A shock to the system, a wave of pride and a shot to the heart later, she’s unique and she’s real – Sydney Wright is no carbon copy of anybody. Full of humility and just a touch of well-deserved self-recognition, she released her first solo single ‘You Can Stay’ on the 4th of this month. A storyteller by nature, her world knows no bounds and you’ll feel every ounce of her in each note because of it.
After a busy weekend of gigging, she spared a minute to talk and let me say; she’s so cool, I’m dead set about ready to be this girl’s best friend – no, there isn’t a choice in the matter. A straight talker, she isn’t what you’d except but is instead a breath of fresh air in a mass of cliché songs and empty personalities. I’d go as far as to say she’s, quite frankly, kind of badass – and a little bit eccentric.
‘You Can Stay’ begins painting the scene of tension and late-night arguments that have grown tired, and the blur of starburst streetlights through seeping tears. Emotion-filled, but far from necessarily being a break-up song, the semantics reach for each and every individual story of sadness to feel united in their sorrow.
That is until the crescendo of the chorus storms and the crash of the drum hits – ‘where ever you are, you can stay’ the Austin-based songwriter cuts through the heartache with empowerment and self-growth that she’s learnt to embrace. See, she’s cool.
“Through finishing the single and making the music video, I learned so much that I’m not even sure that I’m aware of every lesson yet. I learned that releasing my work is really scary for me. I learned that I make excuses and drag my feet when I’m scared.” She confided, “I learned that it’s extremely difficult to do everything by yourself, and it’s okay to ask for help.”
Sending a positive message for young girls everywhere that being scared isn’t a weakness and it sure as hell can’t stop you, she offers a bittersweet truth between the lines of a poetically heart-wrenching ballad, laying her mistakes on the line, a feat that I can’t help but applaud;
“I’ve been a liar, and it was hella lame.” She began. “Losing relationships got my attention, and cutting me out was the most caring thing that anyone did for me at that time, even though it was awkward and painful.
“I want to have a juicy drama about a personal betrayal to tell, but those details of the song are fictional. The realest part is the ending. I mean every single word of it. It’s about a belief that truth and honesty breeds connection in any relationship, and anything less should be dropped like a hot potato even if it’s hard to let go.”
Learning from her past, and all the stronger for it, she began her adventure into ‘You Can Stay’ three years ago when Tony Rancich found her recording in Denton. She was intrigued, and so was he. Meeting her soon-to-be producer Stefano Vieni and his ‘BFF’ co-producer and engineer Alex Ponce through Rancich, magic was made and sparks flew. The team recorded eight demos together but as the nights got darker and the year came to an end, the demos sat unfinished.
“I spent about two years waiting for something to happen for me. I didn’t really know what to do so I did nothing, which is not an effective career strategy.” She admits – hindsight ever the bitch it is.
“But In 2015 I moved to Austin, put together a backing band that I love, and I looked back at these demos like, ‘Hold up, these recordings are fire, why did I drop the ball?’ So, I hit up Fano like, ‘Bro, I want to release these, would you help me finish them?’ He’s an angel straight out of Heaven, so of course he said yes.”
Fast forward to now; two years later and with her single released, Sydney Wright has definitely not dropped the ball this time. A stunningly produced debut, it’s clear that the team she so carefully selected has worked tirelessly with her on this project, holding her up when she needed it and supporting her even when she didn’t. I can hardly wait for more, and with her confession that song writing and story-telling is what she’s best at, I can only hope we won’t have to wait long.
A genuinely interesting girl, the soon-to-be star is the first to admit the huge impact her friends’ support had during the process. An interesting take on a role model for aspiring singer-songwriters across the world, her distinctive idiosyncrasies line her strong belief in credit given where due, hard work and the pay-off that comes.
“Expect to work hard and act fearless.” She says. “Practice intentionally. Natural ‘talent’ is meaningless. It’s just something that people talk about and attribute to those who have been diligent in their practice. Everyone has been a beginner. You don’t have to start early to become proficient. Your first try might be garbage, but the next one is ALWAYS better. Don’t quit, people want what you’ve got.”
“Collaborate with people you admire. It’s cool to be the best musician in the room, but it’s even better when you’re the worst.” She concludes.
So, I’m motivated, anyone want to start a band?
Author: Megan Matthews
Photography: Jody Brown