Buzzy Lee is a musical alias that hides a famous name: Sasha Spielberg, daughter of the legendary American film director Steven Spielberg. But there is little hiding on her confessional debut album, Spoiled Love.
“I definitely put it all out there,” she tells AFP. “I said everything I would say to my diary -- in fact, one of the songs, ‘Circles,’ includes a real diary entry.”
Lee, 30, has parked her car on the side of the road in Los Angeles for the phone interview -- “the most LA way to do an interview ever!” she says, laughing.
But much of her melodic new album has its roots in a broken relationship in France, and there are plenty of other Gallic influences, from her love of Anglo-French singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg to the cheese-flavored names she used for working song titles (“Brie” made the cut, but sadly not “Camembert” and “Gruyere”).
The album was recorded with Chilean-American producer and electronic artist Nicolas Jaar, a close friend since they met aged 18 on their second day of college.
By coincidence, they both have film directors for fathers -- even if Alfredo Jaar is best known for his photography and visual art -- and that influence emerges in their collaborations, especially the new album’s pair of instrumental tracks.
“I tend to think very cinematically -- ha, of course!” she says.
“Most of my songs start like soundtracks, an imaginary score... then I put words and melodies if there are words. Sometimes there aren’t.”
Lee made a few appearances in her father’s films as a young girl but it was the piano that really drew her.
She formed a group -- Wardell -- with her brother, Theo, for a time, before teaming up with Jaar as the band Just Friends.
“It’s hard for us to be in a room and not make music,” she ends.
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