As the rain pours down during Southeast Asia’s rainy season, there’s nothing quite like a Cupnoodle to provide comfort. But Cupnoodle isn’t just comfort food. Cupnoodle is also an artist who brings the same hugging feeling to her music.

Cupnoodle (or Sasha, if you’re on a first-name basis) is an independent singer-songwriter with a unique blend of Thai and German heritage. Currently based in Bangkok, Cupnoodle serves up a captivating musical dish that combines sharp wit, vibrant dynamism, and deep soulfulness. Her songs not only entertain but also challenge conventions, inviting listeners to explore the intricate layers of human emotions with a generous sprinkle of life’s irony. 

Cupnoodle’s music isn’t just a genre; it’s a flavorful blend that defies boundaries. EnVi had the opportunity to chat with her over a call in this exclusive interview. We delved into Cupnoodle’s artistic voyage, her unapologetic songwriting approach, and her determination to break free from the confines of creativity, much like the taste of a Cupnoodle that expands beyond the cup.

Cooking the Cupnoodle Sound and Identity

“Cupnoodle music,” she explained, “is like a flavorful soup—a blend of influences from various corners of the world, each contributing to the unique palette that defines my music.” But how did this come to be?

Cupnoodle shared that her music is constantly evolving, influenced by her experiences and the myriad forces that shape her artistic trajectory. “When I first got into music, it was pop that drew me in, and slowly, I found myself delving into blues, jazz, soul, and even a bit of rock,” she revealed. Her exploration didn’t stop there, as she continued to delve into the realm of pop-soul R&B, driven by a deep appreciation for exceptional vocals and compelling storytelling. “So, in my songwriting, there’s this element of folk as well,” she added.

This mosaic of influences, including folk storytelling, pop sensibility, and a love for the vocal ballads of her female musical icons, have all woven into the tapestry of Cupnoodle’s distinctive sound. The result of this mix is a genre-defying musical style that mirrors the globalized nature of today’s music scene.

It’s not just about the music; Cupnoodle also takes pride in her involvement in every aspect of the creative process, including production. In the midst of a global pandemic, Cupnoodle’s artistic journey took an unexpected turn. Her collaboration with Warner Music Thailand for the song “2020” marked a pivotal moment. This experience opened her eyes to the vibrant music scene in Thailand, where she discovered an abundance of talented producers. 

Cupnoodle’s decision to embrace her unique identity as an artist, symbolized by her quirky name, was another significant turning point. While concerns about potential branding challenges associated with her name were raised, Cupnoodle remains resolute, stating, “I believe that with time, my name will become an indelible and memorable part of my artistic persona.” 

Her unwavering commitment to her unique identity mirrors her evolving journey in the world of music. Acknowledging that her current discography might not fully convey her profound love for R&B, Cupnoodle openly declares, “R&B has had a significant influence on me.” Her ambitious plans involve infusing this influence more prominently into her future work. Looking ahead to the coming year, she envisions a transformative shift in her sound, explaining, “It’s not about alienating my existing fan base, but rather, it’s about striking a balance between song selection and crafting a musical journey that transcends trends and time.” 

This forthcoming musical direction, slated to sizzle by 2024, R&B promises to infuse a sultry flavor into Cupnoodle’s already diverse musical repertoire. 

Stirring Up Creative Visions

Cupnoodle’s songwriting combines everyday concepts with conceptual brilliance, creating music that’s both relatable and profound, like a hearty bowl of noodles for the soul. She begins by crafting the core idea, adding lyrics and melodies while playing instruments like the guitar or piano, infusing the song with its initial flavor. Collaboration is the secret ingredient to her music. Cupnoodle enjoys partnering with producers who contribute to the song’s tempo and vibe, sparking creative synergy. Throughout this creative journey, Cupnoodle retains artistic control, guiding decisions on structure, dynamics, and overall artistry, ensuring each track is a flavorful masterpiece.

