We seem to have been doing a bit of talent spotting here at the magazine recently. It is not that we set out necessarily to spot new talent, but recently a couple of artists have caught the attention of the team, and Sierra Sky is one of them. Sierra hails from Los Angeles and is currently working on an EP for release soon. However, we came across her with her new single, “Broken.” She is a singer-songwriter and plays the piano. We thought she fell under the umbrella of Beverly Craven’s style of music, and she uses her life experiences to infuse her songwriting. This single is an opening salvo for what she is capable of in the long term; a simple melody underpins a strong chorus hook, and the vocals nail the emotions. We wanted to say hello!

We also wanted to say hello because Sierra is studying the music business academically, and we do like to look into the way the business functions too, as that is always fascinating. So we started with how we consume music now, and how listening tastes have changed to such an extent. We wondered how Sierra saw the process of releasing music today.

Sierra: I am starting off with releasing singles, a lot of people listen to single tracks more now than albums as a whole, especially with TikTok. I don’t envision myself releasing physical music in terms of CDs or vinyl any time soon, but after the single, I am looking to release an EP over the summer. Perhaps things will lead to an album.

The single is called “Broken,” and it was released just recently, but was written a little while ago.

Sierra: I wrote “Broken” two or three years ago. I was in a relationship, and it wasn’t going very well. This one night we were in my kitchen, and sometimes with partners, you just fight about things. It was one of those moments when you just disagreed, and later, you probably don’t even remember why you fell out. I remember sitting down and looking at him to say, “I can’t keep doing this; this relationship is breaking me,” and he looked at me and said, “You were already broken.” That was one of the craziest and meanest things ever said to me. I felt I just couldn’t let that go, and, as the days followed, I kept sitting with the word in my head, just pondering the word ‘broken.’ I then ended up at the piano, just pouring out my feelings in the form of a song, as I usually do, and that was how the song was written. The piano is my instrument of choice for songwriting. Songwriting begins for me with emotion; songwriting is my diary, my journal, it is how I work through things. If I feel something, then I go to my piano and work on the melody. Then the lyrics flow into the melody. I will mumble something, and hopefully the rest follows! I write using the piano, but I am learning the guitar too! 

The single seems to be getting plenty of positive attention, creating some interest! What is the live scene like for Sierra?

Sierra: I’ve been doing live shows for about a year now. I have a hotel residency in Santa Monica, the Georgian Hotel. They have an underground speakeasy at the hotel that was really big in the 1950s. People who bought the hotel a couple of years ago revamped it and returned it to its original form, with the same colors and menus and so on, and created an intimate music space. `There is no service down there; they say there are no cameras, and the cell phones are off. They have dinner, and I am there performing the last Saturday of every month!

The LA scene seems really vibrant; we certainly know the punk scene over there, having spoken to some LA bands over the years. Sierra is not punk! She has a soft pop sound. A hint of jazz, maybe.

Sierra: I’m a singer songwriter, a traditional singer-songwriter.

And what is the state of the music business today? In the day, it was all about labels and radio play, less so now, it seems. The old radio-label link seems to have gone a bit?

Sierra: There is mixed information going around. They say the recording industry is doing great, but has the vinyl market really taken off as much as they say? Are CD’s selling? For a few bucks on Spotify, you can now get any song ever written, and it has devalued music somewhat. You value what you pay for. With TikTok, people of my age and generation consider music to be free content, not something they want to pay for. It is just content on social media. Even a free Spotify account can get you almost limitless music. It is hard to get people of my generation to pay for music, that is a hard sell, because we have convinced everyone that music is free. So older people will pay for music, but people under 20 won’t, as they never have. Give them it for free, why would they pay? 

We have noticed that trend here, people placing music up and asking people to donate. We don’t like that trend.

Sierra: I want to return to the business side, and this is why a lot of artists like to remain independent from the labels now. They realise the value of owning their own songs and material. I feel people used to view the labels as such a necessity as they handled the distribution and so forth. But, in many ways, they are the worst banker to get a loan from. They pay for things and set you up, but then they own you. Remember, we are not living with a music industry today; we live with a tech industry. People think Spotify is a music company. No! Spotify is a tech company that maximised opportunity and took control of music. Apple Music is too, they are a tech company, and Apple Music subscriptions make up less than 1% of all the profit they make. They don’t care about music, they could give it away for free, and it wouldn’t hurt their profits at all. We have allowed the tech giants to take control of music.

And does Sierra aspire toward world dominance and a big label?

Sierra: People say, Where do you want to be in five years? I would love to do an arena tour. I want to tour and visit other places and spread the word about my music. I am looking toward a fun pop EP this summer, but a lot of my music is deep and emotional. My music got me through my moments, and continues to. Music saved me when I needed something, and I hope my music can help others too. But I want to tour, and I want to get my music into films if I can.

Does Sierra protect her music?

Sierra: I own my music and want to control where it goes. But, for example, I have a teacher here who teaches law and ethics, and he says his way of protecting music is not to download TikTok or Spotify, he doesn’t believe in streaming. He doesn’t want to devalue music, he wants to buy it. However, I may love that theory and want to support it, but if I don’t allow those platforms, my music will never get heard. So you are trapped. You are forced to give it away until you achieve success. You can make money with tours and merchandise, of course.

A question on image! As Sierra doesn’t really fit a genre of music, she doesn’t perhaps have to slide into the image of being a country or rock singer or whatever. Does she think about image as an aspect of music and performance?

Sierra: I believe building an image and a brand is really important as an aspect of getting your music out there. People want to look at you as a way of understanding who you are. They want the visuals to help them see the music. So it tells a story. Discovering my personal image is hard for me, I wake up and I’m a college student, then at night its fashion events or music, so I can wear different hats. I definitely have that look, and on stage, I have some chunky jewellery. But it is hard to nail down an image for me, and my friends often see my image better. It is something, the outfits and sound, I do think about before I perform, but the truth in the music is stronger.

Last question, the last album that Sierra listened to from beginning to end? And did she enjoy it?

Sierra: This isn’t a new album, but I’ve always loved Frank Ocean and his music, I listen to his music all day! I hear his albums from beginning to end, and I enjoy them every time!

And that is the most important thing. Who wants to listen to an album and be more depressed at the end of it than you were at the start!

To keep us improving the magazine, we really do need your support, and if you can go to the ‘support us’ button and buy us a coffee, it helps us feel appreciated and keep improving the magazine. We also have our merchandise shop, Lorraine, looking great in the gear! Read on, check out our many great features and reviews, and do bookmark us on your pages!

By Mark C. Chambers


Lorraine Foley


One Reply to “Sierra Sky with her debut single, “Broken””

  1. I listened to her music! She’s definitely a future star! Would really recommend people to listen to her!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.