Welcome to Upswing’s The Show Must Go On series! We are interviewing up-and-coming musicians of varying backgrounds, genres, ethnicities and more to learn more about how they reach their fans in the wake of COVID-19. With our current state of events, musicians have adapted in more ways than one to not only make music but make sure that music reaches the masses, and Upswing wants to be a helpful hand in the process.
Sydney Ranee’ is a powerhouse R&B singer, songwriter and producer with a stage presence you won’t forget. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sydney’s dynamic voice has drawn in fans everywhere from the Melrose Trading Post to Italy, Greece and Singapore. Her music is influenced by artists such as Prince, Sting, Stevie Wonder and Jill Scott, but her sound and lyricism are far from unoriginal.
MM: Tell me a little about your background. What was it like for you growing up, and what made you want to become a musician?
SR: Well I was born and raised in Los Angeles. One of the music capitals of the world. It was hard not to be swarmed into some type of art. My family said I always had music in my blood and before I started talking I was singing. So I guess it was always meant to be. From an early age my mom enrolled me in music schools. This is where I truly discovered myself as an artist and a musician. I’ve been doing music for over 20 years and it’s been a crazy ride full of ups and downs but I’m completely in love with music and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
MM: If you could be featured in any artist’s song, who would it be and why?
SR: This is seriously a hard question. There are so many artists I admire and for completely different reasons. Some are no longer with us. I guess if I had to choose a living artist it would be either Stevie Wonder simply because he is the greatest songwriter of all time or Pharrell. Pharrell’s pen game is ridiculous and he’s a phenomenal producer as well.
MM: Can you describe some of the projects you were working on before the stay at home order?
SR: I’ve been recording so much new material haha. We are less than a month in and I already have an album worth of music ready to go. I’ve used this time to really focus on the music that inspired me throughout my career. A lot of these songs are pulling inspiration from the bright synths from 80’s Pop as well as the sultry sounds of 90’s R&B but I still put a modern twist and my own spin on it. I seriously cannot wait to preview these once their mixed and everything.
MM: What are your thoughts on how musicians are utilizing their time now? What would you change, if anything?
SR: Well I can’t really speak on how well other musicians are utilizing their time because it’s their art and it’s not really my position to judge how they create/display it. I will say that if we could collectively cool it on the “IG Live” that would be great hahaha. My instagram is going off like crazy from all of these lives. On another note I’ve been seeing musician’s get together virtually and create projects and I absolutely love seeing this. I would love to see more of it!
MM: How else do you think the entertainment industry is going to adapt in the wake of COVID-19?
SR: It’s going to take us awhile to get back to the normal schedule. I get a lot of my income from playing at bars and at weddings. I’m pretty sure it will be awhile before some of these venues have the funds to support live music again.
MM: What is something positive you’ve seen come out of this situation?
SR: I spoke earlier about how the entertainment industry would adapt to the aftermath of Covid-19 but I didn’t touch on how much creativity and rare collaborations that have been happening since the start of the lockdown. So many people are able to sit back and create without worrying about deadlines or other distractions. Myself included. I’ve got a chance to really sit down with my music and I’ve learned so much about myself as an artist doing that.