In New York, New York, The Big City of Dreams, Vocalist Sayonne is Marking Her Territory
5 Bars Records recording artist, Sayonne is a contralto vocalist that can rise to an acid timbre effortlessly. She chants with a deep and sultry range that adds fascinating spice to her popish and Caribbean like melodies. For instance, her newest single, Hot Sauce strikes hard from the first line. It’s an upbeat jam that immerses pop with dance. “Hot Sauce” is the perfect workout song that’ll get your juices flowing, while motivating you to get over the hump and into the next set of exercises. Sayonne released the song on April 7th to liven up the spirits of people suffering from the repercussions of the national lock-down across the globe brought on by COVID-19.
“I have a small and mighty music team,” Sayonne talks about the production team that made her songs pop. “I’m so grateful for my producers Faraoh Black and Jackies Boy. We all worked on the songs, Hot Sauce, Boyfriend Material, Tick Tac Toe and Thirsty. Those songs are unreleased at the moment. Like I said, Faraoh Black and Jackies Boy, we created wonderful music together before the Coronavirus.”
The native of New York began singing on the choir at the age of three. She’s been singing ever since. Sayonne says that when she crossed over into R&B from the spiritual side, it was an easy transition. The singer is born into an enriching family of musician’s and songsters that helped to guide her into being the fashionable shining star that she is today. “My music is still inspirational. I don’t think I ever left the forefront of church,” she explained. “My music is feel-good. You can still find inspiration, and that’s of direct relation between gospel music and the music I’m doing today. The great thing is that they are both motivational.”
What are you doing to prevent cabin fever during this pandemic self-quarantine?
I did a live today where I call it Hot Sauce Palooza. I do weekly episodes, where my fans tune in twice a week on IG, FaceBook, and YouTube. I let them know what’s going on. We vibe out to my past songs and my newest songs. I give them a sneak peek of songs that I’m planning to release. I just haven’t released them due to the pandemic that we’re all adjusting to, so that’s been keeping me busy. Once I finish the episode, I’m thinking about uploading it to YouTube, but for now its only live and I let people know that they can tune in every week at three o’clock eastern time, twelve o’clock pacific time, and eight o’clock United Kingdom time because I have people tuning in from the UK. We vibe out and I answer questions and let people know how I’m spicing up my quarantine life. I let them get to know more about me and whatever else they feel like talking about to release and relax their mind and tension from what we are all suffering through, the Coronavirus.
“Is Hot Sauce Palooza” a spinoff from the song “Hot Sauce?”
Yeah, it’s a play off my song, and it’s because we are all stuck inside and we’re all bored. They’ve gone through every single movie on Netflix, HULU, and the HBO series. They are tired of watching TV. They are tired of playing video games, and all these other things. They need to find a new way to be interactive and connect with the community, with artist. That’s the reason Hot Sauce Palooza was created, so we can connect virtually and vibe out. We can all take a break from the TV. We can all take a break from playing games and maybe reading a book unless you’re doing remote learning. I understand what’s going on but lets just all party together with Hot Sauce Palooza. Hot Sauce Palooza is a correlation between my song and a party.
Tell me about your single entitled Boyfriend Material. What experiences, if any, provoked that song?
So, Boyfriend Material is unreleased. There is inspiration behind that song. It’s just everyday life. It’s a homegirl like myself, SAYONNE from New York, and just growing up in a spiritual life. We date with our partners, our boyfriends or whatever. We’re in relationships. We’re out of relationships. It’s a roller-coaster of love, and falling out of love with Boyfriend Material, in this song, I’m laying down my standards. I’m giving you guys a little insight on my relationship journey. That’s what Boyfriend Material is, it’s just my way to help inform you of a new way of getting things, to find out who you’re interested in, and just having standards for yourself. As we get older, young women, we forget that we are worthy enough. We are deserving. We are Queens and we are Kings. We don’t need to be mistreated in any way. We don’t need to be degraded or talked down to—we are worthy of love and we are worthy of self-love, first. Then, of course, love from a partner. The record is my way to share with people, or show them how to circle around and find love in their life, hopefully.
Describe your unique sound.
My musical style is R&B Pop. If you are referring to past works that I’ve released, like last year I dropped an EP called 2 Worlds. We have a lot of different songs on that EP. We have 6 Ignited, which is an afro-fusion. Some people say it’s afro beats, Caribbean and a tropical vibe, so it’s a lot of infusions in that one song. Then, you have 2 Worlds (Remember), which is strictly R&B. Now, today, we got Hot Sauce, which is a dance vibe, bounce song. It’s a lot of different things going on. Every year, and every couple of months, I change the flavor, but mostly I stick to my core, which is R&B pop.
I’m glad you mentioned that about 2 Worlds (Remember). I watched that video where you were paying homage to all the creatives before you. Why was that important to you?
That was important to me because you have to salute the people who paved the way and I’m a new up-and-coming artist, and it’s important for me to know that I didn’t just break the walls down. I didn’t put the pavement down. The pavement was laid before me from all these creative minds and these artist, these wonderful legends. It’s important to somewhat, dedicate my new music and my work to them. In a sense, they are mentors. In a sense, they are the people I look up to and draw inspiration from, so it’s only right for me to honor them in that way and especially the ones who have passed on, and the ones who have passed on recently. They are so creative collectively. Collectively, they inspire so many people. They impact so many people till this day. I can only hope to reach that level of artistry where I can touch that many people with my music and my words.
