June 1, 2018 Developing Artist Showcase – Buzzy Lee
Music should tell a story, paint a picture, and most certainly tap into a raw human emotion. Doing just that, the new musically project known as Buzzy Lee is a dreamlike escapade of Synthpop that is sophisticated yet beautifully minimalistic. So, now the question on everyone’s mind is – who or what is Buzzy Lee? Well, like any band or ‘music project,’ there is most certainly always an individual or individuals behind the scenes. In the case of Buzzy Lee, it is Sasha Spielberg, daughter of iconic Filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Sasha, surrounded by art – film, books, and music – since childhood, now at 28 years of age, pours her impulses into Buzzy Lee.
Looking back, before moving forward, of course Sasha is no stranger to the world of entertainment. Yes, she had the blessing of growing up watching her father at work, evening taking on acting roles in some of his films including 2004’s The Terminal and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but still, she is very much her own creative entity.
Independent, Sasha creates on her own terms, and has been doing so for some time. Writing, recording, and always brainstorming musical ideas – these are not new explorations for this young woman. A part of the band Wardell, featuring herself on vocals and her brother Theo on guitars, drums, and piano, together, they released their album Love/Idleness back in February of 2015. More of a Folk influenced band, their music continues to build an audience based on grassroots promotion.
Still actively working with Theo in Wardell, planning for new music soon, with Buzzy Lee, Sasha spreads her wings a bit more and dares to be different. A fresh vision, in Buzzy Lee, Sasha creates an atmosphere through electronics and a soothing singing voice. Doing so without overwhelming the listener, and bombarding them harsh tones, often times there is a delicate melody, refrained drum beat, all with Sasha’s vocals carefully placed over the top.
Pop enough to stick in the ear of the average consumer, the songs of Buzzy Lee are also strong enough to dig down a bit deeper as well. Teaming up with acclaimed Electronic Artist and frequent collaborator Nicolas Jaar for the production of Buzzy Lee’s debut EP, Facepaint, each piece of music bleeds into the other. Initially releasing the 5-track EP back on April 27th through Future Classic, in preparation, Sasha tempted the interest of audiences with a music video for the song “Coolhand.” A video produced by Stefan Weinberger, it is simple, utilizing Sasha alone in each scene. Mesmerizing with dark undertones, the visual matches the music magically.
Keeping the optical aspect of Buzzy Lee’s concept a focal point, the second music video for the EP title-track, “Facepaint,” is yet another beautifully crafted piece of work. This time directed by Alex Ashe, again, Sasha is the lone star, leaving little space to distract from any minor imperfections. Fortunately, her talent for conveying emotion is not limited to her songs or voice and it is her subtle facial expressions that bring Buzzy Lee to life. In fact, some many not completely be taken by the music that makes up Facepaint right away… that is until witnessing the videos. Not at all a knock, truthfully, Buzzy Lee is more of a cinematic musical endeavor, one where imagery and sound complement each other. After all, we are living in an explicitly visual world aren’t we?
Keen to this fact, and sticking with that approach, Sasha has released a total of 3 music videos in association with Facepaint, the most recent being for the song “Walk Away.” So, that is a 5 track EP with 3 music videos. Is it safe to say videos for “No Her” and “On The Radio” are sure to follow? We can only hope, because the cinematography of each prior short film is truly breathtaking.
There is certainly a lot to Buzzy Lee, more than meets the eye. Easy listening enough to calm the nerves after a long, stressful day, it can also engage the senses and provoke the imagination. Set to complete a run of concert performances with the Dirty Projectors, amidst it all, Sasha made her New York City debut at the Park Church Co-Op on May 16th. A headlining show, it was a milestone for Buzzy Lee, a night Sasha will never forget. Now, what will the talented performer do next? Time will only tell, but if you are looking for a distraction from the ever noisy and complex outside world, a delve into Buzzy Lee may be the cure.