Sydney Gordon is a New York-based singer/songwriter and up-and-coming pop superstar. Not long ago, we at Indie Top 39 discovered her tune ‘Chains’, and we simply couldn’t get enough of it! Then, just about a week ago, she dropped ‘Say What You Mean’, and we quickly realised that there’s something rather special about this musician. We were thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed by us, so without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Sydney Gordon.
Hello and welcome Sydney! We’re thrilled to reintroduce you to our ever-growing audience. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I know that you started singing when you were just seven years old, and I’m wondering if you could tell us a bit about your musical journey up until today?
Hi! Thank you for having me back! I began taking piano lessons when I was around 7 years old and then shortly after I began taking vocal lessons. I started doing some gigs with my voice coach when I was 13, and soon after that I wanted to write my own material and decided that I wanted to pursue music as my career.
I also read that you started performing at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village when you were thirteen. That’s incredibly young! How was that experience for you?
Yes! And scary haha. I was very shy when I was younger.
I loved music but performing in front of others used to be really difficult for me. I have come a long way from that feeling of anxiety.sydney gordon
So, as I’ve mentioned to you, I fell hard for your debut single ‘Chains’. It’s just such a powerful and honest tune, and it still lives on my On Repeat playlist! What made you choose it as the very first song to introduce yourself to the world?
Thank you! I decided to introduce myself with this track because it’s tough and bold but at the same time vulnerable and pretty.
Sticking with ‘Chains’, I remember you saying that the track was inspired by ‘Fall in Line’ by Christina Aguilera and ‘River’ by Bishop Briggs. Can you tell us a bit more?
Both of those tracks were what I was listening to on repeat at the time of creating ‘Chains’. The production and the messages were just super powerful to me. I wanted to channel that power in my own way.
Just a few days ago, you released your second single called ‘Say What You Mean’, and I have to say…I’m absolutely loving it. It’s ridiculously catchy, a little bit edgy, and just expertly put together. How proud are you of the track?
Thank you! I am very proud of this track! It is one of my favourite tracks that I have written so far.
I know that you worked alongside songwriter and producer Mike Cortes to create ‘Say What You Mean’. How did the two of you meet, and were there any issues or differences when it came to the co-writing of the song?
I met Mike through another writer that we know mutually! We really work great together, we always feed off each other’s sentences and melodies. Sometimes I get scared to say my ideas out loud when I’m co-writing, but we are very comfortable with each other and he makes it easy to say anything, even if I think my idea might be crazy at first.
You briefly explained your creative process in your Spotlight feature, but could you perhaps go a bit more in-depth? How do you turn an idea into a finished song?
I usually start writing a song by sitting at my piano. I often start with a melody first and just say what comes to mind. I sometimes have a concept in my head but other times I will sit down with an idea and then go a completely different route based on my feelings at that moment. Other times, melodies or lyrics will randomly pop in my head and I will voice memo them on my phone or write them in my notes.
I do enjoy writing alone as a way to get things off my chest, but my favourite way to write is definitely to co-write because I enjoy input and suggestions from other writers, and this can open my eyes to other perspectives.sydney gordon
Who are some of your biggest musical influences? And, I know you’re still only nineteen, but who did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to Christina, Whitney, Miley, Gaga and many more! But these four are definitely my biggest musical influences!
OK, Sydney – desert island time! You’re allowed to grab 3 albums before being stranded on an island. Which do you choose, and briefly explain why?
Umm… Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus, Better Mistakes Bebe Rexha, and Liberation by Christina Aguilera!
What would you consider your biggest musical achievement to date?
The release of ‘Say What You Mean’ and ‘Chains’!
What do you love most about being a musician? And on the flip side, what are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced so far?
I love performing! As I mentioned earlier, I used to get performance anxiety. As I’ve grown, I really have overcome this and I am so glad because I really do love performing my songs and sharing my stories with others. But do not be fooled, I still get nervous sometimes! As for challenges, I think my biggest challenge can be juggling things and still staying motivated. It can be difficult to stay consistent when you are focusing on more than one project at a time. But hard work always pays off.
American author Jodi Picoult says that “the music we listen to may not define who we are, but it’s a damn good start.” Would you agree?
I do agree. I listen to many artists and genres and I think that this says a lot about my personality and my interests!
If you were allowed to collaborate with one musician or band, who would you choose and why?]
Definitely Miley Cyrus! I love her music, style, and boldness.
What does your long-term musical future look like? And what can we expect from you in the short term?
In the short term and long term, you can expect to hear a lot more music from me in the future! I’m super excited!
We added Sydney Gordon’s ‘Say What You Mean’ to the playlist of all the artists we interviewed so far.
Don’t be shy to give it a listen!