Singer/songwriter Sian Cross has evolved from being a backing vocalist for Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, Daniel Beddingfield and Mica Paris to becoming an artist in her own right. She’s recorded at Abbey Road Studios, sung in the Royal Albert Hall and embarked on tours with Hue & Cry and the legendary Paul Carrack. With new single ‘Tell Anybody’ out now, we found out more about Sian.
Lyrics are so important to me and within my music I try to address subjects that are often avoided and talk about things that people try to hide.
First up Sian, tell us bit about yourself - what were you doing before your solo career began?
I think really, it’s all been about the path to now. My solo career didn’t exactly begin, it has just always has been… I’ve loved music and singing from a young age. I used to dance, act, the whole works but really its always been singing that makes my heart beat. I have gone through many different genres of music to find what is true to me. At times I felt frustrated that things were not moving fast enough but now I can see that it was all part of the process to get to where I am now in my music and in myself.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
Gospel music was a big part of my childhood. I was in a gospel choir at school and have always loved the likes of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Although I am not religious as such, there is something so raw and moving about that style of music. It evokes an emotion and has a sense of unity and love that is unavoidable.
How did this project come about? Did you expect to be following the musical path you are now?
I wrote a song call ‘Four Weeks’ about losing my dad to cancer. That song took on a life of it’s own and has had an effect on people that I could never have dreamed of. I have had many people talk to me after gigs and contact me online to tell me that the song helped them get through their own loss. It was moving and overwhelming to me that I had managed to touch these people through my song, it gave me the idea to use my next project as an opportunity for them to tell their stories. Music has always been my therapy and I wanted to allow others to experience that, so I set out to find as many stories as I could. It has been such a journey and so inspirational for me. I could never have expected it to go like this but I am glad that it has.
If you had to describe your sound as a personality, how what would it be?
This is a brilliant question and one I have never been asked before… Let me see, I would have to say, honest, intense, loyal and caring although maybe slightly unhinged!
What would you say makes Sian Cross unique?
Unique? Well I believe as humans we are all unique but musically I try to say things that I haven’t heard before. Lyrics are so important to me and within my music I try to address subjects that are often avoided and talk about things that people try to hide. Does that make me unique? Maybe not, but I guest it makes me true to me and perhaps that can be classed as a little unique.
How do you create your music? Is there any kind of routine that helps?
Every song is different. With this project in particular they all started with the story, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that the lyrics came first… Often Rhys Williams (who I co-write with) and I will just jam for ages on an idea, recording everything that we do. Then we listen back through, picking our favourite bits and creating the song from there. Some come together quicker than others and some need constant reworking until we get it to a place we are happy with.
What was the most significant moment of 2015 for you and why?
Finishing the tracks. It has been the culmination of years of work and finishing them was both exhilarating and petrifying! Now I have to actually let them go out into the world on their own… my babies!
What have you been listening to this year? Can you give us a top three records of 2016 so far?
Ry X – ‘Dawn’
Christine and The Queens – ‘Chaleur Humaine’
Aurora – ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’
If you had to pick one act to see live this year, who would it be?
Hands down Christine and The Queens. I saw them at Glastonbury and they blew me away! But I would love to go and see them again. She is so talented and the whole show is totally mesmerizing.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
I would love love love to collaborate with James Blake. He is the reason I moved more towards electronic music. Months of listening to Overgrown on repeat. His voice is just delicious… in fact no need to collaborate I would be happy just to sit and listen to him sing to me all day!
How is 2016 shaping up for you? Where can we see you play?
It’s actually shaping up pretty well. I have my single coming out at the end of July… eek! I am just shooting the video this week for single number two and we are going on tour with Sons Of Pitches in November so you can catch us there. Dates are on my website siancross.co.uk.
If you could pick any venue or festival to play, where would it be and which slot would you most enjoy?
Well if we are dreaming big, and I do like to, it would have to be Glastonbury, Pyramid stage. That place has magical powers. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences there - too many to write down, but basically in 2013 it managed to bring me back from being so close to quitting music that to play there would mean the world to me!
Listen to new single ‘Tell Anybody’ at Soundcloud.