Tuesday, 1 July 2014

"Electrolove" for Singapore

By Nadia Al-Insyiraah

Named Best Untapped Newcomer at the Calgary Folk Festival, Sidney York, an indie pop duo from Canada – no, they are neither from New York nor Sydney – popped by the sunny island of Singapore for Music Matters Live 2014. The unexpectedly bright and chatty girls, opera singer Brandi Sidoryk and bassoonist Krista Wodelet sat down with us and shared how they met and what they thought of this year's festival.

SIDNEY YORK: Krista Wodelt (left) and Brandi Sidoryk were in town for Music Matters Live 2014 held at Clarke Quay. Photo by: Nadia Al-Insyiraah

Back then, flight attendant Brandi Sidoryk was looking to recruit a bassoonist for her band when she encountered her soon-to-be music partner’s sister in an airplane.The two girls who lived parallel lives eventually met and that was when they realised that they had so many things in common.

“It’s really funny that we didn’t meet before that. We did a lot of the same things: grew up in Alberta before we moved and did a lot of similar activities in music as kids. We even ended up going to the same university in music school, but never met! So, we had a thousand mutual friends but somehow, my sister was the random encounter that brought us together!” stated Krista.

What began as a long-distance music-writing collaboration soon resulted in two individuals coming together to form a duo.

The three-hour time difference between Toronto and Calgary was never an excuse for Sidney York to produce subpar works together. They would write songs in their iPhones, transfer it to Garage Band and email each other back and forth. Plus, they would fly a four-and-a-half hour flight every two to three weeks to meet and get their songs done.

It was unusual for sure, but they mentioned that collaborating always came very naturally to both of them and they find it very easy to write together.

“We don’t sit down and say ‘we’re going to write songs together.’ We just did.”

This was the first time the duo visited Singapore and they were delighted to receive a very warm reception. They sang praises for the country and their fans, even mentioning that the artists from the Singapore music industry that they met have been “very welcoming”. When asked to pick their favourite acts that they had watched perform at Music Matters Live 2014, Brandi exclaimed that they are extremely in love with home-grown indie band, The Sam Willows, besides Season 3 Singapore Idol champion, Sezairi.

“Our friends who came over to Singapore last year told us that we need to meet The Sam Willows. We had a show with them yesterday and they were amazing! And for Sezairi, he is just the sweetest. We caught a few songs of his on the main stage too and he seems like such a great guy,” chirped Brandi.

The talented duo took the Fountain Stage of Music Matters Live 2014 on the 24th May, garnering a crowd of fans and passer-bys who was obviously charmed by their tracks. They flashed their instruments such as the ukulele- and for Krista, the bassoon, providing a refreshing visual due to the more obscure nature of these instruments as compared to, say, the guitar and the likes of it.

When asked for advice to give to budding musicians, the pair encouraged them to “just go for it”. They also mentioned that the music industry is known to be tough and “it is all about making a long string of fortunate mistakes to fully unleash one’s potential.” It takes a brave heart to be a risk-taker, but, like many other artists, Sidney York admitted that it was particularly challenging to get to where they are at today.

They can closely relate to rookie musicians who are afraid to let people listen to their music. There was a plethora of reasons, such as the initial fear of failure and rejection that held them back from taking up music as a career, but they strongly believed that it was important to push through all the challenges in order to reach success, or, at least- to where they are right now.

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