The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Siena Christie
Following on from an enticing array of offerings these last few years, which has included the ‘Dear Northland’, named Best Overall Song in the 2022 Portland’s Folk Festival songwriting contest, emerging artist Siena Christie returns once again with her sweeping new single 'Northern Lights'.
Exploring her relationship with her wife, who transitioned in the last year, 'Northern Lights' makes for a wonderfully transportive listen. With her warm and soaring voice layered over a soft and lilting piano-led composition, she is truly shining on this new release.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and inspirations over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
Randy Newman. I loved (and still love) his sensitive piano playing and witty, poignant lyrics.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Oh, I wish I’d had that much rebellious courage back then, but I didn’t. If I had formed a band as a kid, though, we probably would have sounded very, very strange.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
Well, sorrow. Mine and everyone’s. But also, nature and people I love.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
That’s a tough question. All of the songs I wish I’d written are ones I couldn’t have possibly. Take Sampha’s song “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” for example. As much as that song tears me apart emotionally, I know I never could’ve written it, because it’s Sampha’s story, not mine. My favorite songs are similarly rich with personal, lived-in details.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
So far, my favorite memory is feeling my jaw drop wide open (it almost hurt my face, actually) when I saw that my song “Dear Northland” had won the Great River Folk Festival’s 2021 songwriting contest. I’m pretty excited to play at the fest this August. I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but from what I’ve seen of the Midwest, I’m a fan.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
Emily Scott Robinson. I absolutely love her voice and her storytelling. She also just cares about people, and that compassion comes through in her songs. That’s something I strive to convey as well.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
Besides Emily, I would say probably Anna Tivel. Anna writes vivid, poetic lyrics and tells such interesting stories. Her writing has influenced mine, and it would be so cool to learn about her process.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I want to keep writing and improving as a writer. I want to keep trying to fathom the impermanence of everything. I want to go vegan, which means I’ll have to learn to like vegetables. And if the dreams keep coming true, then in five years I’ll be touring the US, singing some truth and making people smile and cry.
Siena Christie's new single 'Northern Lights' is available to stream now. Check it out below.