Growing up in the slower pace of Paulding County can sometimes spark a dream in people to try something new. Taking the Paulding roots and going out into the world can be the best, most exciting thing you do. Sasha Hurtado is the perfect example of someone who loves where she’s grown up and wants to show what home looks like to the world. Whether it’s singing on stage at church, gigging at local venues or competing on television, Sasha never forgets where she’s from – the place that built who she is.
Q: Did you grow up in Paulding?
I did grow up in Paulding. I attended Hiram Elementary and PB Ritch Middle. I was homeschooled my high school years and I actually graduated early back in December. I’ve grown up at the same hometown church my whole life as well, New Season Church.
Q: When did you start singing? Did you know then that you’d want to make a career out of it?
I mean ever since I could talk my parents say I was always singing. I grew up during the era of Disney television being very influenced by music, like Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, Jonas Brothers, Lemonade Mouth, etc. It sounds silly but I really do think those shows were what peaked my interest. Along with the powerhouse vocalists of the time and still today, Adele, Carrie Underwood. I practically wanted to be Adele. I remember being young and being so fascinated with powerhouse vocalists and the glitz and glamor of performing. My parents recognized my interests and put me in vocal lessons at 8 years old. I’d say around 12-13 I wanted to make a career out of it. Which is crazy to think about because I was so young, but it’s that child-like dreaming/ambition that got me here and you kind of have to keep that mindset in the music industry, it’s tough.
Q: What gave you the biggest exposure to being confident on stage?
It has been a ride to becoming confident on stage, I used to have really bad stage fright. I think a big part of me learning to be confident on stage came from growing up watching and leading worship. Music connects all people, it’s meant to be felt, and it’s okay to interpret that through stage presence- that’s the art of performing. I always had it in me, I was just so worried about what others would think of me. However, worship has really taught how to emote music even through movement on stage and letting go of people-pleasing.
Q: Do you have other musicians in the family?
This question is funny because my dad, unwilling to admit it, is tone deaf. My mom can hold a tune, but she is most definitely not a singer. My brother sings as a hobby, he loves leading worship, and he actually learned how to play guitar before me, which inspired me to learn. So, people always ask where my brother and I get the gift from and we always say we have no idea.
Q: You lead worship on stage – what’s the best part about doing that?
Leading worship is a type of feeling that you cannot receive performing anything else, it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit. The best part of worship is how intimate you get to be with God in that moment. When you don’t have much to offer God, sometimes all you have is worship. It’s just something you can’t explain but you definitely feel. I love that I get the privilege to LEAD people to worship, because he is worthy of all praise. It’s nice to know that God is using me, after all he gives us purpose.
Q: Is your family supportive of your dream to be an artist?
I have the most supportive family. They have put so much money, time, and effort into my dream. I wanted to learn guitar, they made it happen. I wanted to start gigging at 14, they made it happen. I wanted to have my original music produced, they made it happen. They believe in me maybe more than I do myself and they’ve always been my biggest supporters. If it weren’t for them, I would not be where I’m at today.
Q: Does your faith play a part in the path you’re taking?
Faith is a huge part in the path I am taking. I’ve always read in the Bible and have been told that God gives people unique gifts. I do believe that children of God are lights, to guide people to him and his truths. I believe we are supposed to show others the love of God. The music industry is a dark and twisted industry. Not many mainstream artists talk about God. I’ve always told myself that if I make it, I will let everyone know who I believe in. I want to share the love of God. I want to be a light in a dark industry. I know that is very ambitious, but I believe God uses people who trust in his power. Don’t ever limit what God can do!
Q: Do you play shows?
I have been gigging since I was 14. I have been lucky to play at so many different places and areas being so young. I have played all over the state of GA. Gigging taught me so much about performing and interacting with people. It widened my genre range immensely. Gigging is probably the best thing I could’ve done for myself, because it taught me so much. Now that I am releasing and working on more original music, I plan on getting a band together to start doing ticketed shows, performing my original music.
Q: What’s your favorite song to play at a gig?
I’d say Billie Jean, Doin’ Time, Going to California, Linger, and Champagne Supernova are my top songs I like to play. I’ve learned to read the room so myself and everyone listening can hopefully enjoy their time. I play most genres from all decades and try to not put myself in a box. Even when I write songs or get my songs produced, I don’t limit myself to one sound. That’s the beauty of being an artist.
Q: Who are your greatest influences?
Adele is who got me started. I think there’s always something you can learn or adore of other artists and genres. I love Harry Styles, H.E.R., Tori Kelly, Joe P, Billie Eilish, Greta Van Fleet, Briston Maroney, Silk Sonic, and so many more.
Q: Do you have a dream venue you’d hope to play at one day?
I’d love to sell out a local venue, like the Masquerade in ATL, on the big stage. That would be pretty surreal. It would be a full circle moment. I’ve seen big names perform there, so the thought of me being up there one day is crazy to think about.
Q: If you’re not singing, what do you want to be doing?
I am a quality time person so I love to spend time with loved ones and friends when I get the chance. I also love food and trying new things, so my brother and I will go do stuff like that. I love movies, so I love some days spent when I can bundle up and watch movies. I don’t really have any crazy hobbies. I do have a lot of hobbies I would like to learn though, so maybe this is my wake up call HA!