Why the music has got to keep on coming...

Horsham-based singer songwriter Sydney Rutherford admits she considered delaying the release of her new album amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Horsham-based singer songwriter Sydney Rutherford
Horsham-based singer songwriter Sydney Rutherford

But she quickly came to the conclusion that we’ve got to keep on carrying on somehow.

Sydney is now releasing singles at a rate of one a month, building up to releasing the album as a whole by August.

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The album will be called Nothing Else Matters.

It comes at what is, inevitably, a tough time for musicians in particular.

“I worked so hard on the album last year, and I was debating putting the album off.

“I was supposed to be performing at lots of festivals over the summer, and they are all off.

“But actually, I started thinking that we have just got to keep the music coming. It is important to keep it coming.”

The album is Sydney’s attempt to broaden her audience, building on the exposure she has enjoyed so far from BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey. It therefore saw her take a different approach.

Her most recent album was Not Today Satan, an ode to the exes. She wanted the latest album to be much less specific, much wider in its appeal.

“So I wanted to create lots and lots of hooks.

“We created hundreds of hooks, and we just wanted to pick the catchiest ones rather than working on the lyrics first.

“My audience specifically is pop, and because of that I work in an area where you want to get the hooks and the riffs first.

“So I just hummed lots of tunes and then we reduced them to about 40 or 50 riffs. I kept them in my ear when I went for a walk and I would just find the song that fitted them.”

The result is a forthcoming album of songs about all sorts of life experiences.

“The first track, baby has already been released and so far it has been aired three times on BBC radio and other various stations.

“I went to Africa, to Rwanda to teach, and a lot of the pupils played me Afro-American beats, and they had a strong influence on the song. That was like a fun high-school boy meets girl type of thing, and I took that from my experiences of Rwanda.”

Other songs touch on mental health: “I work in a school for special educational needs. I specialise in teaching music for mental health, and that has also been a big influence on my work.”

Sydney is planning a succession of singles into the summer.

“It spreads out the album. I think that is best for me as a growing artist.

“When I release a full album, I get a lot of excitement and a lot of opportunities and then it dies out, and you have spent years on it and it gets really frustrating if it is just all over and done with in a couple of months.

“Doing the singles first feels much better in terms of keeping it going.

“I want the whole album to be a fun album with an underlying theme of day-to-day life.”

As for the current situation: “It is a really, really tough time for musicians. You really struggle. If you are a creative person, all you want to do is to share your music or perform. I had so many great opportunities coming up and then it all just stops. I don’t want to be selfish and thinking ‘Poor us musicians!’, but it is heart wrenching really.”

It had all been going so well.

“My work thus far has included working alongside the wonderful Pixie Lott and performing at the O2 indigo for Celebrity box fest. I also travelled out to LA where I was able to perform for Dennis Rodman.”

The important thing now is to find ways to survive.

“I think you have just to go keep writing and trying to use social media to promote your work in other ways.”

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