Talking to Cupnoodle reveals something truly humbling and grounding about her creative process – the significance she places on collaboration and the credit she extends to her team. She mentioned the pivotal role of her new manager, underscoring the importance of a supportive network. Her family’s support also played a crucial role in her journey. Beyond her immediate circle, Cupnoodle’s aspirations extend to working with other talents, particularly producers who share her vision. It’s a testament to her inclusive approach, acknowledging the many hands that stir the creative noodle soup to perfection.

Looking ahead, Cupnoodle has both performance dreams and collaborations in mind. Her dream stage is ever so humble.”I would say a nice cozy venue with a couple of hundred people is like my dream because I want to see your faces, I want to connect with you, and truly feel how my music touches you,” she said.

While she has big names in mind for future collaborations, *coughs* Beyonce, as she said jokingly, her current focus is on working with talented producers and singers to hear their stories and perspectives, adding depth to her own artistic journey.

Rejecting Conventions with “That Pretty”

Cupnoodle’s music echoes her personal experiences, notably in “That Pretty.” She candidly addresses the beauty standards she encountered growing up in Thailand, challenging the idea that one’s worth is tied to appearance. As she put it, “It doesn’t matter if you call me pretty or not pretty because the word pretty does not define how I should feel.” Her music empowers listeners to embrace their uniqueness.

“That Pretty” delves into the pressure to conform to rigid beauty ideals, particularly in Asian cultures. Her message is crystal clear: Beauty goes beyond the surface. In her words, “What about if people think you’re not pretty but you have the personality? That is so attractive.” Cupnoodle champions inner beauty and authenticity, reminding listeners that they are more than their appearances.

Drawing from her perspective as a big sister figure advocating for beauty beyond appearances, it’s clear how Cupnoodle’s unwavering integrity seamlessly translates into her music. Her feature in Spotify’s EQUAL campaign, as she sees it, affirms her musical talent and her unwavering pursuit of her dreams. While she graciously appreciates the recognition, her primary drive is a deep passion for music and a desire to connect with her audience. She aims to leverage her growing platform for a positive impact in the music industry, inspiring others to embrace their uniqueness and wholeheartedly chase their dreams.

Serving her Unique Sound

Cupnoodle serves up a hot bowl of inspiration, reminding listeners that there’s no right or wrong way to be. As she put it, “You are already the person to be.” Her music encourages listeners to embrace their quirks, confidently navigate life’s twists and turns, and savor their own unique flavors.

On platforms like TikTok, Cupnoodle stirs the pot of individuality and empowerment.

Like an instant noodle, Cupnoodle’s music is an instant hit as it is unforgettable. Cupnoodle nails relatability because while music tastes are subjective, she weaves her individual journey into a universal experience many could resonate with. Her ethos as an artist is simple: “To find yourself and find what you want to say and speak to your audience.”

In her own words, she aims to inspire her fans that “You can be different,” and that “Different is idol.” She doesn’t want to be anyone’s idol, instead, she’s all about finding the superhero in you, celebrating life’s flavors, and staying true to yourself in a world that often wants to mold you into something else. 

Embracing authenticity is key for Cupnoodle. While she acknowledges that criticism may come from all directions, she’s unapologetically herself, believing it’s an integral part of her artistic journey. Her advice: to step forward, reflect, and learn—a process grounded in introspection.

Cupnoodle herself said that her music is like the hofan noodle – versatile, chewy, and ready to complement your unique journey. Her songs, akin to the bold tom yum flavor, spice up your musical palate, leaving an indelible mark. True to her stage name, Cupnoodle’s music is more than just a treat; it’s an invitation to savor life’s flavors, celebrate individuality, and find inspiration in the joy of being yourself. 

Make sure to keep up with Cupnoodle’s upcoming releases on Instagram and most music platforms.

*Please note that parts of the transcription have been edited by EnVi for brevity and clarity.

Discover more independent musicians across the Asian diaspora at EnVi! Check out our exclusive interview with I Don’t Like Mondays here.