Sydney Robinson: For the Soul

Through music and poetry, Sydney Robinson has found her voice. In a world filled with uncertainty, in which vulnerability is constantly shunned and dismissed as a weakness, Sydney channels her openness into her writing. She is currently a student at The New School in New York. With the constant creativity of the city present on a daily basis, Sydney Robinson has painted her place in the world that she is proudly able to call her own.

I was fortunate enough to interview Sydney, proceeding to drown myself with her music for the days I spent interviewing her and editing this article. If you didn’t start reading this as a fan, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Sydney’s every word like I have. Interview by Wen Hsiao.

Lithium: Your two main forms of expressions are poetry and singing. What do you think is so unique about them and what sets them apart from each other?
Sydney: This is a really hard question because, for me, they're pretty similar! I guess the only real differences would be that my songwriting tends to be a lot stricter in form and rhyme. I find it easier to let lines of poetry just spill out, but then again, every so often a song will write itself in a matter of minutes. My word choice in song lyrics also tends to be a bit more conversational than my poetry. However, I've also written a poem about getting dumped in front of a Whole Foods and it's completely in my speaking voice.

Lithium: Where do you most often find inspiration for your creative pieces?
Sydney: I find most of my inspiration in nature and relationships, and the intersection of the two. I try to write from different points of view while still finding feelings from those perspectives that I (and hopefully others) can identify with.

Lithium: You’re currently in college (at The New School). What's your biggest takeaway?
Sydney: What I love about my school is that they encourage customizing your own education. At The New School, I'm able to design my own major, which is a big reason why I transferred here in the first place. Everyone is so creative and entrepreneurial, and it can be both disheartening and motivating. I think that's important, though.

Lithium: What is your favorite piece you've ever created?
Sydney: Page poetry is still relatively new to me, so I think that answer [has yet] to be determined. As for music, I don't think I could pick a specific song, but I'm really proud of my recent folk album, Rain on the River, that I made with my friends Tyler and Santi. It took a long time for me to write and release all of that music, and I feel it's the most accurate representation of myself both internally and as an artist. I'm extremely thankful I have that album now.

Lithium: To what extent do you think the artistic form of self-expression is able to benefit you?
Sydney: I honestly don't think I could function without music and poetry. I'm generally a pretty loud, happy person, but I've struggled a lot with anxiety and I've found that writing songs and poems really helps me make sense of what I'm feeling and experiencing. My art also allows me to connect with people in a somewhat mutually beneficial way, I think. It's like I get to vent to people who I feel are actually listening, and hopefully, they can relate to what I'm feeling themselves and they don't feel like they're just listening to some random girl [complain] about her problems, if that makes sense. So we're all helping each other in some way. Hopefully.

Lithium: If you had the opportunity to spread one single message to the world, what would it be, and why?
Sydney: Vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness! This is SO IMPORTANT!!!
Find out more about Sydney on her Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud!

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