It's been something of a sensory journey for Sasha McLeod. The First Nations singer-songwriter and producer, who goes by "Sycco" [pronounced "psycho," as a reference to the psychedelic-pop sound she's born from]. In fact, the art of feeling is something she hasn't shied away from in her body of work, which is no small index for a young woman of only 19.
Her path so far already has its fair share of mileage, and you can tell she is wise beyond her years, lending a boldness of spirit to her soft indie tunes in spite of her endlessly laid back vibe.
The Brisbane native's latest single and music video, Superstar is a slight departure from her other songs, in fact, she's come along way since her 2018 debut EP Starboard Square. The latter was penned as something of a breakup anthem with the distorted vocals adding texture to the songs meaning, here she is having more fun, taking place in a day-glo lit supermarket, it feels like something of an allegory for the woman of her generation caught somewhere between the free spirited and the melancholic. Looking at ways to find meaning in whatever way she can and still have fun with it.
The new song shows just how deep the level of her range is, and how her vibrant spirituality continues to play a part informing her sensory world, here we had the privilege of sitting down and talking to Sycco about her sound, her Spotify equal campaign and the artists she would most love to collaborate with.
First off, congratulations on all the amazing work you’ve produced since your debut Starboard Square. With that said, tell us about your musical journey. How did you get started?
RUSSH, it’s great to chat with you too. Thanks so much! I started producing music around grade 10 when I got a Mac and I’ve never stopped since. I love the control that I have when I produce music. I can take everything out of my brain and put it straight into a song.
You’ll be touring with Flight Facilities in your hood. Are you excited to be performing again on home soil?
I’m very excited to be performing with Flight Facilities! It’s one of our first proper tours and it’s so cool to be playing these big, outdoor festival stages. It’s good to be back playing shows with my friends. It’s so much fun.
Given Sycco is a reference to psychedelia. Do you see your music as a largely sensory experience?
Yes I do! Sometimes too much. A bit of a sensory overload really.
Your songs, particularly Dribble and Nicotine seem to speak of the deep layers of human consciousness. Would you consider yourself a spiritual person? Does this inform any of your music?
Yeah, I would consider myself a spiritual person. I think that life has no meaning or all the meaning in the world, whatever you want it to be. That’s my spiritual take!
Is there one song of your songs that still really speaks to you whenever you perform?
I’d say it’s probably ‘Dribble’, because people know and sing the lyrics back. They’re actually speaking to me!
Being a First Nations female artist. What did Spotify’s equal campaign mean to you?
It was an amazing opportunity that gave me a really great platform to share my thoughts and speak my mind on equality. I’m excited to live in a time where diversity is celebrated so that me and others like me have the opportunity to make a living from doing the things we love.
Are there any artists you’d love to collaborate with?
Charli XCX would be sick! Or, A.G Cook.
What’s coming up for you for the rest of 2022?
I’ve just released my new single called ‘Superstar’, and am working on lots of new music. We have some really exciting tours and shows coming up, and we’re also playing our first international gigs in the UK next month!
You can catch Sycco's set with Flight Facilities this weekend at Hobart's MAC 02 and her latest song Superstar below.