Sydney Franklin comes from a family of accountants. There’s absolutely no one who on either sides of her family that are musicians. So how did she end up here? A singer/songwriter about to go on tour, fresh off a stop at SXSW?
“I’ve always been connected to music in some way, but didn’t know that it was something I would eventually pursue… but music is my first love and I plan continue it for the rest of my life,” she said.
At the age of 21, Maryland-native Sydney Franklin just released her EP “Make It Hurt” worldwide, a four-track confessional of self-revelation. After studying at Berklee College of Music as a Vocal performance major, she has returned to the DMV and is currently based in Washington, D.C. Citing influences such as Aretha Franklin, Jessie J, Jazmine Sullivan and Tori Kelly — and this girl certainly has the voice just as soulful & powerful in her own rite.
One of our favorite songs off the EP is “Forever”, a collaboration with Mac Ayres, self-taught producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Sea Cliff, NY. The two first crossed paths in 2014 when they met in college. Sydney said, “Mac and I lived in the same dorm, freshman year at Berklee College of Music. He’s such a goofy, talented guy, and it was so awesome collaborating with him up at Shifted in Brooklyn.” (She’s referring to Shifted Recording in Brooklyn, NYC. Sydney is currently “partnered up” with Washington, D.C. based recording studio House Studios, and Shifted Recording is their sister studio, she said.)
“I saw Mac post on his Instagram story one day, that he was at Shifted working with producer Mike Irish, and I was like, ‘Whoa, are you at Shifted?’ So, we decided to meet up there, right before this past Thanksgiving, to create together. I hadn’t seen Mac since we were both up at school in Boston, and we’d never created together before, but it ended up working really well.”
Mac’s drummer Chris Anderson was in the booth, vibing out, while the rest of us the team sat in the control room, with Mac on the keys. She says, “It all happened so naturally. I started writing some lyrics down on a notepad and sang some ad-libs here and there, but one line in particular stuck: ‘Is there a place out there for me?’ Mac suggested that I hold out the word “place” and it improved the entire phrase, when I sang it.”
GGM: Do you think being a woman in music has affected your career? If so, how?
“Absolutely! Sometimes people in the business don’t give us women the time of day. I believe we are all superheroes, but sadly in certain situations it might take us more time to prove ourselves. But, also take into account that genuine people will work with you no matter what gender, ethnicity or religion you are; the real ones will just base you off of your sound and attitude!” – Sydney Franklin
But even with challenges within the industry, Sydney says that for new artists, it’s important for them to find their backbones. “Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. I’ve learned a lot from my mom and her perspective. She was very high up in her job and was literally the only woman. She was fortunate to have supportive male colleagues, but not every meeting or business trip was as smooth. She’s taught me to stay calm, but also don’t let anyone, specifically men, take credit for your ideas or steal your power. We deserve it just as much as they do!”
And we already know this chick is gonna get hers. Her way.
Next on the list of to-dos? A spring/summer tour, she says.
In the meantime, Follow her on Instagram.