Whether she's singing at a swanky members-only club or performing for friends at the local dive, Sasha Spielberg knows how to captivate a crowd. Though, let's be real: Even before she lays down a lyric as the front woman to her band Wardell, she manages to have the room hooked. Chalk it up to inheriting both killer genes and star quality (her 'rents are just, oh, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw) — this SoCal-bred chanteuse is a mix of quirk and charm.
When it comes to on-versus-off-stage wares, the lines are more blurred. Spielberg will rock a pleated mini and thigh-high socks to The Echo, and then again while running errands. So, when we spent the afternoon getting to know the starlet in her Hollywood home, we weren't surprised to see her head off to a meeting sporting one of these four outfits (guess which one!). Looks like we found another reason to wish we were rocking a BFF status with this girl: She's hardly what you'd expect.
Photographed by Molly Cranna
Do you see your famous last name as a blessing or a curse?
"Is it famous? If anything, it's too long and was annoying to write when I was in kindergarten. But, in all seriousness, it can be both a blessing and a curse. I pretended it wasn't my last name at camp, but then I saw Schindler's List
and I said to myself, 'You know what, I'll take it.'"
Nothing pairs with a cat-printed pencil skirt quite like a colorful vintage bustier, Natalie Klapper earrings, and Kenzo heels.
Did you have a pretty normal childhood?
"Definitely! I got grounded a lot, and I had imaginary friends. Then again, I grew up in Los Angeles — so, who knows if I had a normal childhood?"
When did you decide you wanted to start a band?
"It was a pretty organic process. My brother Theo drafted a few chords of a song and I put a melody on it. That combo resulted in Opossum
. After that, we decided to make a Facebook page."
What’s your favorite part of collaborating with your brother?
"We sometimes disagree with one another, but we're never like, 'I could totally see that working! But, one thing…' We're not passive, it's more like, 'What are you, crazy
? No. Start again.'"
What do you love the most about singing and music?
"Music transports me to a place of insane nostalgia, and singing is a way of coping with that nostalgia."
Where did the band name Wardell come from?
"It's Theo's middle name!"
You’ve acted, modeled, and performed in a band. Which do you see yourself pursuing in the long-term?
"Someday, I'd love to be the cool grandma in a band. So, I'm sticking to music."
Sasha works some black magic in a Lanvin dress, vintage hat, and vintage Pierre Hardy shoes she purchased in Paris.
What is your favorite L.A. music venue?
"I love the vibe of El Cid
with the sound of The Bootleg
If you were not performing, what do you think you'd be doing?
Nicole Richie cast you in a House of Harlow/Winter Kate video. How does that aesthetic resonate with you?
"The flowy fabrics and flattering silhouettes are everything I could ever ask for. The prints are perfect and the shoes are so comfortable — I love how easy-going the clothing makes me feel. Nicole's a real talent."
Do you have any fashion regrets?
"Freshman year of college, during my first semester. Ever heard of first-week friends? I had too many first-week fails."
Do you think your time studying at Brown University influenced your style at all?
"Absolutely! At Brown, it's totally okay to wear mom jeans and weird prints. But, more importantly, it was home to a lot of little moments — like discovering red lipstick, which evolved into discovering dark-red lipstick. Also, I think there was some magic in knowing you can wear anything under a North Face jacket."
Sitting pretty in a Late Night Show letterman jacket (which once belonged to her boyfriend's dad), Club Monaco leggings, Alexander Wang top, and Fausto Santini platforms.
You grew up in L.A., so you must know of some hidden shopping gems. Care to share?
"I love Scout
— every piece in that store is chosen so carefully, and most of the merchandise is black, body-con, and from the '90s. Basically, I have a field day every time I go in. Also, I go to Chuck's Vintage
for the best T-shirts and old slips."
What sites and magazines do you read to pass the time?
"Refinery29 — and I'm not just saying that. Also, The Gentlewoman
What book is on your nightstand?
by Lawrence Wright. Insert sad emoji face here."
Who is your style icon?
— she's an amazing photographer and family friend."
What's a typical day like for you?
"I eat some Greek yogurt, attempt to exercise, then grab an iced Sencha green tea from Peet's. Then, I write music for a large portion of the day, or I'm with my writing partner for screenwriting and TV projects. Most nights we have band practice."
Sasha's Geronimo playsuit blends into the local greenery, while her Chloé shoes and Alexander Wang bag are absolute stand-outs.
What did you miss the most about L.A. while you were at school?
"My boyfriend — we were doing the long-distance thing for three-and-a-half years. Oh, and Acai bowls. Oh, and the weather. Basically, I'm happy to be back."
Have you ever considered living anywhere else other than L.A.?
"I lived abroad in Paris for a semester, and that experience made me want to live there full time. For instance, instead of Cheetos they have Belin Croustilles with Emmental cheese. After trying that, I said, 'How can I ever go back?' But, I started craving Cheetos again. If Paris and L.A. were closer together and I could teleport, I would be all over that."
What advice do you have for aspiring singers?
"I'm still discovering what it takes. But, go for it — and, I'll get back to you in ten years!"