Today we have a new Spotlight – Sykamore Round 2. Our first time talking with this talented artist we were introduced to her music. This time around we dive a little deeper and learn more about how her music is coming along. Its always fun catching up with old friends so make sure you check out the convo below.
Last we chatted was April 2020, world looked a little different then than it does now. Music and career aside, what has changed in your life since then?
I’ve gotten into a few more hobbies since then, that’s for sure! I started getting a lot more into outdoor photography and I’ve been learning about boxing as a new style of cardio. I’ve had a lot of time to dabble in new things this past year.
The success of “Cheap Thrills” was amazing. Did you foresee it being that well received? What was the most surprising praise you received for it?
Thanks! I try not to have expectations – only hopes ha-ha. I had a strong feeling people would react to it because it is one of my favorites and I find it to be fun and relatable for basically anybody. One of the more memorable pieces of feedback I got was that it sounded like Halsey singing a country song – which I am not mad at!
Given what you know now, what would you have done different on your EP?
I don’t think I would have done anything differently, as far as timing goes. I know there were some people who held back their releases because the hope was that the pandemic wouldn’t last long, and I suppose that was an option for me. But I was already so geared up to release new music – I’d been waiting over two years. And it felt like this was the logical next step for me, having just signed a record deal. So even though it was an unconventional time to put music out as a new artist, I think it was an important part of my introduction.
Your new single: “Stay Broke”; amazing. Can you give us a bit of insight into the writing?
Thank you! I wanted to write a song that was about unapologetically falling for someone. The imagery that comes to mind when I think of that is your first love, maybe when you’re in high school or somewhere around that age. I wanted to capture that sometimes cheesy feeling, so I took a lot of inspiration from 80’s pop music like George Michael and Tears for Fears.
The video for “Stay Broke” is inspired by John Hughes. What is your connection to the films, and which one is your favorite?
Those movies represent a lot of nostalgic feelings for me, despite not being born in the 80s haha. For ‘Stay Broke’ I really envisioned the song being played maybe in a high school gym during a dance scene in one of those 80s films. So, I wanted to incorporate that into the lyric video, with a ton of geometric shapes and graphics you might see on a vintage computer screen.
Your single “Go Easy On Me” released March 19th. How does it draw in your new fans that you’ve gained, while staying faithful to older fans?
I think it does a good job of showcasing a side of me that hasn’t necessarily been heard yet, while solidifying some key components to my sound that people come to expect and enjoy. The song deals with some trickier subject matter that I haven’t really waded into before and I hope people will come with me on that journey and visit that side of their emotions, because it really is an emotional song and I think it still really sounds like me, maybe just in a new shade.
What is the song about and what was it like writing it?
It deals with the aftermath of a breakup and being the person who doesn’t move on first. I’ve been that person before and I wanted to capture the essence of what that feels like, however unflattering it might be. So, the song basically chronicles the character denying reality, and asking their ex not show off their new relationship because she’s just not strong enough to acknowledge it yet.
Back in April, I found out that you I are both huge Lana Del Rey fans, but I recently found out we’re also big fans of The Wreckers. Can you speak a bit more on what it is about them as artists you admire?
That’s awesome! The Wreckers were very popular when I was in middle school and I think the thing that intrigued me most about them was the fact that Michelle Branch was a successful pop act choosing to do a country project. That happens more commonly now, but it was basically unheard of in the early 2000’s. The songs were so good and relatable and TRUTH telling, I had a hard time not wearing out their record. They were pioneers in the pop country crossover movement, and now that I am something of a crossover artist myself, my admiration for them has only grown.
The Wreckers have not released new music in over a decade. What do you think it is about music in our formulative years that endures with us?
When you’re a teen, your emotions are running high all the time and you have arguably the richest inner life you’re ever going to have. For me, my inner life always craved a fitting soundtrack to pair itself with. I think that’s why even as time passes, the songs you learned and sang along to as a teen always hit different – because they remind you of a time you were in the thick of your own feelings, and they are somehow refreshed by the music that accompanied it.
You and I are also both hardcore The Chicks (formerly Dixie Chicks) fans. Specifically in how they blend old school with contemporary country sounds. With so many artists experimenting with country (Florida Georgia Line, Lil Nas X, Taylor Swift), what does the future of country music look like to you?
I find the future of country to be the wild west – mainly because of the way people are breaking into it now. The traditional means of gatekeeping are gone, and people are developing their careers on social media, and as their audience demands them, they essentially build platforms for themselves in a way that has never been done before. That is very exciting to me – because it leaves more and more room for people to just say what they’re thinking and write from their hearts. I think it’s going to continue to open the floodgates for authentic, genuine music. I mean, Kacey Musgraves’ last record was a record about HER life and her experiences, and it swept the Grammys. That’s a very cool thing and I only hope it’s indicative of the future.
What was it like during 2020 switching over to playing virtually and not in front of a live audience?
It was very strange haha. You’re used to playing live and being able to feed off the crowd’s energy, and then you have to go to a mode of playing where you can’t read anyone’s reaction. I’m happy to be able to connect with my audience. I’m so grateful they’re willing to log on and watch lives instead of the real thing. It means a lot.
I was looking around online, and you already have some tour dates lined up. Boots and hearts 2021, being the one that stuck out the most. How did they approach you about playing?
Well, I got the nod to play Boots in the summer of 2020 and obviously it’s postponed to 2021. A lot of the artists just rescheduled for another performance if they were available to do it. I’m grateful they want me to come out again.
Is it worrying to be planning so far in advance with so many unknowns still up in the air?
I suppose it can be if you let yourself think about it too much. But the trick I guess is to just do what you can and if plans change, plans change. All we have is today, and I just try to do my best to appreciate it. Worrying doesn’t change what’s gonna happen!
As a Canadian transplant to Nashville, what was it like watching both your homes go through the pandemic so vastly differently?
It was interesting to read about how each respective government was going about it, but for me I think the experience for myself and everyone around me was similar enough. People were scared and unsure of the future, and just trying their best to reconcile what was happening around them. In that way I think everyone is in the same boat – which can be challenging but also comforting in some ways. Knowing that we will succeed together is very heartening.
It would not be a good interview if we didn’t embarrass you a little bit. Some of my favorite tweets of yours I am wondering if you could expand on. Why the hate for ciabatta buns? Also (and I 100% agree) I want to know why we are obsessed over fish tanks; they really were everywhere!
Hahaha, I love that you creeped my Twitter feed! I guess I’ve just never had a good experience with a ciabatta bun. They always cut the roof of my mouth. Maybe I’m not going to the right places? And yes, I can’t help but wonder what was happening with the fish tanks in 90s. They were insanely popular as home decor…
Being locked up for as long as we have, are peanut butter cups still your go-to treat?
Yes! I will blame my manager for that. He’s obsessed with Reese’s and now it’s rubbing off on me. Basically, since Halloween 2020.
After years of these interviews what is one thing you wish that people knew about you that you never get to talk about?
It probably doesn’t matter to anyone and that’s why I never talk about it haha, but I am very into interior design and I want to design my own house someday. I am a freak for mid-century modern decor!
Lastly as our favorite independent and smaller businesses have been hit hard this Covid season. What are some of your local favorite places to hype up and give a shout out to?
Love this. My favourites in Calgary are Milk Tiger, an amazing cocktail lounge, and Red’s Diner, which has my all-time favourite benny. My favourites in Nashville are Mitchell Deli [get their Turkey Avocado sandwich you will not regret it]. And Attaboy, which has the most incredible craft cocktails.
Spotlight – Sykamore Round 2 is in the books and it is a good one! Check out our first round with Sykamore right here
Check out Go Easy on Me out now!
Keep up with anything new right here