THIS is not the first time I have featured…
SIIGHTS on these pages. Toni and Mia talk about their current single, Alive, and what the story behind it is. They tell me how they got together and why Alive, with its anti-bullying message, is especially personal and relevant to them. The girls have had a busy week so I ask what come next and whether they have plans for later this year; the albums and artists that have inspired them most – and whether there will be tour dates upcoming.
I learn more about a fantastic and close duo who give me a view into their world and music life. They talk about a couple of artists we should check out; whether there is an E.P. approaching – and how their music has developed over the last few months.
Hi, Toni and Mia. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Sam. We’re really well, thank you. It’s been a hectic week; we just released a new track and have just got back from the U.S - so, it’s been a really busy one (which is great).
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. We are new duo, SIIGHTS; made up of Toni Etherson from Glasgow, Scotland - and Mia Fitz from Dublin, Ireland.
Alive is your new track. It has already gained applause and positivity. Is it exciting knowing your music connects with people?
It means a lot to us to get that feedback from people. We try to write about stuff that has happened to us personally - that we know might be relatable for others, too. It’s always going to be a scary process when you create something and then put it out there. At the moment, we’re doing everything ourselves - from the songwriting/recording and producing the record.
We’re so close to everything, creatively; it really is amazing to get such a positive reaction from people.
I believe there is an anti-bullying message and a need for positivity that runs through the song. Were there any other sources of inspiration and was it quite tough writing it?
Yes! we really wanted to share a message of hope and understanding to show people who’ve gone through any kind of struggle in life that they’re not alone. The video touches on some visual examples of personal struggle; the lyrics in the song explain the journey through reflecting on the situation – It’s about finding your inner-strength and realising you’re stronger than you think.
“I won’t speak your words” is a lyric in a song but, for us, it’s a statement for anyone who’s deciding they won’t be made feel less than they are - or made to feel like they don’t fit in. It’s about saying that you won’t conform to other people’s ideals of what or how they should live their life: you won’t believe any negative things other people may say about you; that you’ll think for yourself and just be yourself.
Most of all we just wanted to make a positive, uplifting song that empowers anyone who’s felt a bit low at any point in their life.
It has a different vibe to songs like Nobody Like U. Do you make sure each song has its own skin and identity?
I guess, with every new song we write, we’re trying to portray how we’re feeling in that moment as honestly and openly as we can. Production-wise, we have so many influences - and Alive was a new side of our coin that we haven’t really shown before.
So, it’s a great to be able to share that with everyone.
Do you think there will be an E.P. or album next year?
We have so much music. We’re currently in the studio at the moment, too. L.O.L.! So, we plan on getting as much of it out there as possible; whether in the form of an E.P. or album - both are definitely things we would like to do.
Take me back to the start and how you met? How did SIIGHTS come to be?
We met in L.A. Mia was on tour with Hozier and writing on her days off. I was out there writing for other people and we were introduced. We started out writing together for other people. It's crazy what’s happened since then. L.O.L.!
It seems like you have a sisterly bond! Is that one of the reasons the music sounds as tight and together, would you say?
I definitely think it helps...
When you’re creating music with someone, you definitely have to be on the same page and get each other’s vision. I think that’s the main reason we decided to start a project together in the first place - because we worked so well together writing in the studio...
It’s been such an amazing journey so far.
There are more all-female duos/bands emerging. Do you feel it is important more light is shone on female acts and why do you think there is a rise at the moment?
It definitely feels like there are more female acts around lately - which we think is amazing! In an industry that has always been very male-dominated: I think it’s great that young girls are able to identify with and have strong female role models in the industry - and not just as artists but as producers, recording engineers and musicians, also.
We think It’s important that equal light is shone on females in the industry (as it is on the men).
Are there particular artists that have inspired your sound? Who did you both grow up listening to?
Mia: Definitely. I find I’m constantly being inspired by different music and things around me. Growing up, I listened to a lot of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson; Fleetwood Mac and quite a bit of Folk music, also.
Toni: I would listen to Brandy and Christina Aguilera; Oasis - a real mix of stuff, to be honest. I really love Soul music but, once I learned to play the guitar, Oasis and The Verve took my interest for most of my teens. L.O.L.!
IN THIS PHOTO: Jaz Karis
What tour dates do you have coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We’ve just got back from L.A. and are back in the studio at the moment. We’re making plans over the next few months (for 2018) - as we’re excited to come play for everyone who’s supported us online from all around the world.
We can’t wait.
If you each had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Mia: Great question - and it’s a hard one. I’d have to say I really love the album Simple Things by Zero 7.
I think it’s quite timeless.
Toni: I was going to say Brandy - Never Say Never (but I know I’ve said that before). L.O.L.! So, I’m going with London Grammar - If You Wait
This is the soundtrack to my 2015 - 2016 travels; it’s what I listened to on every long-haul flight in and out of L.A on my first few trips there - and my life really changed then. Musically, it’s just brilliant and timeless.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Don’t give up, always believe in yourself; find influence in everything around you; don’t be scared to truly express yourself - and forget about what anyone else might think about you.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you both have plans already or will you be busy working?
We love Christmas.
We generally spend that time in the studio - and then we head home to spend time with our families, too.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Mia: X- Ambassadors – Gorgeous (Upstate Sessions)
Toni : Billie Eilish - Ocean Eyes