Chatting with Falon Sierra is a refreshing dose of real. The “Alternative R&B/Electro Soul” artist only started playing her own music about two years ago, but she’s already made a splash in the Seattle music scene. This week I spoke with the musician about the meaning behind her track “Sprained Ankles,” how she exudes confidence on and off stage, and being a queer woman of color.
What inspired you to start playing music?
My family is full of singers. My mom was a big influence on me she was always playing R&B music; that was definitely her first love and she passed that down to her children. I’ve always been singing and I’ve always wanted to be a singer. My mom says I started singing when I started talking and what’s funny is my son is starting to sing too and he just started talking! (Runs in the family, see?) I didn’t start really playing my own music until about two years ago. I was really nervous to share my own lyrics and share my own songs with people, I thought that I wasn’t good enough. One day I decided that I didn’t care what anybody thought and that I have to do what I love and I had to express my story and my truth.
What’s your approach to composing songs? Do you do everything solo or collaborate with other musicians?
My approach to composing songs varies, I usually need a beat first and then I kind of feel out the vibes of what I hear and then I write whatever it is that I feel. On my newest project, I produced my own song. I started playing a little piano key and then the words just started flowing; that was the first time that I had ever produced my own song. I feel kinda proud about that, haha. As far as collaboration, when it comes to production I collaborate with other musicians a lot. I usually like to have different styles of music for every song; I get bored really quickly so I need different vibes.
What inspires your lyrics?
What inspires my lyrics is life. I just go off of what I feel; that’s probably why most of my songs are sad. I’m usually sad with a deep love in the mix.
I was watching your in-studio session at KEXP earlier; how was that? Were you nervous?
My in-studio session at KEXP was really cool! It was my first one and I was very nervous, I got to do it because I was a part of MoPop’s SoundOff! competition! I’m really excited forÂ April 21st because I get to perform at KEXP for the second time and do songs off of my next EP “Fight The Numb.”
This in-studio will be different because I am going to have some guests come and perform and no one has ever heard these songs!
I was really nervous to share my own lyrics and share my own songs with people, I thought that I wasn’t good enough. One day I decided that I didn’t care what anybody thought and that I have to do what I love and I had to express my story and my truth.
I couldn’t even tell you were nervous, you exude such confidence when you perform! What are your tips for owning it on (and off) stage?
Really I think confidence is the ability to be comfortable. I didn’t use to feel that comfortable on stage I use to be a lot more shy, and now I really just forget about everyone. I try to think about what I’m singing and why I wrote the lyrics and I try to dig deep every time I perform. I don’t practice that much because you can’t practice how you’re going to feel on stage. I think the key is to just let go and vibe it out.
Your song “Sprained Ankles” was also selected as KEXP’s Song of the Day. What’s that song about?
Sprained ankles is basically about my last, very toxic, abusive relationship. It was on and off for about two years and it was like a long sick game. We were both doing things to each other that we knew we hated and then we would hurt each other over and over, and turn around and love each other. We would sabotage each other and say that we would die without each other just to hurt each other again. It was just crazy! That’s where sprained ankles came from. My ex is in jail now so now I’m in this really weird space of creativity and a sort of happy depression.
This next EP is very open and shows sort of my pain and growth and sexuality through everything that has happened.
You’ve performed with some killer musicians. Who are some of your favorite PNW musicians our readers should check out?
My favorite musicians in PNW are Jamel, Stas Thee Boss, Donormaal & Shabazz Palaces.
What’re your plans for the future?
I like to think that I have plans for the future, but I sort of don’t, LOL. My hope is that I just get a really good team behind me and I get help with sort of the big take off of my career. I feel like I’ve done as much as I can personally and I am really ready for some help in the “take off” part of it all.
I don’t practice that much because you can’t practice how you’re going to feel on stage. I think the key is to just let go and vibe it out.
What does feminism mean to you and why is it important?
Feminism to me means freedom. Freedom and equality. It’s important to me because I am a Queer woman of color and I don’t want to be looked at negatively because of that.
Stay tuned for Falon’s upcoming EP “Fight the Numb” and upcoming in-studio at KEXP in April!
Also published on Medium.