× Shop Archive About about contact jobs magazine advertising terms & conditions privacy policy Follow Instagram Facebook

In conversation with syd b

Finding inspiration in isolation

The nature of art is that it is continuously evolving, and syd b’s artistic development follows exactly this path. The singer has been putting out a steady stream of independent singles for the past two years, and in creating her contemporary R&B world, her latest single good good is the window into her coming into her own. This LA artist has no reservations, revealing some true bad bitch energy within her womanhood as sexuality, tenderness, honesty, and vulnerability seep into everything she does. We loved chatting with the artists herself, so check our convo and welcome to the world of syd b!

Hey Syd! How are you doing today?

Hi! I’m doing well! Got my morning started with matcha so can’t complain. 

It’s been a crazy world recently, how have you been coping under the circumstances?

Yeah, 2020 has been nutty, to say the least. Lately, my emotions have been all over the place as I’m sure everyone can relate to. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to have some sort of routine every day even though we can’t do much. In my personal life, I’ve just been observing how I feel and trying to be patient with myself because the dark days come in waves. Realizing how fucked America, in particular, has been for so long and doing whatever I can to initiate change. 

Would you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I’m a 22-year-old artist born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Making music still doesn’t feel like work. Getting to do this as a “job” is dreamy. I’m made up of so many different types of music and influences so it’s hard to put it into one sentence. But I guess I’m just out there trying to get people through their own shit while simultaneously getting through my own with music. I have no clue where I’d be if I didn’t have this vessel to put thoughts into.

How did you begin music?

I grew up around a lot of talented musicians on my mom’s side of the family so it was always close to home. I was dancing 14 hours a week up until the end of high school so I always knew I’d go into some creative field that had performance involved. I’ve always journaled and know I’m an observer. Watch and feel the things around me, write it down, put it into a piece of art. I started dabbling in songwriting around 16 but really didn’t take it too seriously. I applied to a bunch of music schools for college, attended Berklee College of Music for a year and then started my artist project. Really didn’t fuck with music school. I honestly really didn’t expect this to become my career but now that it is I can’t see myself anywhere else. There’s definitely a lot to sacrifice being a struggling up and coming artist but the payoff is indescribable. 

The industry is seeing a huge shift as we speak- what changes do you hope to see for yourself and for the community?

Without live, in-person connection now music is solely on the internet which I’m having a hard time accepting. Social media makes me incredibly anxious but it’s the only way to get across to people right now and probably for a long time. So I’m definitely learning that it’s not so scary and within all these platforms there’s a lot of love to give and to receive. Supporting black artists and the black community at the forefront. 

Your newest track ‘good good’ is powerful, to say the least! What is the story behind its creation?

I made it with my favourite co-creators (Alexandra Veltri, Floyd Fuji, and Johannes Burger). The same group that I created the EP with. They’re all some of my closest friends so it’s a comfortable environment to share personal experience. I think a lot of us have been in a position in our lives where someone has caused us a lot of trauma, for way too long, and yet for some reason, we keep letting them back in. Hoping for a more positive outcome every time, but it never is, no matter how much you give them. “Good Good” is about exactly that, but realizing – I’ve been here way too many times and I owe myself the opportunity to walk away. I’ll leave the rest of the story for the listener to interpret 🙂 

The single is super personal to yourself, I find it very inspiring when artists are so honest-  did you have any reservations about releasing it? 

Yeah for sure. I always go through the “do I want people to know this about me” internal debate before a release. But watching myself as a listener has taught me that the most honest pieces of work connect the most and make me feel seen. I don’t see a point in my project if it doesn’t do that for others. 

How important is this honesty within your work? And how do you think this transparency could help change the industry for the better?

It seems self-explanatory at first. But then you sit down in the room and have to crack your heart open to re-experience an event, trauma, love, etc. which can be triggering and painful. But it’s always a therapeutic release. It’s like once you release a track, it’s not yours anymore. I think as a young woman it is especially necessary. Defying the patriarchy in telling your story, whether it is positive or negative.

We are so excited about the release of your new single, what else is on the horizon for you this year?

I have another single on the way after this one, and then I’m in project mode. I still have so much to learn about the vulnerability so always on that. 

Thank you for chatting! Any parting words of wisdom? 

Thank you for having me! Set boundaries for yourself and with others, breathe through the rest of this weird-ass year and find things outside of your comfort zone that inspires you. The best advice I’ve ever been given is to not think too hard. We’ll probably never have this much time on our hands again so use it! 



Good Good out now!

Check our more from syd b here and keep an eye out for her new single!

(watch this space)

Words by Grace Powell