Laughs]

WCT: What is your following like in Russia?

Sasha Gradiva I started in Russia. I spent most of my life there. I was always influenced by American pop music. I released two albums in Russia and a couple of movies. I had my show on MTV. I love my country but I wanted something more so here I am. I wanted to go worldwide!

Visit to keep up with this creative artist.

This article shared 4771 times since Tue Mar 12, 2013
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