Opening up about our mental health is oftentimes difficult. Fearing outside judgement, sometimes it may feel less nerve wracking to suffer in silence, surrounded by our demons. However, there is a certain freedom that comes with opening and being truly authentic about all that we’ve been through. Syd Carter West finds this therapeutic freedom on her brand new single, Venom Hurts, a song which serves as a reminder to us all that even when someone is all smiles on the outside we truly have no idea the battle’s they may be fighting inside.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Syd about Venom Hurts, her musical journey, and finding her voice as an artist.
Worlds of Country: When did you know that you wanted to pursue music?
Syd: When I was two years old I started humming to the radio in perfect pitch before I could form words. By the time I was six my mom took me to my first singing lesson and I never really stopped since.
Songwriting and poetry have always been therapeutic for me. I was a socially awkward kid and the idea of talking to people was overwhelming and scary, so singing and songwriting allowed me to communicate who I am as a person. It’s been my safety net, so there’s really nothing else I see myself doing.
Worlds of Country: Once you knew, what was your first step towards making this dream a reality?
Syd: Vocal training was my first step. Growing up I was so inspired by the powerful and big voices like Christina Aguilera, Amanda Marshall, Kelly Clarkson and Pink — I wanted to have a big voice of my own.
I trained with contemporary vocal teachers until I was recommended to start lessons with a local classical trainer — Ingrid Suderman. At the age of 12 I began my studies in classical/opera music which included music theory exams, voice exams through The Royal Conservatory of Music and many international competitions and festivals.
I will always be grateful for my background in classical music —
my voice would not have grown into what it is now without my training. I’m a firm believer to always have a vocal coach throughout a singing career. A healthy voice is a happy voice!
How would you describe your musical style?
It took me a few years to really find my sweet spot but I can happily say my genre is Americana – Southern Rock/ Blues Rock.
Worlds of Country: Who would you say most influenced this style?
Syd: When I was a teenager I was introduced to the magic of Classic Rock. Led Zeppelin and Freddie Mercury from Queen have been huge inspirations for my music, singing style and stage presence. Then later on in my early twenties, I listened to Chris Stapleton and instantly fell in love with his rich vocals and authentic spirit.
My goal is to blend all my inspirations together, forming an edgy, wickedly free-spirited, southern rock sound.
Worlds of Country:What’s the story behind your new single, Venom Hurts?
Syd: My new single, “Venom Hurts,” is about my personal experience with mental illness.
It’s easy for people to assume that my life is “so great.” I’ve been judged for having successful parents, being able to pursue my passions and perhaps living a lifestyle that people consider privileged. I will always be grateful for the life I have and I’ll never take it for granted, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have my own demons.
“Venom Hurts” is my way of telling everyone that I have my daily struggles and I’m exposing my truth with mental health.
Worlds of Country: What’s next for you?
Syd: My producer John Ellis and I are continuing to write music (that never stops haha!). Music videos and cover tunes are on the way, and hopefully the band and I can start touring soon!
PS. An album will be dropping sometime this year! Stay tuned!
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