Artist Interview: “Happy To Be Here” by SIESKI

Q: So lovely to meet you! I love the vibe of “Happy To Be Here”; the compelling instrumental and your unique and beautiful vocals bring the track together flawlessly. What was your creative process in making the track?

SIESKI: The song is really inspired by those long, winding drives next to the ocean by the mountains – the sun peaking through the trees in motion, or coming out onto a clearing of open, wide horizon. Also, the transition from sunset into twilight is my favourite time of day. I always feel like it’s when magic can happen. It’s dreamy, yet mysterious. Everything feels beautiful, almost like the earth is charged or vibrating from the day. The songwriting started with a dreamy keyboard synth pattern that runs throughout the track. I then layered in many lush bells, followed by vocals. I also knew I wanted the chorus to really open up in a way that feels like you have just stepped out of your car onto a breathtaking view spot. I worked in tandem with producer Josh Eastman (Helm Studios) who crafted the bass, electronic drums, and live drums that really bring the song to this alt-pop, dancey vibe.

Q: Did any real-life events that inspired “Happy To Be Here” occur in your life?

SIESKI: Growing up in a smaller town in BC, I used to love driving my 1996 Volvo sedan around the twists and turns of the windy beach roads. I took solace in nature and driving in scenic places. I’ve always found it to be soothing, and a place where I can gather my thoughts, find clarity in my emotions, and connect to the natural rhythms around me. I’ve struggled with anxiety, and arguing with the judgemental voice in my mind; the voice who is full of fear, overanalyzes, and always puts up a fight. This voice is, however, combated when I can ride it out and let it pass, always leaning into what feels good and what grounds me. This song speaks to good-feel sensations, finding a present connection to self and what’s around me.

Q: I’m always curious about an artist’s journey of getting to where they are today. Do you remember who first got you into music? Was your family musical growing up?

SIESKI: Music has always been my way of processing feelings and emotions and making sense of my experiences. I grew up in a musical household, and I trained in multiple performing arts forms: dance, piano, choir, and theatre. I first fell in love with singing in a choir setting when I was 6. Around age 11, I started to write original, instrumental piano tunes. I began incorporating lyrics in my teens, and as a young adult, my musical styling and storytelling became clearer, as I was influenced by my undergrad in York University’s BFA theatre program. As an actor, I told other characters’ stories, which inherently, involves understanding my own story – relationships, motivations, dreams and desires. Music has always been, and continues to be, my way of emotionally journaling, and I really love the craft of sound.

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a musician?

SIESKI: It’s something I’ve always been doing, but after I graduated from theatre school, I felt an intense draw to pursue music professionally. Combining elements of theatre with musical stylings, I think that music has allowed me to explore my identity most authentically. My love of artistic creation and performance runs deep.

Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three albums with you, which would they be and why?

SIESKI: Ooo, the deserted island question – very hard to narrow it down to three. I’d probably take 1. Aromanticism by Moses Sumney – this album makes me melt every time I listen. There’s something so simplistic, yet beautiful, and nostalgic. The vocal layering is *chefs kiss*. 2. The Fame Monster (Deluxe Edition) by Lady Gaga – this whole era of Gaga is incredible, and I’m going to need something to dance to. Lastly, I’d probably say 3. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire – this is still one of my favourite albums. It came out when I was a teenager and going through lots of changes, figuring out who I was.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received about the music industry, and how has it helped you navigate your journey so far?

SIESKI:  There’s a few notions I come back to. 1. Despite the noise, always trust yourself and your artistic vision. 2. If you are clear and specific about your story and your message, it will land with an audience. 3. Use everything in your wheelhouse (all skills and attributes), to consider all facets of a concept, or how to portray that vision or story.

Q: Jumping off the last question, what advice would you give to other up-and-coming artists?

SIESKI: Find joy in what you do, do what feels good, make the art you want to see in the world, and be authentic. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. I’d also suggest producing your own shows!

Q: Thanks for speaking with me! Tell everyone reading what’s coming up next for you.

SIESKI: I am releasing a few more singles this Fall, along with an EP in early 2024. The full album will be next on the agenda.

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano


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