Our second Artist of the Week is New York’s award-winning singer/songwriter Saniyé. She started writing songs and playing music at the age of 5, so it is no surprise that her emotionally driven and eclectic debut album “When I Don’t Sleep” made it’s rounds nationally and internationally with much success. Songs from the album played on Delta Airlines and are currently still playing in stores nationwide in the U.S. Most notably, Saniyé won her first major songwriting award with “Boom Sheke Nana,” a song that won the Grand Prize in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Both the song and the album were produced by Grammy-Award-winning producer, Henri Scars Struck.
Following the album’s release, Saniyé went on a thirty-city U.S. tour, headlined a sold-out show at Joe’s Pub in New York City and ended the tour by opening for multi-platinum singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb.
Saniyé describes the first album as a diary. “It was shy and exposed at the same time. Looking back I can see I was shedding my sadness and working through the loss of my father. My fun and bold spirit was a bit squashed after my father’s death. We lost him to cancer when I was very young. I’ve always felt a hole in my life as a result. Purging these emotions has helped me get back to my fun, flirty, mischievous essence.”
Saniyé has matured musically since then but hasn’t grown up in the traditional sense. “I never want to fully own the title ‘grown-up’. I think the magic of life is in play, mischief, and for me, music. I don’t think when we become a certain age we should have to abandon this side of ourselves. My music attempts to bring that out for all of us.”
“My new music is like a rebirth. I’m really expressing myself without the weight of loss and grief, shyness and insecurity. It’s just pure fun and it feels great to reclaim the childish, playful part of myself. My influences are other bold and playful artists who say what they want. Feminine but unapologetic about who they are.”