BORN AND RAISED IN ISTANBUL INTRODUCING SIRMA, A SINGER/SONGWRITER WHO STUDIED AT BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC TO MOVING TO NEW YORK TO CONTINUE HER MUSIC! GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WHO SHE IS ABOUT RIGHT HERE!

What is your name?
SIRMA

 

 

What is your genre of music?
Electronica / Alternative Pop / Electropop

 

 

Give us a little bio about yourself!
Born and raised in Istanbul, moved to the States to study at Berklee College of Music… Moved to New York right after graduation. Been living here for about 4 years now. Dabbled in all kinds of different genres for a while. Started with classical piano training, continued with jazz singing, ended up fronting a progressive rock band while I was at Berklee… Recorded the Pepsi World Cup song titled “Oh Africa” with Akon and Keri Hilson and the rest of the Pepsi World Choir (which I was a part of representing Turkey) in 2010… Did two vocal feature tracks with Illenium and Said The Sky: “Drop Our Hearts” and “Drop Our Hearts (Part II)”. Recently recorded and co-wrote another EDM vocal feature with a new future bass duo, SuperJet, titled “Forward & Beyond”. I focused my studies on songwriting, arranging and production, which allowed me to experiment with a lot of different ensembles and techniques. I learned how to write for string ensembles, big bands, chamber orchestras… Did a little bit of sound engineering and learned a bit about sound design too. And now, with the launch of this project, I’m finally in the process of defining my sound. It’s a lot to process but I’m excited for what’s next.

 

 

What made you get in to music?
It was one of those cliche stories- the music teacher discovers a talent in the class and urges the parents to push her into music. Thus began the piano lessons- and I thought I was going to be a classical pianist for a while, but the classical music world in general wasn’t really for me. So I kept educating myself and experimenting with different things- and I still am. It’s an endless journey.

 

 

Are you signed?
I’m independent right now.

 

 

 

Your single ‘Free Fall ‘ is out now; what can you tell us about it?
It’s about the first romantic relationship of my life and the newness and the innocence of it. It’s the first song I wrote (and finished) in a major key, so it will always be special to me! I also love the vocal writing – I somehow managed to fit in my entire four octave range into the song, without (hopefully) making it sound forced or showy. The vocal arrangement really feels… purposeful. I just love how uplifting the whole vibe is.

 

 

What was the writing and recording process like?
The writing part comes pretty easy to me. I write down whatever comes to mind, record my ideas on my iPhone, and when an idea gets stuck in my head for a while, I know that I have to turn it into a song. But when it comes to recording… I obsess a bit too much. I record in my home studio- and especially when I track vocals, it’s a very isolated situation. I record, I edit the takes, I add and edit more and more vocals until I’m satisfied with the vocal arrangement… The vocal arrangement is often the most important part of the production to me. For this EP, after the secluded part of the production was over, I brought in some other musicians to the project, some from Turkey, some from the States… I did an additional synth recording session at Virtue & Vice Studios in Brooklyn, for example, just to replace some bass sounds and add more analog synth layers in general. But there was a lot of back and forth, it was a learning process. I’m working on some new songs right now and the production ideas are coming a bit more easily this time around.

 

 

Who did you first show ‘Free Fall’ to?
I think it was Ethan Schiff, Betty Who’s manager. He’s one of my best friends from Berklee.

 

 

You’re also set to release your new EP soon, what can you tell us about it?
Every song represents a theme I discovered while in the process of falling for someone throughout my life. “Dancing Into Life” is about being intrigued by that one stranger and developing the courage to follow through. “Eclipse” is about falling in lust, and how abstract that whole concept can be, especially when it involves someone who doesn’t quite fit into my reality. “Love In The Dark” is about meeting that one person I was afraid of finding because I knew as soon as I did, I’d fall hard for him- and having been burned before by past disappointments, I’d be a bit hesitant to open up, all the while knowing that the mystery of it all would be half the fun of falling in love. And “Free Fall” is about recalling that very first experience of falling for someone after all these experiences, when it was all new and I had no idea what love even was.

 

 

Describe each track in three words.
“Dancing Into Life”: Intrigued, Carefree & Ready
“Eclipse”: Lost, Passionate & Reckless
“Love In The Dark”: Hesitant, Vulnerable & Hopeful
“Free Fall”: Innocent, Beloved & Happy

 

 

Do you play any instruments?
I play the piano to write and produce music.

 

 

Who are your influences?
Björk, Grimes, Sigur Ros, Flume, Odesza, Purity Ring
 

How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I usually write down lyrics here and there when they come to me. Same thing with melodies: I usually think of a line out of the blue, with melody and lyrics, and I immediately sing it into my iPhone. Sometimes some of these ideas get stuck in my head and I feel the urge to complete them. And sometimes I sit down to write, go through all the ideas and pursue the one that stands out to me the most.

 

 

Do you have any gigs coming up? If so, where will you be heading?
I’m playing the Summer Streets Festival on August 12. It’s a 30-min morning set, in Midtown Manhattan, starts at 10:20 am I believe. Follow my social media pages for updates- details coming soon!

 

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Working on my project on a bigger scale, touring, recording, collaborating with musician friends, all over the world.

 

 

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Recording vocals for jingles, working at a part time day job to stay afloat, supporting other music industry friends’ projects, cooking, doing yoga, taking solitary walks (while listening to a new album each time), knitting

 

 

 

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“It’s going to be an uphill battle, every step of the way.”

 

 

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
“It’s going to be an uphill battle, every step of the way.”
I really believe it comes down to who survives in this industry. You need to have the talent, the means and the drive. But you need to understand the business too, and be very, very patient.

 

 

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Stay positive.
I’m moody as hell, so I have to keep reminding myself of the necessity of staying positive on a daily basis.

 

 

You get off a plane in your hometown,

1/ where is the first place you visit? The Bosphorus. I usually go to Bebek or Ortaköy.
2/ what is the first place you see? After the airport, straight to my parents’ house. They live in Istanbul (European Side).
3/ what is the first restaurant you go to and what do you get? Usually a seafood restaurant by the Bosphorus. I love Turkish anchovies. If they’re in season, that’s what I get.

 

 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram 
Soundcloud
Youtube
Spotify
iTunes / Apple Music

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