Hello Sierra Jamerson! Welcome to BUZZMUSIC! Your sound is incredibly authentic and we love your powerful lyrics and vocals! Could you share what inspired the soulful track “Blood In The Water”?
Thanks so much for chatting with me, and for your kind compliments! "Blood in the Water" was born after a breakup, which is a little obvious I suppose. I was in a very vulnerable space before it occurred and the breakup sent me over the edge. I'm a highly sensitive person; I don't think I bounce back from feelings of loss or rejection as easily as others do. I started to have this reoccurring dream where I was drowning in a violent storm on the ocean, and I was bleeding into the water like I had been shot. Suddenly sharks would start to pick up on my scent and circle me in the water. In my dream, I went from feeling frantic and scared trying to save myself, too tired and weak and wanting to stop fighting. When I went under, everything was slow motion and quiet, and I would feel almost...peaceful?
I had this dream for months. I believe it was my mind trying to express how chaotic and painful my emotions were in processing that experience, and when I went under it was almost like I was surrendering. It was like the death of that Sierra and that life, making room for rebirth. The process of recording was the same. When the album was born, I was reborn.
“Blood In The Water” provides exceptional instrumentation perfectly supporting your vocals. How did you want the track's instrumentation to feel for first-time listeners?
I had just finished university when I started recording. In my first degree, I studied Jazz and Contemporary Vocal Performance, and the musicians on the album were my school cohort. So, I chose musicians I knew I could trust to deliver my vision. I wanted the instrumentation to blend jazz harmony and RnB composition -upright bass, Rhodes keys, clean jazz guitar until the vamp. But I also grew up touring with my family's traditional gospel band and I've fronted a few punk rock bands. I wanted space musically to have that rock edge and drive at the end, to put a little grit on my voice and the guitar.
The most important part for me was the harmonies. There's like 5 or 6 layers of harmonies, and I think my harmonic voice was really crafted by singing with that "family sound" since I was like in 6th grade! Other kids were playing soccer while I was picking out parts with my aunties and uncles and cousins. I left the group when I went to university, but it trained my ear towards that complex, layered, emotive gospel sound.
Along with the superb instrumentation, your clear vocals portray incredibly detailed imagery. What helps maximize your creative process in order to effectively get your lyrics across?
I love words. I'm a voracious reader, I write poetry, I love public speaking, I write songs, I used to write short stories and magazine articles. Right now I'm finishing up my second degree in developmental psychology and I'm writing a paper to be published in an academic journal (a dream come true!). I am driven by three things: the need to make music, the need to communicate, and the need to serve others in their healing journey.
I just open myself up and channel whatever message the Universe needs me to share.
You’ve mentioned that you're currently writing and recording your second EP that's said to be your most confessional work yet! Why do you think it’s important for artists to be vulnerable when writing and creating their music?
Each artist's mileage may vary, but I need to be authentically me. For a lot of my life, I wasn't allowed to take up space or have my own voice or thoughts or even own my body and image. I lived through a lot of trauma and music helped me integrate and process it. There's a whole field of study about this - music therapy. Some artists might be more focused on making music that's commercially viable, and that's an art in itself and totally valid. Other artists might be very avant-garde and only want to connect with a small niche, which is also totally valid. I respect it all. My music follows the arrow of whatever brings the most healing for myself and others. I've learned that my gift is to offer myself up as a mirror for others to witness the wounds in themselves. I'm an empath. If I weren't able to allow myself to be seen, I wouldn't be able to help others see themselves.
Listen to "Blood In The Water" here.