Interview by Joanne Haner | December 23, 2022 | Photo courtesy of Sizzy Rocket
This interview has been edited for brevity & clarity.
Pop-rock singer-writer Sizzy Rocket sat down with HAZZE Media to talk about her fourth studio album, “Live Laugh Love,” which hit streaming platforms November 11.
How did you first find yourself getting into music?
Sizzy: When I was little, like three or four years old, I had such a bad stutter that I couldn't speak, and my parents took me to every specialist in the city and no one could figure it out. Then one day we had a piano in our house, and I just sort of went over to the piano and started playing and singing. And so my parents were like, “Wow, I think she needs voice lessons. Let's go,” and started from there.
I grew up in Las Vegas, and there was a little kids performance group workshop there called “Putting on the Kids.” Every Saturday we would learn cover songs like Brittany [Spears], NSYNC, Jessica Simpson – then every Sunday we'd go to the outlet malls and do our show and so that's kind of how I learned how to perform as a kid and just sort of fell in love with it.
What kind of artists first threw you into creating music, and who would you say has influenced you?
Sizzy: I discovered The White Stripes when I was in middle school, and that absolutely changed my life because at the time [the music scene] was very pop heavy. This is the early 2000s, and all my friends were listening to pop, and I love Brittany [Spears] and Christina [Aguilera] and I definitely grew up on that, but when I found The White Stripes, my world sort of changed. That was the first time that I heard rock guitars, and his lyrics are so poetic, and I didn't even know you could do that. From there that opened the door to sort of this garage indie that was happening – like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, all of these like Indie bands that were sort of happening at the time. That was my first introduction to rock.
When did you first start releasing music?
Sizzy: My first official album came out in 2016. It was called “Thrills,” but I was releasing music before that underground. I had a mixtape called “Thirty Thousand Feet” that I released on MediaFire. This is, like, pre-streaming the Internet era where you would find these weird websites and you could download music. So, yeah I started releasing music in 2011, but my first officially released album came out in 2016.
Can I ask how old you were when that came out in 2011?
Sizzy: I think I was 19? A baby.
So you’ve been releasing music for over 10 years now. How do you think your style has changed over those 10 years?
Sizzy: Oh my gosh, it's completely changed. I feel like when I put out my first record, I didn't really have a lot of creative say over that album. I was signed to an indie label, and they sort of wanted me to be the next Katy Perry. So everything was very pop-structured, big production, and I am punk at heart. I feel like after I got out of that deal, I really wanted to explore that side. You'll hear now on this new record there's like Punk moments, there's like sparkly soft pop moments, there's like a folky moment, and I feel like just having that room to explore has defined who I am as an artist.
Why is it important to you to have so much range?
Sizzy: I think the most important thing with this album was just showing up in the studio and making exactly what I felt making that day and not limiting myself to like one genre or one style. So for example “Live Laugh Love” – that's one of the singles that's out – it's probably one of the hardest tracks I've ever done. It starts with this screeching guitar solo and this double kick on the drums and it's very like, early 2000s pop-punk kind of style. When I showed up that day, I was feeling super angsty and I just wanted to make something really punk. And then the next day I showed up, and we wrote “Lasso the Moon” which is this really soft, sweet, the most sparkly song, if you will, on the album. So not boxing myself in creatively was the most important part to making this album.
If you could have a dream collaboration or dream feature, who would it be?
Sizzy: Definitely Peaches. There would be no Sizzy without Peaches. She put out her first album, I want to say, 20 years ago. But as far as being a sexually charged, queer women singing about explicit things, she was sort of the first artist to do that.
How do you find ways to incorporate yourself and your identity in your music?
Sizzy: I can’t separate them. When I make music, it comes from my soul, and my fans can feel that, and I feel like you can hear that in the music. As far as “Sizzy Rocket” and this rockstar persona I’ve developed, that has taken some time. I feel like being a rockstar has big shoes to fill. For me, it’s about taking all my influences and idols and blending them all into a new rockstar.
If you could make a Pinterest mood board for your aesthetic, what would be on it?
Sizzy: The movie Spring Breakers, the performance artist Marina Abramović, and craft store glitter.
What can fans expect from you in the future?
Sizzy: Music isn’t the only creativity I have to offer. There’s going to be a book; I’ve been directing my own videos; I really am loving video and photography. Music is not the only art you’re going to get out of me.