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Soulful Sydney

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Meet pop artist Sydney Wright, a small-town girl with a big-city voice.

By Mary Murphy, Photos by White Light Exposure and Kala Media

Imagine a young girl who’s left her conservative hometown to start a career in music. She hits the road and gets discovered by a stranger in a bar. This may sound like the plot of the next blockbuster chick flick, but that is exactly how Sydney Wright’s career took flight.

Wright grew up in the safe small town of Snyder in West Texas, and it was there she and her three sisters learned how to play the piano. It was during this time that Wright found herself writing music. Unbeknownst to her at the time, some of these songs would make their way onto her debut album, Seiche.

The moment Wright claims to be “the best thing that ever happened” to her transpired in 2013, while she was running sound for a music venue. A stranger wandered into the bar and introduced himself as Tony Rancich of Sonic Ranch Recording Studio near El Paso, Texas. Rancich offered to have Sonic Ranch record her songs, and though she felt wary of the offer at first, Wright headed to the studio, where her musical talent and career blossomed.

But after a year of working with Sonic Ranch, the studio shifted its focus away from artist development, and Wright found herself no longer recording. To continue her career in an industry she knew and loved, Wright moved to Austin to work as a live-sound engineer for various venues. After one night of work, Wright decided to show a friend some of her music and was met with an enthusiastic response. It was at this moment Wright felt something within her shift. She knew if she wanted her music to get out there, she needed to make it happen; nobody else was going to do it for her.

From her first song, “What This Girl Needs,” written about an ex-boyfriend, to her current favorite, “Tip of the Hat,” listeners can relate to Wright’s music and connect with the singer on a personal level. Her music is raw and real, and she is able to eloquently put into words what so many young people go through.

Wright soon received praise for her songs and enjoys helping other creatives, often collaborating with friends who are building their reputation in the film, photography and fashion industries. Her favorite part of her career thus far has been meeting different people who are incredibly driven like herself.

While Wright admits she likes playing more than running sound, she is always delighted to put her sound-engineering skills to use and often does so for other bands. Many singers and bands influence her music, particularly Ed Sheeran because of the looping in his songs, a technique that allows for complex musical compositions and helps artists develop their own sound and style.

While her Seiche album won’t be available until the fall, Wright will release a new single every month until the album debuts. Her next single, “Tip of the Hat,” will be released July 6.

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