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Music Journeys: Sasami

Alice Baxley @abaxley Instagram

Multi-instrumentalist Sasami brings her talents to Columbus this weekend for a show at the Rumba Café. In this edition of Music Journeys, Sasami talks about her self-titled debut and how her background shaped her sound. Hear more in the full podcast at the bottom of the page.


Podcast Rundown


000 - Introduction, the Boss, quick Central Ohio Folk Festival reminder


2:45 - Sasami extended feature


11:35 - Sasami’s Fast Five


17:55 - Bill Cohen’s Central Ohio Folk Festival preview


Here's a link to the shorter feature:


Morning Comes plays…

Sasami doesn't have to apologize for releasing her ten-track, self-titled debut. She's spent the last decade helping other artists make music. Whether adding vocals, playing keyboard, bass, guitar, strings or horns, Sasami has contributed to studio recordings by Curtis Harding, Vagabon, and Hand Habits among others. But while on tour with the band Cherry Glazerr last year, she began writing songs that would reflect how relationships can shift in a matter of months.     

Turned Out I Was Everyone plays…

"I went through a lot of changes relationship-wise," Sasami reflected. "I was nearly single when I first started writing it, then I kind of had multiple half-baked relationships throughout the year of making it. Then at the end, I had the realization that you just have to be grounded in yourself. I think the same is true of being a musician. It's easy to lose sight that it's truly about music, which is the most special thing. There were many times when I thought I could work on this more and it could be a better song. But I wanted to maintain the integrity of a lot of my original ideas. That's pretty much everything that's on the record."  

The one exception - Not The Time, which transformed in the studio with the help of Sasami's younger brother Joo Joo. 

Not The Time plays...

"When I originally wrote it, it was kind of like a country song,” Sasami recalled. “But when he played that new groove, it totally changed the song. He worked on the production of the album too. I also just trust him, and we have similar tastes. Working with your sibling can be the best and worst thing ever." 

Sasami felt like she had the best of both worlds musically too, because of her parents.

"I grew up in a household where my mother is Korean so she played a lot of classic music, but my dad is American so he listened to a lot of classic American rock music,” Sasami said. “My dad would make mix CDs with Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac on them. I took piano lessons and then started studying French horn in middle school. So, I had a mix of classical stuff and rock stuff." 

Pacify My Heart plays…

"Once I tapped into the fact that it’s actually a superpower to be bilingual between the written music world and the more free music world, it kind of opened up a lot of possibilities for me."

Sasami hinted at a possible return to her classical roots. For now, she's touring on her guitar-driven debut. She performs Sunday night at the Rumba Cafe.

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring emerging and established musicians, our Columbus-area and Ohio-based talent, and additional artists that inspire him.
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