Sacha, one of CMT's 2021 Next Women of Country, has a cause she's proud to support.
"I remember being called certain names that were really hurtful. Kids sometimes, they don't even know what they're saying," the singer, who only goes by her first name, recalled. "Growing up in a small town and being a minority, [there are] words thrown around that are not pleasant."
Sacha is among country music's up-and-coming Black artists alongside fellow CMT Next Women of Country acts Chapel Hart, Brittney Spencer and Reyna Roberts.
"I remember on the way home, these kids were just shouting these remarks and I remember running into a lady who saw me and I was really upset," Sacha said. "She knelt down and she was like, 'What wrong? What's wrong?' and I told her. I'll never forget, she's like, 'Repeat after me: Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.'"
Years later, the saying came to mind during a writing session and her song "Stix N Stones" was born.
"Songs are always a tool for something special and I wanted with that song particularly to be a place of hope and inspiration for anybody that's on both sides of the spectrum," she said.
Sacha noted that people that participate in bullying may need a "different way to express themselves" and those who are targeted "definitely need to find the right people to talk to and courage."
Since then, she's embarked on school tours where she performs the tune and shares her personal story with students in hopes of empowering students to have "courage and do the right thing."
Being an up-and-coming artist, Sacha is happy to be performing on stage for people to see.
"Music is at the forefront of my ambitions ... I just get to do what I love to do," she explained. "If it's opening up doors for equal representation and diversity, then that's a bonus and it's an honor to be able to represent flavors [so to] speak for country music."
Furthermore, she said it's "really exciting" to be a part of a change in the industry that is "reaching a broader audience" and -- in the days before the spread of coronavirus -- she opens for major Canadian country acts, performs at festivals and has had music appear on several well-respected charts.
The artist also pointed out the differences between the Canadian country music scenes and that of the United States.
"In the States, country music has more dominance," she noted, adding that in Canada, the country community is "smaller" but still "tight-knit."
"In the States, there's a lot of admiration for big acts male and female and here we have admiration for our country artists," Sacha said. "In the States, the platforms and the radio stations are just that much more larger and all the outlets are that much more larger. We're building we're growing and we've expanded in our community [in Canada] but there's always been that spotlight specifically in Nashville and in the US."
"What really took the cake for me was Taylor Swift," she gushed. "When she first came out playing guitar, that's when I picked up a guitar and started going to town and writing songs."
In July 2020, the star released the music video for her song "Cheers," another self-empowering anthem.