Home-grown, via Holland


Kiwi soul singer Sacha Vee went from schmoozing with Michael Buble, Jessie J and Lenny Kravitz to putting price-tags on dildos and lubricant.

Vee, aka Sacha van Beek, plays Queenstown’s The World Bar tomorrow as part of her Luminous album tour.

It’s her first gig since returning to New Zealand after competing in The Voice of Holland.

She decided to head to Amsterdam after releasing her first EP in 2011.

When the self-titled EP got picked up by Japanese record label Sweet Soul Records she wondered if she could compete on the world stage.

Rather than the regular London OE, which she describes as “too big”, she opted for Holland — where she picked up a job at an Amsterdam shop to help pay bills while performing.

The Christchurch lass’s grandparents are Dutch, having moved to NZ after World War II, which prompted her to explore her own heritage.

A mate signed her up for The Voice.

It isn’t something she was initially stoked with, because she considers herself an original artist. But she now admits it has opened doors.

It wasn’t a walk in the park. She didn’t speak Dutch.

She and an English bloke on the show got a crash course in the language. She was taught words relating to music and positive and negative phrases. While The Voice judges were giving their critique she had little idea of what they were saying.

Vee had to gauge her reaction by trying to pick out a word or two from what they said.

“It was hilarious. The show was all in Dutch. We kind of knew when they were talking to us whether to smile or not.”

The Voice, filmed in 2011, was a huge learning curve. While Vee had done a few TV gigs in NZ, it was nothing compared to a live show.

“It was pretty intense. It was the first time I’d worn in-ears [ear pieces], it was really unusual.

“Getting ready in your full outfit at 7am and rehearsing but not being on stage until 10pm.

“The competitive side of it was really interesting. When it got to the top 10 I thought, ‘shit, I don’t want to win this thing, get me out of it’.

“I didn’t want anyone from NZ to know. I was so against pop shows, I thought they were so cheesy, and I see myself as a true artist. I would never have done something like this in NZ.”

Vee got through to the top 10 in the show — something she’s pretty stoked with.

It was weird becoming an overnight popstar. She couldn’t walk down the street without people asking for selfies. However, when the spotlight shifted, things quickly changed.

“There were crazy VIP parties, we were ushered into places — I was a popstar in Holland until I got booted off the show,” she laughs.

“It went from people wanting pics of me to me holding the camera. I don’t give a shit but it was just a huge change.”

Then it was back to her day job, including stacking shelves and putting price tags on sex toys.
She wasn’t quite ready to come home and worked with other artists in Europe, including O.S.T.R — achieving three platinum records with the Polish outfit.

One of her singles, in collaboration with Hades, is number one in the Polish charts.

Vee is excited to be back in her home patch. What can the Queenstown audience expect?

“Amazing music and great vocals,” she laughs.

The World Bar, tonight, 9pm. Free admission