After a series of enchanting singles, the artist, performer, singer-songwriter, and activist Synead is making tremendous moves with an intensity incomparable to her previous work. Her latest single is called “Phase” which encapsulates her transitions through life. Brooklyn born and based, she has utilized the benefits of arts education and community building to move about in multiple facets of art, with acting, music, writing and dancing. Some would say this position of multi-talent could be difficult to manage or focus, but Synead never fails to envelope herself into a project to give it the life it needs.
The song has a quiet but powerful stance on the meaning of transition periods, and why changes don’t necessarily mean discarding versions of yourself. With slow, echoing beats that hit you at the core of her deep, ambient voice, the song journeys through different levels of abrupt movement. Here, there is a perfect balance between the autonomy of both the beat and the lyrics as they can stand alone but do each other justice when they are cohesive. The atmospheric variety Synead demonstrates plays off of her need for change and transition, to recognize that you don’t always have to be at a crossroads with your inner development.
The most intimate version of her music has emerged in these dark and interesting times. This reveals to us that we cannot expect from her, as a leader of a profound activist movement, that she must always assume that role. Instead, she pleads that her transition from activism to her music career should be seen as a welcoming sign to explore all parts of how you want to impact the world.
QL: So firstly, what was your main inspiration for your song “Phase”?
S: I was going through a series of changes & explorations when I wrote this. I was and still am finding where I stand with my own personal growth emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually, cognitively, etc…it’s truly an ode to the experiences we go through and how they change us. As things transform around us, it’s almost expected that we try to stay the same person. I don’t personally subscribe to that sort of mentality. As things change, so do I. And despite all the changes I know things will always be okay.
QL: Nice, I understand that completely. So, I’m aware that you’re a well rounded artist and also an activist. Do you think that the expectation of staying the same is like you having to pick what side of yourself you want to be? Or how you want to present yourself?
S: Despite the fact that it is all encompassing, I have found at times people wish that I choose one- be completely an activist or completely an artist. No real middle ground. I am an artist. I live and breathe creativity. Movement shapes the way I walk and feel the earth around me. Sounds impede the way I listen & speak; use my words. I present myself the only way I know how, as a human- someone who is flawed but also capable of greatness. I am a human and many of these aspects tie into my nature as such, you know? I’ve had many experiences that have made me that well-rounded individual. It would be a disservice not only to my growth but to what I believe to be the advancement of our society. I think I would want to present myself as the vehicle of artistic & social change: A Merger in its Physical Manifestation.
QL: Yes, I agree with that full-heartedly! I wanna ask, though, how do you see yourself manifesting, artistically and socially, in your future projects?
S: I am a black multidisciplinary artist. I am an actor, dancer, choreographer, vocalist, producer, writer, storyteller, and so much more. I see myself merging mediums to talk about the things most important to me: feminism, genealogy, the Afro diasporic experience, sexuality, identity (self/community/gender), queerness, etc…
Is there any specific way to share the story of my personal history or my community’s history/culture within these contexts? No. Not at all.
As playwright Getsethmane Herron-Coward wrote in her play BLANKS, “I am not invisible, I am hypervisbible.” If I am hypervisible and I have access to platforms that can influence/impact individuals, then I have not only a responsibility but a civic duty to bring attention to the social & political issues that not only affect me but all of us as a society.
I guess that’s the thing about art- it’s a means of challenging what we otherwise wouldn’t. I think that’s why I’ve finally started researching and exploring where I belong in the Performance Art realm.
Through means of movement, visual art, theatre, and sound, I’m looking forward to challenging the very ways in which we think. And in this current social and political climate we live in today, we need to be challenging ourselves to go below the surface and see what’s deeper at all times.
Check out the music video for “Phase” below!
Simone is a graduate from the theatre department at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. There, she was an actress as well as a costume, makeup and lighting designer. In addition to high school, she took drawing and painting classes at the Glassell School of Art, the youth program for Houston’s Museum of Fine Art. Currently, she is studying Arts Management at Pace University with a focus in Philosophy. She realized her true passion is helping humanity find it’s cultural significance. She believes everyone can contribute to this world creatively, and sustainably to inspire empathy and unity in one another. She assists Quiet Lunch with freelance writing and co-curating at the Yard.