At 17, this Syracuse, NY native should be in the early years of her music career, but she has already been named the 2020 young adult artist of the year by the International Singer-Songwriters Association. At only 14, she released her debut album of singer-songwriter songs,“Hello Stranger”.
Things began to change when in 2019, Sydney attended a Barns Courtney concert and had the chance to meet him before the show. Courtney was so impressed by her voice that he called her up on stage during the show to sing his hit song “You & I” with him. Irving has had the privilege to open for artists like Matt Rogers and Mikele Buck as well as be the youngest artist to have a residency at the largest casino in New York State. Sydney Irving, who has been nominated for best singer/songwriter at the Syracuse Area Music Awards three times, has been writing songs since she was twelve with her guitar. Along with being named the 2020 Female Artist of the Year by Music Mafia Radio.
Where are you based?
I am based in beautiful Syracuse, New York!
How long have you been making music?
Music has always been a big part of my life. I think I first decided that I wanted to write songs when I heard Taylor Swift’s Red album. I started guitar lessons when I was 9 years old and I wrote my first song and started singing when I was 12. Fun fact, when I was really really little, my dad taught me “Paradise City” by Guns N Roses word for word haha! I was a pretty hardcore 4 year old.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
My first couple albums were more acoustic and folky, however my new record “Relax With Fiends” is indie rock with some folky flares here and there, which is the sound that I have been chasing:)
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I have some really good friends and family that have exposed me to some really great music. When I was little, my mom liked to play The Ramones in the car and my dad would play great songwriters like Tom Petty. Listening to so many different artists has definitely had a profound effect on me and inspired me to write and perform.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I am a huge Midland fan and I have been listening to their new album, The Sonic Ranch a ton lately that I’m surprised that I haven’t burned a hole in the disc. There are tons of artists that I really appreciate. To name a few, Cinderella, Ryan Adams, Barns Courtney, Chris Stapleton, and Post Malone. To me, genre doesn’t matter, a good song is just a good song.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I’m an independent artist, which is a lot of hard work. I handle all my own marketing, social media, etc. Over time, I have learned a lot and am always working to improve my brand. I am very happy with the team of people I work with and am very grateful to work with so many hardworking people.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Finding a sound that is unique to me has been a challenge. My newest album, “Relax With Fiends” is certainly a sound that I feel represents me. Finding a way to get my tunes out to as many ears as possible is also a challenge. It used to just be radio and record stores, but with streaming and so many platforms to get music these days, it makes it difficult to get the word out, but it is my quest to slay that dragon.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I just dropped my fifth album called “Relax With Fiends”. In 2017, My first album, “Hello Stranger” was released, featuring the title track “Hello Stranger”. In 2018, my second LP, “The Halfmoon Sessions” was released which featured the singles “Flames” and “What Good People Do”. In 2019, I put out two EPs that were very different from each other. One was recorded on a cold December day in a cabin in the woods in Upstate New York using only solar power. The second was a heavy metal project called “The Ronan EP”. It was recorded in one day and we were super proud to cover “Temple Of The King” by Rainbow and “Rainbow In The Dark” by Ronnie James Dio. My newest release is a five song EP called “Relax With Fiends” featuring the singles “Rain” and “What Have You Done”!
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
Of course! The lead single off the album is called “Rain”. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life and I feel like “Rain” is a metaphor for this. The sky turns gray, yet the rain is purifying. “Relax With Fiends” is a 5 song EP. The first two singles “Rain” and “What Have You Done” were both released on special limited edition cd at my website sydneyirvingmusic.com and each have music videos out on youtube!
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
I am currently working on a very summer-y single. Also, a few months ago, I shot a brand new music video at the gorgeous Stanley Theatre in Utica, NY for the next single off “Relax With Fiends” called “All I Need Is You”. That will be out very soon!