- Words Notion Staff
After a stellar year, Australian singer, producer and artist, Sycco, chats to Notion about her latest track "Jinx", how she came up with her name, and what's next.
Brisbane-based First Nations singer-producer Sycco (real name Sash McLeod) has achieved an impressive amount at just 20 years old. Gaining tens of millions of streams after the success of her breakout EP, aptly named Sycco’s First EP, the artist embarked on her first solo tour in the UK and Europe in May and sold out her debut headline tour back in her homeland of Aus. Her success hasn’t gone unnoticed, as well as hopping on to support Glass Animals on the Australian leg of their tour later this year, Sycco was handpicked by Kevin Parker to support Tame Impala for their rescheduled 2022 tour dates – the stuff that indie dreams are made of!
Following on from the release of her psychedelic-leaning pop single “Superstar”, Sycco marks a new direction with the grittier “Jinx”, inspired by her time spent in the UK. Speaking on the new track, Sycco explains: ‘I was in my Charli XCX praise phase and in my feelings about leaving my UK family the next day, so I wanted to create something dark, melancholic, sad and quite stressful – I think the production reflects this, as well as the lyrics.’
Notion catches up with Sycco to discuss life on tour, her advice to other artists and how she avoids hemming herself in to any one genre.
Firstly, can you tell us the story behind your moniker ‘Sycco’?
I came up with the name Sycco during English class in high school. I was listening to Pink Floyd at the time and it blew my mind so I wanted to the name to be a reference to psychedelia. Psycho by Post Malone was out at the time – I didn’t want it to be related to that – so I spelt it like Syco but that didn’t look right so I added the extra c. I am an overthinker so obviously it was a lengthy process.
Your new track “Jinx” signals a change in direction musically for you. Was this a natural progression or a conscious one?
To be honest it’s not out of the ordinary for me. I get bored very easily so I have many sporadic moments with new songs and sounds. I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my music truly reflects my chaos & enthusiasm for the random & that it doesn’t have to be this one thing.
Do you think much about genre when making your music? Do you consider it a barrier?
I definitely don’t think about genre consciously when making music. There are sounds that I am drawn to naturally that tend to be in a pop world or psychedelic world but it is never a conscious decision.
How do you hope you make people feel when they listen to “Jinx”?
“Jinx” has always been my crying song. I don’t want people to cry (necessarily) but I do hope it evokes a similarly intense emotional response.
What were you listening to at the time of creating the track?
I was in the UK at the time and was very much in my Charli XCX phase. The beat in “Frail State of Mind” by The 1975 was a reference for Jinx.
What’s your favourite topic to write about at the moment?
I was just in the UK for about two months on tour & writing, so I seemed to be touching on topics about missing my friends and my safe space, but also love & happiness from being with family.
Looking back on your career so far, did you foresee your success?
I have been wanting this since I was a kid and manifested and worked so hard to make things become a reality. My music is still not where I want it to be, but I know there is a lot more I will uncover. It’s so exciting seeing this journey unfold.
What have been some of the biggest highs and lows for you so far?
I think after Covid I realised how special being at home is and how important friends and family are, so going on tour is sometimes super difficult. It’s a cognitive dissonance because tour is something I’ve always dreamt of, but I have learnt to appreciate and see how important those relationships are at home.
What would be your advice for artists starting out?
My advice would be to know what you want to do with your music. It’s something I’m working on at the moment & it’s really difficult to navigate it in this industry.
What can we expect from Sycco for the rest of 2022?
Hopefully some really fun shows & some more music. Maybe I’ll get dance lessons!