It was one Sunday in March when I met Singer Sye Spence in the studio of fashion photographer Bryan Taylor Johnson. I was booked to do her makeup for her promo shoot. I was greeted with a warm smile from Sye, and her mother. She described her look to me "very edgy, but keeping the innocence of her natural beauty."
As we became well acquainted I asked to listen to some of her music. To my surprise she was exceptional, and truly gifted. A very powerful voice came from the speakers, and I instantly became a fan of Sye Spence.
A few weeks ago i contacted her and wanted to know more about her. So enjoy the interview that I had with this new up and coming artist.
(Words by Tinisee Buckman)
TB: How old are you?
TB: Where are you originally from?
SS: New York City =)
TB: Where do you currently reside?
SS: New York baby...
TB: What’s your favorite quote?
SS: "Original or spicy...?" - Popeye's Chicken
TB: What is your personal style?
SS: I love pieces that give me that perfect combination of beautiful woman and a little bada%# (haha). So I usually have on a pair of heels and something black. I love to be sexy and feminine with an edge.
TB:How long have you been singing?
SS: I've been singing since I was 6 at that first talent show at PS 195 in Queens. (Queens stand up haha)
TB: Did you know that singing was what you were going to do form an early age?
SS: I always sang in front everyone from family, friends, and even strangers when I was young. Singing is one of those things that I believe wouldn't let me go. Even when I tried other things, but I knew I was created to do this…make music.
TB: Who would you say inspire you as an artist?
SS: Powerful vocalists/performers like Janis Joplin, Steven Tyler and Freddy Mercury to Gwen Stefani and Pink. However, I grew up on so many other styles of music. My mom used to play Anita Baker and Celine Dion for me as a child and that's how I learned to use my voice. I went through my tomboy stage where I listened to nothing but gangster rap. I love reggae music (my family is Jamaican it‘s in my blood). I would say that everything that I love in music and have been exposed to inspires me in some way to be an honest artist.
TB:What would you say was your big break?
SS: Being conceived on that cool September day haha...(sorry mom lol). But seriously, my whole life is something I see as a gift, so although as a musician, I have been able to release great music, perform in front of lots of people, there are still pinnacles that I am working towards reaching. Nonetheless, I have an innate sense of success that stems just from my gratitude for living. =)
TB: What role do your parents play in your career?
SS: My parents are amazing. They are really supportive and seem to grow in their support as time goes by. My mom is also very smart from a business perspective so we are always working together on innovative ways to connect my music with the audience.
TB:Describe your style of music?
SS: Its rock. Its emotional though. I was fortunate enough to work with awesome musicians and a producer that really got how to merge rock with various genres from electro to symphony so its very experimental in that it breaks down and climaxes in emotion on every song. My EP, Mad Mad World is really a mashup of all of that.
TB: Who do you get compared to the most?
SS: I don't know! I really don't get the comparisons (to my face).
TB: What venue do you dream of performing at?
SS: The O2 arena. Something about the reception of alternative music overseas that makes me really excited to tour there.
TB: Who are your music ICONS?
TB: Do you remember your first performance? How did you feel when you where finished?
SS: That was when I was 6 so I was just happy that everyone else was cheering. It felt amazing being on stage.
TB: Are you dating?
SS: No, not right now.
TB: Why are you single I’m sure guys are knocking at your door?
SS: (Haha) it is tough. When you are very dedicated to something like your career. I sometimes have limited time to really get to know someone, and allow them to get to know me. which I feel is the basis for a relationship. But I'm pretty sure that with the right guy things will work out. Only time will tell.
TB: Would you say you are a very fashionable person?
SS: Hmm… I must admit I really don't keep up with the latest trends. I do know what I like. I'm the girl that if it looks hot on me then that’s all that matters. I guess its more style over fashion.
TB:What is your favorite item in your closet that you could not live without?
SS: Right now...My army green suede platform heels. They are so cute!
TB: Do you have any encouraging words for those who are try to make a name for themselves in the industry.
SS: Yes, never give up. And don't listen to anyone who tells you that you should. Also, don't wait on anyone to hand you your career. Unapologeticly create the career/life that you want.
TB:Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
SS: Definitely touring between the states and abroad and writing music that people love.
TB: Neon Fix Cares is a Project that gives women who have low self-esteem the chance to know the Value of Vanity. What does the Value of Vanity mean you, and how in your own way can you Spread the word of Positive Vanity?
SS: Wow. The Value of Vanity to me means; you love the girl you see in the mirror. She isn't going anywhere so you better learn to love her, and treat her like a million bucks. I can spread the value of vanity by encouraging others to look in the mirror and be happy with who they see and want the best for themselves. <3
Where will the world take this NYC native Sye Spence? All I know is if she keeps singing like this there is no limit in what she can do.