Sasha & The Bear: an inspiring politically-minded act rising out of Brooklyn
Raised by a left-wing political activist in Tel-Aviv, and now working out of New York, Dov Eagle is the artist behind the innovative indie-electonic project, Sasha & The Bear.
Collaborating with vocals lent from Sasha Daniel, who also grew up in Tel-Aviv, Sasha & The Bear mixes unique beats and sounds, sophisticated songwriting and hauntingly beautiful soundscapes from around the world. The project dives into dark areas of contemporary culture, exploring shadowy areas of the human psyche and complex political climates.
What’s your take on the music scene in Brooklyn these days? It used to be a hotbed of creativity. Do you still see that?
“The Brooklyn music scene is alive and kicking for sure! What I love about the scene is the amazing diversity of styles, it’s always very fresh and often very bold and daring.
“You have new queer artists like Serpentwithfeet, brilliant all American folk bands like Big Thief, and super fresh Psych Rock/RNB artists like Mirror Gazer.”
Where else in New York is hopping musically these days?
“Definitely still in Brooklyn, only the neighborhoods have changed. A few years back it used to be that Williamsburg was the neighborhood with all the new and interesting acts like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem and many others.
“Today, artists and musicians are coming out of Bushwick, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights and Gowanus mainly. These neighborhoods seem to be more affordable and inspiring.”
Clearly you’re distressed by the state of Trump’s America. What do you think his victory said about the state of affairs in America right now?
“I feel like a lot of Americans felt left out by the status quo. They felt as if society left them behind, the world became accessible but not for everyone.
“A lot of Americans are still struggling and I guess they saw Trump as a new or different type of politician, someone who’s an outsider. He promised to take care of them and bring America to its ‘old glory’. ‘Make America Great Again’ was his main selling point in the campaign and a lot of people bought into it.
“He used the best tool to get voters by making people afraid of what they don’t know. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned so far is that a lot of his policies are divisive and undermine minority groups.”
***The video for Captain’s Ship contains nudity and strong images***
You’re originally from Tel-Aviv. Any similarities between the music energy/creative energy in Tel-Aviv and in Brooklyn?
“I feel today more than ever it’s very similar actually. With the rise of electronic music and how everything became so accessible the process of making music became easier and more simplified.
“Israeli artists like Garden City Movement and Helfer/Age broke the “TLV Glass ceiling” and showed the world that there’s lots of great and interesting music coming out of Israel.
“They are both big cities full of inspirations. Roy Avital, the guy behind Garden City Movement, and Noam Helfer, the guy behind Helfer/Age, both co-produce my music with me. Also the main vocalist of the project, Sasha Daniel, is an Israeli artist who moved to NYC years ago, so funnily enough I got exposed to their music from Brooklyn and we worked on the music from here and TLV Israel.”
What tools do you use to write, compose and record your music?
“Usually, I just pick up my guitar and get inspired by the city and events around me. I record most of my music in my small Williamsburg music studio called 40 Frost. I share it with my first friend in America, Adnan Sabir. Funnily enough, he’s Muslim and straight so we get to talk a lot about our differences and similarities, music, and the current state of affairs in the world.
“I use a music program called Ableton to record everything. It’s a program that really changed the industry.
“I record everything around me with interesting sounds, so in many of my songs, including Captain’s Ship, if you focus really hard you’ll hear sounds coming out of a vintage glass of wine or a super rusty whisk that I twisted really fast to get this really cool and unique percussion.
“I’m trying to get as many unique sounds as possible so the listener would be intrigued. I don’t like ‘handing’ familiar sounds to my listeners. I find it boring and uninspiring. When someone is listening to my music I want them to ask, ‘What are these wired sounds?!’ I want to engage the listeners and have them ask, ‘What was used to make that?'”