I think you have and you will continue to do so, and that brings me to my next question. Working with Mr. Ellerbee at Double XXposure Media, that has brought out a different type of artistry with regards to artist development and things like that. Do you think that by working with him, it grew you a little as an artist. Should up-and-coming artist use that old-school method of artist development?
Shout out to my mentor, Mr. Angelo Ellerbee from Double XXposure media. I’ve worked with Mr. Ellerbee since I was about 15 or so. I started really young. I thank him for seeing my potential because, you know when you’re young and starting off in the business, you don’t really know you need to be guided along the way, because you don’t know what your sense of direction should be and Mr. Ellerbee, he held my hand. He walked me across that yellow brick road, and said, “This is your journey. This is your path that you’re going to be taking. Here is your artists development. We’re going to strengthen your vocals. We’re going to put you in voice training. We’re going to put you in dance class. We’re going to strengthen your dance capabilities. We’re going to strengthen your speech. I’m going to teach you how to talk.” All these different things that you don’t see happening till this day, a lot of labels and other musical companies, they’ve abandoned the old school way of developing artist. There is no artist development anymore. They want you to come ready-made. They want you to be the full package. They don’t want to do all the work that is required to build an artist to the level of success as Beyoncé, as Toni Braxton, as Cardi B., and all these people, who are up there in the music industry. So, I thank Mr. Ellerbee for taking me up ladder, the ladder to success and really, really, nurturing my gift and honing in to my talents and not self-doubt, especially as a young girl growing up in this music industry. We have a lot of self-doubt and we are not sure if this is the right road for us so we’re not sure if we’re not good enough. We get backlash from common people. You get a lot of different commentary so it’s really nice to have the support team, and that’s Mr. Ellerbee from Double XXposure, my family, my mother, father, my brother and everyone else involved. My family supported me throughout my music career in just honing in on my talents, and helping me be secure in this music industry and just continuing to help me pave my own career.
Who would you like to perform with?
There’s a lot of people that I’d love to perform with to be honest for many different reasons. I’m a person that loves to learn from other artist. I love to grow. I just love expanding my artistry. I see that I can expand my artistry by learning from and performing with artists like Beyoncé. I just really love her workmanship. I have not seen any artist compare to her level of work ethics. I love her performance quality. I would love to perform with her and expand my artistry by commanding the audience, and just giving a great show. I’d love to perform with Taylor Swift. She just knows how to write the pop songs that are just catchy, and it’s simple. I would love to perform with artists like that and many others. There are too many to name.
Were you stretched as an artist at any point in your career? Did anything ever challenge you to push harder or go harder.
Yeah, so, every time you do a show as an artist, you want it to be better than your last, so preparing for a new show may stretch you as an artist. For me, I like to hold myself to a higher standard. I want to perform a good show. I really want everyone to leave the room, stadium and the theater feeling good. I want people to leave with some kind of inspiration in some form. That is my ultimate goal every time I perform, and because of that high standard, I’m stretched preparing for a new show. It’s a brand new experience, show, day, new music, and brand new outlet. Those are the things that stretch me as an artist, but not in a bad way. It’s a good stretch that every new artist should go through. I think it’s necessary because that means, you’re passionate in your field. That means that you really care about what you’re doing and how it impacts the people that are in-tune to your artistry. I think it’s a great stretch. I think everyone with a creative mind, they should stretch themselves creatively.
Tell me something about you that people wouldn’t know.
That’s tough. Oh, I know. I am a musician. I started singing at the age of three and then later on I picked up the piano and then I picked up other instruments. I used to play in a band and things like that. I’m not just a singer. I’m really an artist who loves music in all forms. I’m an artist who loves to grow and learn more about how I can be a better musician and a better artist. One way that you can be a better musician and a better artist is to grow and stretch yourself musically. If you are a songwriter, pick up an instrument. Pick up a piano, or pick up a guitar. Trust me, you will hear new melodies. It’s a great way to open your mind as an artist. It helps me to write better and things like that. I am an artist that uses other instruments to her advantage, to write music and things like that.
How do you conquer fear?
Faith—faith conquers all. I know some people are not believers, and I’m not trying to convince anyone to become a believer right now, but my faith has brought me through a lot of different things. It’s helped me maintain my sanity in this music industry. It’s hard and it gets tough the further you get in this industry, but I’m grounded. I’m grounded by my faith, I’m grounded by my family and I’m grounded by my team, Mr. Ellerbee from Double XXposure, and everyone else who worked with me to help me provide music and other outlets, videos and things like that. My way of conquering fear is faith. Like the bible says, “You walk by faith and not by sight.” Walk forward. Fear is just a word. That’s all it is.
Are you part of anything philanthropic?
There are college kids that haven’t received refunds, especially the ones in the dorm. I’ve been using my voice to speak out on their behalf. I’ve been signing petitions and sharing their things on Facebook. I’ve been sending emails to help them get the funding that they need. We’re all struggling financially, and I don’t think it’s right for students to have to carry another burden by being held to paying the full amount for their dorms that they aren’t living in.
If you enjoyed this write-up and want to know more about the singer, or if you just want to connect to refreshing vibes, visit Sayonne: