Five questions with Sydney Worthley
ALBANY — Sydney Worthley has been a steady presence in the 518 scene.
Her music, both soulful and folksy, has been continuously evolving since her debut at 15 years old. The crooner, who has performed at several festivals and venues, is headlining a show at Lark Hall this Friday. We sat down with Worthley and asked her five questions about the show, her career and how her sound has evolved as she’s entered adulthood.
Katie Lembo: I know you’ve been looking at Lark Hall for a while! Tell me about what made this beautiful venue an ideal spot for your show.
Sydney Worthley: Knowing the sound was put in by Denis Entertainment and seeing CK and the Rising Tide just really sold me on Lark Hall. It’s a major plus that everyone there is so friendly and the venue has such a historic feel. I literally can’t wait to get on their stage this Friday!
KL: You recently performed at Alive at 5 with El Modernist and completely rocked it out. What has been your mindset as you go into these shows in this semi post-pandemic world?
SW: That was such a fun show! My mindset is first of all safety. I’m vaccinated but I want to do my part in keeping the people around me safe and making them feel comfortable given the recent mandate lifts. I know that I’ve been a bit anxious about everything opening back up so I want to help out in reassuring people that my main goal is safety. Also just having fun. Getting back out has been nerve wracking and stressful but once I’m up there I have to remind myself that I know what I’m doing and I trust the people around me.
KL: You’ve mentioned before how your entire person has evolved, not only with your music, but with your style and your outlook in general. How will this new insight into who you are affect the trajectory of your career?
SW: Since I’m still growing up, I hope my music and style project maturity and growth as well. I don’t necessarily want to be seen as a kid that can play guitar anymore. I’m hoping to be taken seriously as not only an up and coming musician, but as a business woman and an independent artist. I think by defining my style and my music into a specific category, I’m able to evolve from who I was at 14 years old.
KL: If someone were to ask you to describe your upcoming music with one word, what would it be and why?
SW: Experimental. The pandemic gave me so much time to get to know myself as a person and an artist. I consider myself two separate people when it comes to my individual self vs my creative self. Sure, they share the same interests but I have to separate what I want when it comes to those two sides of me. I’m able to obsess over Taylor Swift’s music in my free time but I don’t think it translates with my new music. I love playing around with rock styles and synth sounds and even lowkey acoustic songs. But at the end of the day I have to put myself into a creative “box” and narrow down every song and put it into a category. I’ve been experimental and trying to outdo myself with my new music but I’m not quite ready to narrow down all 60 songs. I’m still stuck in my “Rose Colored Glasses” phase, considering how the pandemic limited my stage time and the ways I can experience my music with everyone around me.
KL: You’ve had some big changes in your life recently, including graduating high school and starting the journey that is adulthood. When you look back on your catalog, how does the music you wrote when you were younger still relate to Sydney, the woman?
SW: I look back on songs like “123” and “Strong” and I’m just so baffled at who I was almost five years ago. It’s not often where I can reflect on my old music and be proud of it, but recently I took some time to listen to those songs specifically and all I could think was, “wow I wrote that my freshman year of high school.” It feels kind of like a time machine to my old self and I wish she could hear the music I have now. It’d be cool to compare notes. But the majority of the time, I pull those songs out and play them live or practice them and I’m just like “okay that was sassy and for what?” Everything felt like a huge deal to me at the time and I can laugh at it now because I was much bolder then compared to how I am now. Music has always been therapy for me which sounds cliche but it definitely shows through my music. I write about the most vulnerable moments and I have never regretted that. Being an adult and having more experiences in life will never really change the way I feel about my songwriting five years ago or even five years from now. All I can think of is how proud I am of 14-year-old me who stood up for herself and shared her thoughts even when it was scary for most adults.
To purchase tickets for Worthley’s Lark Hall show, visit https://sydneyworthley.com/event/4282928/561344504/lark-hall.