Welcome to the first FemFocused on 2021! Please welcome Sanniyah Antoinette, a Philly-based model and musician from Philly. She recently dropped her first single, and is beginning to make a name for herself in the Philly music scene. In addition to being a singer, she has also worked with brands such as Killstar, Disturbia, Hot Topic, Lyft, Sephora, and Lounge Underwear as a model. Sanniyah can be found on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Spotify. Keep on reading for our interview below.
Welcome Sanniyah! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 21 year old musician from Philadelphia! Music has always been in my blood ever since I was young. When I was in middle school and high school I sang In my schools choir. Doing that everyday made me happy since is taught me how to layer harmonies and follow a melody. I ended up applying for School of Rock Philadelphia at the start of high school as a way to expose me to more musicians in the similar aspirations as me. That’s when I knew I wanted to take music with me in my back pocket all my life! I’m now a senior in college studying Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology. Being able to use all the information that I’ve soaked up in my life to apply to my music is the peak of my happiness and I cannot wait to see where that takes me.
You describe your music as dark trap – tell us more about that, and what your music creating process is like.
My music fluctuates back from Dark Trap to Dark Pop. With that being said, you can listen to my music and hear multiple different genres if you really dissect it! I always wanted to find a way to combine all my favorite genres into one because I don’t like being pushed to one corner. My music is different, but I think the world needs something different right now.
When it comes to creating a song I take aspects from my personal life and i turn it into melodies. My producer Maezi Kacey and brainstorm different ideas about the structure of the song that’s being created. She helps me brainstorm the direction I want to go towards ( slow and melodic, hype dance music, rage music, etc.)! Once We’ve found the direction it’s my turn to sit and write some of my thoughts onto paper. Sometimes I write a whole list of key words, and then I scratch off the ones that won’t feel right with the beat. I never write music in a bright room. It always has to be dim lights or even dark. It helps my mind connect with the music. While I’m listening to the song on loop record audio clips in logic of random melodic mumbles that come to mind over the instrumental track. I could do this all night and sometimes even days. Once one clicks I write the lyrics, and I record a rough outline so I can send it over to my amazing engineer and friend Hank Byerly! We meet up and he helps me record all my vocals for the songs. After all of that, it gets mixed and mastered and the cycle repeats itself!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I take a lot of my inspiration in general from Prince. He was the the one who solidified that I loved music so much at a young age. I remember watching him during the NFL Super Bowl XLI Halftime admiring his confidence and stage presence. During that whole performance my eyes was glued to the screen wishing that I was standing next to him singing Purple Rain in harmony. He’s my everything inspiration when it comes to fashion, rhythmic style, harmony placements, and many more.
As a woman in music, I would love to know what makes you feel strong when you’re performing.
Being a women in a music industry filled with men can hard at times. With that being said, I love it. Attending college based around the music industry really helped me a lot with understanding it a bit more. The way that j feel strong when I’m performing is leaving all my troubles, problems, and worries off the sidelines when I step into stage. It’s not like I make it set goal of mine, they just casually melt away. When I’m on stage I feel at home with myself like I was born to be doing what I’m doing now. I don’t let the stereotypes deter me from creating the type of music that I want to. I guess people look at females as “you’re meant to make pop, cheesy melodic melodies that would be perfect for Forever 21. Leave Metal, Trap, and Alternative music to us men.” Instead of taking that and listening to them, it fuels me to want to create my music even more.