New Artist Feature: Sykamore

By Kyle Brown

Canadian pop country singer Sykamore is coming to an eastern state city near you this spring. If you have not heard of her, you might as well look her up now. The musician, vocalist, songwriter and performer will be on tour promoting her ‘Pinto’ album that was released last summer. 

An album that began in 2018, was released in August of 2022 and Sykamore had this to say on her Instagram speaking about finally releasing the full album. “After 4 very unpredictable years I am ecstatic to be able to show y’all the muse that started it all. I hope you enjoy it. These songs aren’t just mine anymore – they now belong to you.”

‘Pinto’ is a 12 track album that provides both dreamy and powerful songs. Much to the liking of singer/songwriter Jake Scott, the album was made primarily of pre-released songs that came together to create a full album. We asked Sykamore about the inspiration to the album and she said: 

“The inspiration for this album came shortly after I moved to Nashville and was in search of the muse for my next project – while spending time in some antique stores south of the city, I found an old manual for a Ford Pinto. As it turns out, this particular vehicle was built with a fundamental flaw that caused it to easily catch on fire, or in some cases even explode. For whatever reason, I immediately thought of the teens who got a Pinto as their first car – it probably seemed so exhilarating and freeing at the time, driving around in this thing, maybe on their first date or with their first love. But the truth is there was a real risk and a danger that came along with driving it. In that way, the car could serve as a metaphor for young love and all the hazards that come with it. The idea struck a chord with me and I found myself writing the song “Pinto” about this notion, and very quickly I had a lightning bolt of inspiration – not just for the song, but I felt very strongly that the whole album needed to encapsulate this idea of young, intoxicating, dangerous love.”

Her upcoming tour will feature songs from the album to which are “taking from the storytelling side of country and mixing it with the sonic landscapes of pop” as well as more unreleased songs. “I am currently in the middle of writing for this next record, and I’ve been trying out some new songs wherever I can in a live setting! So hopefully I’ll get to try them on these upcoming tour dates.”

Born in a small town outside of Calgary, Alberta, she grew up on her family’s farm that still has a huge part in her life. Her parents met on a rodeo circuit, and country music was the music she listened to as a child. When I asked her about that and if she still tries to go back to help out when she can, Sykamore had this to say. 

“I come from a long line of ranchers on both sides! I think I knew from a pretty young age that I was very attached to art and music, and dreamed that I could interact with that passion as part of my job one day. So I can’t say that I ever considered anything else, really. As far as helping out back home, I do try to get as involved as I can whenever I am there. There is something really nice and grounding about going to a rodeo with my mom or driving around and checking crops with my dad. It helps me to decompress and find my center again.”

In 2014, Sykamore won the ATB All-Albertan Song Writing Contest. The following year, she was nominated for the CCMA Discovery Award. She had her music featured on national television and was sharing bills with the likes of Miranda Lambert and Josh Ritter. Sykamore’s biggest break came when songwriting heavyweight Rhett Akins came across her music on Twitter. She moved to Nashville soon after in 2018, signed a record deal and has been making music there since. Another accolade Sycamore has under her belt is being featured in CMT’s coveted “Next Women of Country” class for 2020. With her growing success, it seems that Sykamore still tries to be humble and take all the sights and views in. It seems so many forget to stay that way and become money hungry, Forgetting where they come from and what truly matters.  “I feel really fortunate to keep seeing these doors open up for me, and to keep having opportunities to do what I do. It’s truly what I’ve always wanted to pursue and it’s never lost on me how lucky I am to live this life. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for as long as I have because I feel like I’m just getting started!”

She followed with “I’ve always just wanted to have a really solid relationship with my fans. My priority is to make music that I like and that they like. My hope is that we can continue to cultivate a space that just keeps getting bigger and better every year, where I can grow as an artist and people can see themselves in the stories and in the songs and feel a sense of belonging.”

With a personality that seemed pretty infectious from the songs I listened to, the videos online,  and articles I came across, I wondered what her advice would be to young and up and coming artists that have yet to be discovered, much like the path Sykamore went down. To this, the young musician responded “The best advice I’ve been given is to focus on what it is that makes you unique, and don’t be afraid to showcase that. It is definitely tempting to try to be like someone else that you admire, or someone who is having success right now. But I urge people to resist that temptation and instead blaze their own trail. No one can be you as good as you can – so take advantage of that. You will connect to your audience a thousand times more if you show them what it is that makes you unique – if you’re copying someone else, they’ve already seen that show. You have something just as special to offer, it’s just a matter of finding it and refining it.”

Though this tour is more on the east coast, Sykamore has plans to play internationally as much as possible. “I made it over to the UK at the beginning of this year and that was a blast, so I’d love to just keep playing internationally as much as I can!”

We thank Sykamore and her crew for their time to put this together as well as the feature image. To keep up with this up and coming artist, you can follow her on Instagram and TikTok. Her website can be found here. There you can find her tour locations as well.