18-year-old singer/songwriter Sydney Sherwood began singing and playing guitar as a way to express her emotions after her brother was diagnosed with cancer.
Since her brother’s diagnosis, being a childhood cancer advocate has become a big part of Sydney’s life. She has performed and spoken at many childhood cancer events over the past twelve years and continues to be a voice for all children with cancer, as well as their siblings.
Sydney began writing her own music when she was 13, and on March 3, 2019, she released her first EP, Beauty from Ashes. Her release show was held at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. In 2019, Sydney also received a golden ticket to Hollywood from American Idol celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.
Over the course of the pandemic, Sydney has been writing and recording her new album, Headspace, which will be released February 27, 2021.
Sydney’s goal is to touch the lives of others through the music that she writes, as she takes inspiration directly from her life experiences.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or
I just released “Creep” and “Let Me Down,” which are the two singles from my
upcoming EP “Headspace,” that will be out on my birthday, February 27th! I also
released the lyric video for “Creep” and more cool videos are on the way!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
I feel like I always sang when I was little but I officially started playing guitar and
singing when I was ten. I was very shy about it and I wouldn’t let anyone hear me play.
It wasn’t until I was around thirteen where I started to get serious about music. I started
writing songs, performing when I could, and eventually started to record. I’ve been
hooked ever since and now making music is one of the top priorities in my life.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
I think that the images that my music conveys are strength and perseverance. A lot of my
music is about things that I’ve overcome in my life.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
My current music career goals are to keep writing and recording and release more music
than I ever have in previous years as well as to go out and play more (once Covid allows
of course!). My ultimate goal is to open up for someone/go on tour!
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a
I really don’t think I can choose! There is nothing more amazing than playing live and
having the crowd singing and engaged, feeling that energy- it’s literally the best thing in
the world. There is also nothing better than writing and recording. When I write and
record I am fully relaxed and in my element. I love the process of writing to recording, to
releasing and it’s also one of the best feelings to see where the song started and where it
ended up. I’m gonna have to take the easy way out and say both.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they
All of my songs are written and taken directly from my personal experiences but the most
prevalent topic of my music would have to be anxiety. I have had anxiety all my life and
while it has been one of the hardest things to deal with, I take the greatest inspiration
from it. Writing about this topic is really one of the most freeing things for me because I
get to take those emotions and how I was feeling and channel them into something positive.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
The single most important thing to me as a musician is to stay true to myself and my
values. I never want to and could never compromise and be something I’m not. I would
never want to be a sellout or make music that didn’t mean something to me, even if it
meant I could get famous. My songs are true to who I am and I am true to myself and that
is how I always want it to stay!
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your
I haven’t gotten too many strange requests thank goodness, but I think the strangest was
when this person asked me to sign across the front of their whiter than white t-shirt while
it was on them LOL!
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock
My family is so supportive of my choice to be a musician. In fact I literally would not be
where I am today if it wasn’t for them. They believe in me so much and have done
everything they could to make my dreams a reality. I’m really blessed to have them and
couldn’t imagine life without them!
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
For anyone who is trying to get started, my biggest advice would be to just start. It
sounds so cliche and simple but seriously you can be your own worst enemy and critic.
You can so easily stop yourself from doing things that you’re scared of or because you
feel you might fail and you just have to go for it. And when it comes to the fear of what
others are going to think, people will always meet you with criticism and negativity but
push past all of that and go out and make that dream a reality. If you’re passionate about
being a musician, don’t let anyone deter you from wanting to pursue that.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
My favorite song to sing live is actually a cover: Zombie by the Cranberries. That song
always gets people to rock out and I love it. I also love this kind of energy rush I get on
stage when I’m singing that song.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
I’ve been a Daughtry fan for a while and Chris Daughtry is one of the main reasons I got
into music. Before I could even play guitar, I used to grab my dad’s guitar (which was
left-handed, I’m right-handed lol) and pretend to play their songs. Daughtry has been a
really influential band in my life and my style musically (and specifically Chris vocally),
and I think they really made me realize that I wanted to be a musician. Fast forward to
today, I’ve gotten to work on this record with Brian Craddock who is their guitarist. He’s
become a great mentor and friend and it’s really cool to be able to work with someone
you’ve looked up to for so long!
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the
Wow, this is an awesome question. My dream tour would be to play with Daughtry and
Scott Stapp. That would be so sick.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
I think my greatest accomplishment so far was playing at the Stone Pony for my EP
release in 2019. I have played out before but that was my first real show and the whole
place was packed with people. So many great artists have played there so it was awesome
to take that stage. That was one of the best days of my entire life.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think
you would have?
If I wasn’t a musician I would definitely be a makeup artist.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
To be honest, I’m really not a fan of a lot of the mainstream pop music that is being put
out today. I feel like everything you hear on the radio has really strayed away from
meaning and is just mindless. It’s all about what sells today with no personal connection
and I don’t love that. However, I am very impressed with the current rock scene. Bands
like Greta Van Fleet, Blacktop Mojo, and Aranda really give me hope for bringing back
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to
know about you?
I think someone would be surprised to know that sometimes I get uncomfortable or
anxious in social situations. It’s actually crazy because with performing in front of a
thousand people I won’t get nervous but everyday interactions can give me anxiety. For
instance, if I go into a store and need someone to reach something on the shelf for me, I
have to work up the courage to ask that person for help. I am totally a people person and I
love to talk to people but sometimes with people that I don’t know I can be really timid
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out
I just want to say thank you to my fans for your constant support! You guys are amazing
and with every release, I feel the love and appreciation you guys have for my music and
it’s incredible. If there’s one thing I want to promote it’s just to let people know that you
are never alone in what you’re going through. Being someone who has struggled with
anxiety, depression, and PTSD, some days can feel dark, but there is always that light at
the end of the tunnel and there is always hope.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!