Freelancing is fraught with difficulty. There is financial uncertainty and scheduling struggles, the level of self-discipline required to pursue your craft in cut-throat fields often feels daunting.
In response, Musta has launched this series, designed to provide specific, technical support. Musta will interview exciting, up and coming artists on the apps that are helpful to them in establishing their careers and the self-bettering tools necessary to organising themselves.
Sasha Samara is an indie-pop singer-songwriter from Belfast. Her first EP Why Am I Still Here? I Never Learn constructs a lush soundscape, coloured by longing, shattered by heartbreak. Ahead of the EP’s release she chatted to Musta about the struggle to pursue music professionally and what assists her in this pursuit.
Freelancing is an infamously difficult way to make money and sustain a career, why do you think that is?
I think it is hard when you are a freelancer to find work consistently. One month you will be very fiscally buoyant, feeling like “ooh maybe I can buy more than just groceries and petrol,” and then another month you are in your overdraft.
Early in your career you are also faced with people who are not willing to pay you very much. You are faced with this choice where you get paid very little or you don’t get to work. You don’t get to take an opportunity that could be exciting career-wise because you need to think financially. We are lucky to have a musicians union and so now I can kind of quote the rates they recommend.
Also, we are not taught to manage a freelance career in school, so I think everyone ends up feeling really ill-equipped.
What helps you in organising yourself when you are freelancing? Are there any tools or apps or programs that have helped you?
I have tried so many different things. I love being organised so I have tried writing things in a physical planner for a while but actually I would just recommend using the iCalendar and an app called Notion. It’s a great way to schedule and also useful for storing data. I can embed videos and stuff and include dates so I can keep track of what I want to go after in my musical aesthetics and music videos and stuff. So, yeah I do love a bit of Notion.
Are you into mood boards?
Yes! I immediately think of Maggie Rogers who published her mood boards for this most recent album on Instagram. I would love to actually try and do it before the writing process, she made the mood board before she had written any of the album. Which is really interesting and not something I’ve tried.
But, no, I do love a mood board. I am wild about Pinterest and have been for years. Instagram and Tiktok, they come and go, but Pinterest is forever!
(This interview has been edited for clarity.)
Connect with Sasha online: