I had an amazing interview with singer/songwriter Sydney Franklin. Since the release of her freshman project, “Make It Hurt” last year, the four-track EP has racked up over 1M Spotify streams to date. The title track, along with the Mac Ayres duet “Forever”, is currently in rotation on Sirius XM’s Heart & Soul station.
DC Life: What was the SXSW debut like?
Sydney Franklin: It’s not like a regular Coachella Festival where you’re standing for hours. It’s through the whole downtown city of Austin. There’s creative energy everywhere with performances going on 24/7. I performed a month after I released my first project, and to debut my work at SXSW was really cool. The restaurant I performed in felt like a rainforest café. I was surrounded by powerful and inspiring women from the DMV, and I got great feedback. I won honorable mention for my song, “Make It Hurt”.
DC: What advice would you give artists who are interested in attending SXSW Festival?
SF: Make sure you apply early. Be ready to run around for a week 24/7 – it’s all worth it though. The amount of networking and connections you make is insane. You do need to be social: you have no choice. Also, be ready to talk and listen. You have no idea who is right next to you so always be ready and professional! Austin is about food and music so enjoy!
DC: What is your creative process?
SF: I don’t consider myself a songwriter, but someone in my position has to write in my phone notes all the time. If I could save one thing in a fire, it would be my phone. It’s where I put my ideas via voice memos. Sometimes I’ll hum a tune on there, or I’ll be on the piano and guitar and let the feelings take over. My process goes off of my mood and what I’m feeling. It’s very therapeutic. I’ll go through my notes and do a process of elimination and piece it together like a puzzle. I’ll do it in steps, not all together. I usually do the phases of songwriting separately. I could refer back to old stuff I wrote a year from now and it might help me write a song if it’s relevant to what’s currently happening.
DC: Do your ideas come better alone or around other creatives?
SF: Both. I’m an extroverted introvert. It depends on the day, but I do love having co-writes with a bunch of different people, like my best friend Madeline. We bring out
the best in each other. She helps pull out ideas and develops them with me. I do believe it should be a collaborative process.
DC: What’s your sign?
SF: I’m a Leo. Leos are bosses. We love attention, too. I’m recently getting more into the astrology thing because so many people ask me that.
DC: What should people say about Sydney Franklin as in your style and what you convey?
SF: That women are amazing beings! We need to pump each other up and put ourselves on pedestals. I want to show being comfortable in your skin and not allowing people take advantage of us in any type of relationship (friends, family, work, etc.) Being vulnerable and honest is important, and there are great ways to present it to the world.
DC: What’s the inspiration behind your sophomore album?
SF: I’m learning how to be vulnerable, while also being a boss b***h. We can get our feelings hurt, and also hurt other people. I’ve also dealt with depression and anxiety. I wanted to make it relatable to the listener. R&B soul can be such a healing thing. It’s so cool to hear a song and feel that song was made just for you. There are so
many others who share your struggle. I want to have balance as an artist.
DC: Who are your musical inspirations?
SF: Both of my parents are accountants and I’m the musical one in my family. My mom loves R&B Soul and dad was into Classic Rock. Elton John. Family Affair by Mary J. Blige was a favorite of my Mom and I. The first concert I’ve been to was the Dixie Chicks. They had powerful and meaningful voices.
DC: What songs are you performing tonight at the Anthem DC?
SF: “Make It Hurt” on my EP and a really cool version of Scrubs. It starts out as slow R&B then gets faster and I get the crowd involved too.
FOLLOW Ms. Sydney Franklin @sydneyfranklinmusic