Singer/songwriter/pianist Sacha Sacket credits his mother and Beethoven for awakening an undying love for music.
"My mom played the piano and played all these works by Beethoven to me when I was a kid," said Sacket from Los Angeles, Calif. "Although most of my own piano playing is self-taught, I started playing when I was 5."
These days, Sacket finds inspiration in artists such as Radiohead, Feist and Bjork. As for his own music, he has but one bit of criteria that absolutely must be met honesty.
"The songs I write have to be sincere," he said. "They have to come out of the place where there is no pretense.
"I'm not interested in, or concerned with, being cool. It doesn't matter if I'm manufacturing a skateboard or developing a perfume. That's all image and flash.
"With MTV and all the new technology, it's easy to Photoshop a picture or correct pitches in music and vocals. Everyone expects a CD to be perfect, regardless if you can naturally do it."
While Sacket says he does tweak his music in the studio, the real test of talent is getting on stage and singing in tune every night.
"There are some people who come to my show who are surprised that I can sing," he said with a laugh. "I mean, isn't that the whole idea? They are actually taken aback that I can hold a note and really play my piano. Isn't that strange?"
While honesty is the best policy for Sacket, he does say there are times when it can become burdensome.
"When my last album, 'Shadowed,' was released, everyone asked me why I was so sad," he said. "I was at a dark time in my life and that album reflected it."
When writing songs for his most recent album "Lovers and Leaders," Sacket said he knew he wanted to do a more upbeat album.
"(The CD) is about me falling in love and trying to balance life as a traveling musician," he said. "And while that is somewhat impossible, I was in a different phase of my life."
While the album does sound upbeat and bright, Sacket said recording it was a totally different experience.
"It was the hardest CDs that I have ever recorded in my life," he said. "I went through three producers and dealt with all the drama from personalities to vision. It all came down to whether or not the songs were honestly me.
"Seriously, the process nearly killed me."
In the end, however, Sacket persevered. "You have to be prepared to fight for what you want. If I'm going to play these songs on stage every night, they have to come from my soul.
He has a gauge he uses when choosing what to write about. "If I'm scared of saying something, then that should go on the CD. If I'm not scared to say something, then it probably shouldn't be recorded."
Another thing he likes to do is spend time with his fans after a show.
"I like to go out with people," he said. "I feel if they come listen to me bear my soul, then I need to keep in touch with them personally."I have met the most wonderful and interesting people at my shows. And I have gotten to know what goes on in their lives. That's important to me."
If you go
What: Sacha Sacket
Where: The Woodshed, 60 E. 800 South
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
How much: $5