She released her first EP back in 2019, but it seems it’s now time for Nelson-based independent pop musician Sylvee to take a bow, with her pull-no-punches single Time For The Girls being featured on NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation this November.
Sarah Ryland. Born in Takapuna, Auckland but moved to Nelson when I was 10 and am now based here. I play the piano and the guitar, but am in no way an expert!
I took music my first year of high school, but was too shy and terrified of having to sing in front of people so didn’t continue. I didn’t tell anyone I could sing until about eight years ago.
Before Sylvee I released music along with Daniel Marchbank under the name Bank Land.
Sylvee was born as a way of me exploring my own creativity and sound. It was really a creative outlet for me while I was working on Bank Land stuff. It’s just me now, and I am loving having the freedom to create without limitations.
With Bank Land I started with more of an electronic sound. When I started exploring outside of that, everything was a lot more emotive, particularly with my first EP ‘Life On Mars’. These days I’ve been combining the emotion with more pop/alternative production and writing more about things I care deeply about.
I used to live on Sylvia Road in Northcote, Auckland. That house was always full of happy memories, and is where Sylvee came from. I think it really began around 2015.
I have had a couple of really cool syncs on a couple of US TV shows called ‘Walker’ and ‘The Republic of Sarah’.
It’s really an introduction to a new explorative sound for me. The topic of equal rights is also so important to me, which is why I also wanted to work with a female director for the video too.
We wrote the song about feeling tired of male domination. It’s a moment that sociologically feels like rebellion, but in actual fact is claiming pure equality. Women have been made to feel small all their lives, and with Time For The Girls, we’re letting you know that we’re not only done with that narrative, but we’re full of power, and we’re not playing around.
Definitely the drums in the second verse!
I wrote the song with Dan Martin and Mckenzie Comer in Auckland. Dan also produced it and did such an amazing job.
I hope that they feel empowered!
I think it’s important to love what you’re putting out, so if you’re obsessed with it, that’s a good sign.
I’m independent at the moment which I have actually been loving. For a long time I haven’t felt like I’ve had a lot of creative control. There are obviously merits to listening to advice from skilled professionals, but for now I’m happy sinking into the creative process, and making music that I love. I’ve learnt a lot about the way the industry works over the last year, and it’s been challenging, but so rewarding at the same time.
My EP is due for release early next year which I’m super excited about.
Time for the Girls actually didn’t get funding the first time we applied, so we applied again in the next round because we really believed in the track. It got accepted that time which was awesome. I think you really do need to back yourself up because no one is going to believe in your project more than you.
There are obviously a few things you have to tick off the list, and at the beginning, I didn’t have enough to pass. But the more you keep going, and achieving along the way, it tends to get easier to tick the boxes.
GRRRL is amazing! Coup De Main, and of course NZ Musician!
The video was directed by Ruby Harris who is one of my faves. She’s always so fun to work with!