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  • Writer's pictureTatum Van Dam

New Year, New Artist: An Interview With Sanniyah Antoinette

What do you get when you mix together screamo rap, alternative rock, and dark EDM?

You get Sanniyah Antoinette.

Sanniyah Antoinette is an artist and model who is transcending genres to create a new sound of her own, one that fuses an unlikely combination of sounds into something special. Don’t let the “dark” production style confuse you — the 21-year-old Philadelphia native’s lyricism intends to show others that, sometimes, it is okay to be a little bit different. With only four tracks released, Antoinette has already gathered over 50,000 streams, 2,000+ monthly listeners on Spotify, and has made her way into a number of popular playlists. She has even worked with a handful of brands including Hot Topic, Lush, and IHeartRaves. With a trajectory that only seems to be moving upward, Antoinette is one to keep on your radar.

What better way to start off the new year than to introduce some fresh, upcoming talent?

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Ambitious, Friendly, and Different

Who are your creative influences? How do they inspire you?

Prince has inspired me in many ways. I’ll never forget his “Purple Rain” performance at the Super Bowl XLI. The way that he took the stage with confidence wearing that Turquoise suit solidified that I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. He didn’t care about how people saw him. He did what HE wanted to do and wore what HE wanted to wear. I immediately asked my parents to enroll me into School of Rock Philadelphia to be around other musicians. I haven’t left the industry since.

How has your education in music business, entrepreneurship, and technology contributed to your career as an artist? Have you always known that you wanted to be an artist?

When I was little I would pick up bottles and bang them on surfaces to see what sounds they make. Music has been in my blood since I was really young, and attending that major just amplified it. Everyone at my college was so welcoming! My professors helped me and guided me to where I am today. I will go as far as to say that they played a huge part in my career! I’m currently a senior, and I put my first song out in June 2020. You might ask: “Why? Why wait until NOW to put out music when you had years to do it?” It’s simply because I was soaking up all the knowledge that I was being taught. My professors deserve so much credit.

Nowadays, genre-blending is becoming more and more common. How would you describe the sound/style of your music?

I never liked the idea of sticking to one genre. Why be pigeoned into one corner when there’s so many other amazing corners out there? If I were to pick one I would say Dark Pop. My music embodies all the genres that I love — Trap, Metal, R&B, and EDM. My sound is different, but I believe the world needs something different right now.

Describe your creative process.

I take aspects from my personal life and transpose them into melodies. My producer, Maezi Kacey, helps brainstorm the direction I want to go towards. Once we’ve found the direction, I sit and write my heart out. I never write music in a bright room. It has to be dim, or dark, to help my mind connect with the music.

While I’m listening to the song on loop, mumbles come to mind over the instrumental track. Once one clicks, I write the lyrics, record an outline, and send it over to my engineer, Hank Byerly! Then we record the vocals. After, it gets mixed and mastered and my baby is born!

Outside of music, what are you inspired by?

Fashion is a huge aspect of my life. Before I put out my first song I was modeling on social media. I use fashion as a way to express myself; it’s my other language.

Of your songs, which is your favorite?

“Crazy.” It was written at a low point in my life. Its meaning is that it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes. There’s a stigma behind people hiding their emotions so they won’t seem weak, and I want to break that cycle. I’ve been through so much in my life, and I was told that I had to keep my mouth shut. People don’t realize that when someone has a smile they could be frowning on the inside and you wouldn’t even know it. I used to think that I was crazy to feel happy one minute, then sad the next. I felt like I was alone and only had weed as my helping hand. When I realized that wasn’t true, “Crazy” was born. If I could help someone have the same realization, then my goal for that song is done.

You can send one message to your fans:

Never give up. Nothing is impossible! If you have your mind set on it, you can manifest it. There will be people that will try to bring you down but you CANNOT let them win. I always try to reply to as many DMs that I get from my fans when they need advice or encouragement.

What is something you accomplished in 2020 that you are most proud of?

Finally releasing my music has been the peak of my happiness in 2020. I’ve gone through so many dips and turns throughout the years and I’m glad to finally say that I finally have music out that I’m proud of.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

You can expect much more content and music! I have a couple tunes up my sleeve and dare I say an EP/Album? It’s going to be a hardworking 2021 for me and I can’t wait to show the magic I have tucked away!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I appreciate it!

Thank you for being my first ever musical interview! This means the world to me. I had a blast answering these questions! ♥

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