Making music should be a personal thing that we choose to share with the masses. There is no need to conform to the genres or sounds that the crowds currently listen to. Be brave enough to create your own sound. Make music for you and you will be surprised at how many people find it intriguing. Our recent discovery Sienná is the epitome of this.
We caught up with the innovative songwriter to get a peek behind the curtain. Enjoy the interview:
First off, tell us about the inspiration for the name Sienná?
Sienna is my unofficial middle name that I originally got from my grandfather. He was one of the motor specialists who traveled to Italy by boat in the 1940s. Japanese do not have or use a middle name. Though it´s now my artist name as if it was meant to be. “Á” is just to differ from many other Siennas.
How would you describe your music?
From the beginning, I called my music “east meets west”, which I think is still an accurate description. The music can be bizarre, abstract, logically Illogical, traditionally untraditional. Basically, whatever it works for it. So many music reviewers have called me a risk-taker. I believe my music has to be something that “only I” can create whether diamond or garbage – otherwise it loses the whole point. What do you think?
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
I adore and look up from my heart to Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Beatles and Frédéric Chopin. I´ve always dreamt of composing my music like them, and I´ll keep daydreaming of achieving their level of creativity and artistic expression until the day I die. I´m trying to grab a star far far away!
You are definitely testing genre norms with your music. How have the listeners accepted it?
The listeners loved it or hated it – maybe not much in the middle. I´m like the nerd in a classroom, so I was always prepared that I wouldn´t get praised by the majority. But surprisingly, artists and musicians tend to like, or at least understand what I do most of the time. I think globalization has also contributed a lot to increase tolerance level for something different in general. Overall I´ve been encouraged a lot more than I expected – unexpectedly.
How does a song come together for Sienná? What is your songwriting process?
We all must start from “something” – and it really varies what kick-starts the whole process. I usually start from many weird electronic sound-fragments, and come up with a concept or image through match-making between the fragments and my mind. Sometimes it happens within a minute, sometimes takes several months. Thereafter, I just follow the natural flow, and finish it when I feel like it´s finished. I´m a prototypical introverted songwriter in a bedroom, and I can relate to Pablo Picasso´s words: “Painter paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.”
What do you hope the listener takes away from your music and performances?
I would be very happy and privileged if my music could remind the listeners of something or someone special in their lives – like beautiful moments they have seen and experienced through my soundscapes. Maybe memories, feelings, sceneries, sensations, vibrations or anything that speak for themselves. I have my own messages to tell through the music of course, although it´s completely up to the listeners on how to perceive it.
Share some advice for other artists doing something different with their music?
One thing is for sure, life is too freaking short. So why not having fun in making the music that you love in the first place, not necessarily the music you “hope” people would like or buy. We all make music for different reasons. It´s nothing wrong about earning income. But how many of us today still remember how some major artists from 60s-80s brought us joy and excitement with their whole new original compositions when we were kids? Do you want to know happy I was when I finally could buy The Beatles album after sparing my pocket money for half a year? We all should keep in mind that music is spiritual, the music business is not.
What does the future hold for Sienná?
I don´t try to be excessively out on tour anymore. It doesn’t serve my purpose. Your body travels, but your mind doesn´t – it feels a bit like a virtual reality. Maybe a few exclusive performances, or maybe I would do something for live streaming. At this moment, I´m quite obsessed with songwriting and sound production. There´s something soothing about the creative process. An epoch ends every time I release an album. So I´m going straight into a new mind-set. Hopefully another new album with another new concept soon. I´ll see what the universe brings me.