- Sierra Lundy - ocie elliotT -
1. Did you grow up on the island? (If no, when did you make the island your home?)
I grew up on Salt Spring Island, which is a smaller and slightly stranger version of this one. I floated around for quite a few years pursuing multiple art forms before moving here about two years ago to focus on music.
2. What influenced you to start writing and creating music?
Both my parents and most of my siblings are artists, so I think the influence to create has existed for as long as I have. I wrote my first song when I was a kid, after being really upset about losing my first tooth — and I remember thinking, “wow, this feels even better than crying and throwing fits.” Little spurts of influence came throughout several life experiences, but my biggest influence, which came more recently into my life, would be my boyfriend and music partner, Jon Middleton.
3. What is your favourite part about performing?
Getting to show up as whoever I want to be in the moment, whether it’s outrageous, moody, humorous or vulnerable… it always changes depending on who I’m performing in front of, and the atmosphere. Often with live music it's the relationship between the audience and the performer that becomes the determining factor in the outcome of the performance — the greater the connection, the more important the music becomes. I play in a band called Ocie Elliott with my partner, and it’s also exciting to see what kind of energy between us will come out on the stage as well.
4. What goals do you have for the immediate and distant future?
I’d like to immediately be able to pay rent (I’m accepting donations, by the way). I’m kidding, I just want to make music that means something to someone. It’s so important in life to have a song you feel really attached to… the kind of song that actually becomes a secret friend; someone you can go to if you need to nestle in some self pity or even just bust out some moves and shake off some energy. If I could write a song that can be that someone for somebody, I wouldn’t need much more.
5. Have you ever found being a female artist can be challenging? Have there been times that you weren't taken seriously because of your gender?
I wouldn’t say so. I think being a female musician can definitely have its challenges, but I think males have obstacles as well — just different ones. It's an extremely competitive industry, and all artists need to demand respect to be taken seriously, regardless of their gender. Having said that, gender discrimination is a real problem that I have both experienced and witnessed... we have miles and miles to go, but we have come a long way and I feel so fortunate for that.
6. Do you remember the first gig/show you've played? Where/when?
I sang a lot in choirs and plays as child and adolescent, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I mustered enough courage to do my own thing. I played with two of my best buddies, Arlo and Clay, at a festival my mom and step dad host annually, called Donkey Fest. And it was terrifying.
7. What advice would you give to young girls wanting to start out a music career?
Stay true to what you want to say, and don’t be afraid to be different.
8. As a photographer involved in the music scene, I love the idea of shining light on the other female artists in the Victoria music scene. What are your thoughts about the idea of this project?
Beautiful idea — there are so many talented musicians on this island. Shine on!