Sydny August is one artist out of Chicago that we have been covering since damn near the beginning, and if you are a hardcore & long time LL supporter you may remember way back when we first did a Q&A with Sydny in November of 2016, but today she is back as the feature of a brand new interview piece! Obviously Sydny has grown since the last time we sat down for a interview, at the time she was barely out of high school and was just getting started in her music career, and now she has become one of Chicago’s best young singers & is well on her way to a degree in English Creative Writing at University Of Kansas. About a month ago Sydny released her latest project titled Uni (You and I), and it is easily one of my favorite tapes to come out of the city this year, so I recently sat down with her to catch up with everything she has been doing and get a closer look at the idea that became this project. Stream her brand new project via Spotify  + watch her new visual below while you read through the interview, and don’t forget to follow her on Twitter here!

Elliot: Since the last time we sat down for an interview in November 2016 a lot has changed, how have you grown musically and as a person since that point?

Sydny: Musically I think I have grow because I gained many more connections as the year have gone by and that opened my eyes to new genres and sounds. Personally also plays into that, because all of my music has to do with me, my feelings and my emotions and stuff. I feel like college had a lot to do with that too though, being away from home and discovering who I am

I would love to talk about your latest project UNI, what inspired you to make that project? What was the overall idea?

Sydny: Originally I wanted the tape to be twelve songs, but it thought lets shorten it and give it a theme. So that’s where the UNI (You and I) comes in, and you can’t have you and I with communication so I was playing into that. So while getting my list of seven songs together it was mostly about communication. Originally it was going to be longer but I thought I should wait to release a full length, shorter can be better in some ways because people have shorter attention spans.

The intro record was a touching moment where some individuals left you messages, who were those people talking?

Sydny: The first one is my girl Naomi. I met her at KU through the second guy (who speaks on the intro) named Dayo that’s my roommate who I was randomly paired with a year ago, he is a really good friend of mine. The last guy is named Cristian he is my engineer/producer who mixed the whole tape, he is so amazing he went to SAE for musical production & learned from someone who worked with Kanye. They have all been very special to my life so I just asked them to send me voicemails to be apart of the project, it was important to me to include them.

 

The intro to Sydny’s “UNI” project “The Beginning” was a simple instrumental that I put together when she sent me voicemails of her friends. Sydny has stated how she wanted a song to transition onto the next. Because of this I was able to build that instrumental around those voicemails and included one of my own. Saying “Let me know how it sounds” while playing the intro of “Release” helped that vision come to life. At first I wasn’t sure if she wanted to keep my part in, but in the end my vocals stayed and I was hyped because of it. It was an honor. – Cristian 

Can you speak on the idea behind the cover art? Who created it?

Sydny: The person who did my art was actually my sister, she did that cover as well as the released cover. I knew I wanted her to do my art because she is talented and I told her the communication theme but I didn’t know how to portray that. I had her be a little creative with it and I had a photoshoot for a music videos and I sent her a google drive of my favorite photos, she printed the photos out and basically craft-booked the cover.

How long did it take you to create UNI?

Sydny: I first started recording these songs a little less than a year ago, maybe last August.

If you have to pick a favorite record off of UNI, which would you pick?

Sydny: I love them all & I don’t have a favorite, but “Love Again”. When we first started that song it sounded mad different, it was acoustic, the chorus wasn’t the same at all and it was awesome to develop that one. “Try” was awesome too that process was crazy because I was sent this five second loop and the first second I heard it I was like “hell yeah”. So I plugged in all of my stuff , pressed record and did a one take and on that take I did a variety of melodies, I did some mumbling and also freestyling. Every melody that you heard is a melody I did on that first take, I just went back and rewrote my shit and made different harmonies out of what was there.

What is your favorite song you have ever created out of your entire catalog?

Sydny: I really like “over” although it’s an older song, I also loved “overdose” my mom liked that one a ton, I love them all though.

You recently teased a music video for “Same”, when do you think the fans can expect that?

Sydny: I am going to be release this Saturday, I shot it was Sam & Quincy out of Kansas City

Did you shoot any more videos for records off of the tape?

Sydny: I recently shot a video for “Released”, so you can be expecting that soon.

What is it like being a student while also being an artist, is it hard to balance them both?

Sydny: It can definitely be tough trying to find that balance, because I am in Kansas for school so I have to be on top of all of that. I always find time to write and I feel like that’s the most important thing, writing an idea down and coming back to it later is important.

I wanted to ask about your collaboration with District 21, how did that come about?

Sydny: It’s funny because I actually met him through his dad who is also a rapper, Mack 10. So he was like you gotta met my son, I linked with them in LA and I recorded with his son and we made some dope stuff. I am going back this summer to create more music with them, so when I had this song I thought why not send it to him, and when he sent it back I was thrilled!

Are there any artists from Chicago that you want to work with in the future?

Sydny: Tink, Chief Keef and Chance The Rapper, for sure, I’d also like to work with Daniel Caesar for outside of Chicago artists haha. Tink inspired me a bunch man, she released some music where I felt like she was saying everything that was in my mind, I love her music. Eryn Allen Kane is someone I’d love to work with, as well as Lil Durk.

Are there any producers that you are looking to collab with?

Sydny: I would say Dbrooksexclusive and Young Chop!

What is some advice you would give to your younger self?

Sydny: Don’t be influenced by others as much, it depends who you are around, you know?

I’d like to know what you think about the current state of Chicago hip-hop and how it has grown over the years

Sydny: I have definitely noticed the growth because of the the people I know any connections made, with shows that I do I see a bunch of talented young upcoming Chicago artists just like me who are putting in a lot of work to get there.

do you have a favorite moment from the last five years?

Sydny: Opening for Taylor Bennett in Kansas was super dope, Cabey hit me and asked if I could open, it was at one of the biggest venues in the state and it’s right by the university. It was special all of my friends and my mom flew out for the show so it was an amazing moment. Also, performing at Double Door because it’s closed now!

What is your favorite project to drop this year?

Sydny: Honestly you’re not going to be expecting this, but I have been listening to DJ Khaled’s album a ton with my roommate. I also loved Tink’s album, Ari Lennox had an amazing project, and so did Ariana Grande!

What’s your favorite book?

Sydny: It’s a self help book, I like to read a lot of inspirational, advice, spiritual stuff. It’s a book I got in 2016 at this book fair, every month and every day within the month theres a different point of emphasis, it’s eye opening. It’s called The Language Of Letting Go

If you could collab with one person dead or alive who would it be?

Sydny: Aaliyah and Smino

A random question I have been asking people this week, what would be your ideal concert. Openers, supporting acts, headliner?

Sydny: Okay so my friend Chase and I would be the openers, Billie Eilish would be one of the acts, Rico Nasty for sure, Tink and then Megan The Stallion

Not many people know this but your father was a great musician himself, what was it like having that inspiration in the crib?

Sydny: Yeah so my dad has been involved in his music for his whole life he played drums, bass, piano. He still plays piano till this day. He would always have a bunch of records in the house so when we were growing up there was always music playing on the record players, it was super inspiring & I was able to learn about a ton of different music & artists.

Your dad is also an author, do you see yourself ever writing a book?

Sydny: I took a fiction class this year that was pretty dope and I had to do a story, I think I could do a poetry book in the future for sure.

I asked you this a few years ago but where do you see yourself in five years?

Sydny: Sheesh I will be 27 that’s wild! Uhhh hopefully married, financial stable, for sure still writing and recording and releasing music because that’s what I love to do.

 

It’s really good to be around Sydny. She’s an amazing person and I’m really glad that I know her. We do spend a lot of time together since we’re not just friends but we’re also roommates so I get to see a lot of what she’s like not just as a musician but as a person as well. Seeing her grow in both ways brings me a lot of joy because she is someone who matters to me and someone that I obviously want the best for. Watching her grow is great because you can see that she deliberately works to improve herself as Sydny the person and Sydny August the artist so to see both facets improve is amazing. I have to admit that it’s kind of surreal when I hear her music, whether I’m listening to it myself or someone else is playing it not just because I know her but because I also know the physical and emotional work that went into it. She’s just really great to be around in general and you’ll probably have to search far and wide to find someone who disagrees. – Dayo