November 7, 2000 12:20

SASHA PLAYS THE NAME GAME

Confusion arises over a successful German singer with the same name...

SASHA PLAYS THE NAME GAME
DJ SASHA has lost the right to use his name in GERMANY and AUSTRIA after confusion arose with a successful German singer of the same name.

The DJ and producer, whose recent 'Scorchio' collaboration with Underworld's Darren Emerson reached the UK top 20, first became aware of a problem when friends in US record shops alerted him to the appearance of a white label record bearing his name. The track, 'If You Believe', featured a remix from the much vaunted underground US House collective The Wamdue Project, who gained international success at the end of 1999 with their 'King Of My Castle' single.

The track turned out to be the work of a German pop singer of the same name, whose 1998 album 'Dedicated To. . .' went platinum in his native Germany, while also attaining gold status in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland.

"I've got my name trademarked in the US. Luckily, I did that a couple of years ago," explained the DJ, talking exclusively to NME.COM.

After discussions between the British Sasha's management and the German Sasha's record company Reprise, it was agreed that the British Sasha would retain the rights to his name in the US, while the German Sasha would henceforth release records under the name Sasha Alexander.

However, because the German Sasha has achieved success in mainland Europe, he has retained the rights to the name in Germany and Austria.

"I wasn't really aware that he was such a big artist," admitted the British Sasha. "I've never had a domestic release in Germany, so he actually has rights over that territory. If I release a record there I have to use the name DJ Sasha."

However, the frustration felt by the British DJ about the still inevitable confusion in the US is almost tangible. Working alongside DJ partner John Digweed, the pair have gained a considerable following over the last five years, a reputation that was cemented when they were eventually offered a monthly residency at the Twilo club in New York.

"It's the guy's name, and he obviously wants to use it," said Sasha of his German counterpart. "I'm quite worried - especially in the US. I can still use the name Sasha in the places that matter to me...Britain>, the US and the Far East, but if it gets any more confusing I might have to use a different name for my music."

Sasha and John Digweed headline the The Winter Party 2000 at the Mosney Fun Park, County Meath on November 11.

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