Gyal Dem Fiyah: Sydanie

Gyal Dem Fiyah: Sydanie

Sydanie is da truf. That’s pronounced “trew-ph.”

She is that gutta gutta, as we used to say back home. She is the real deal. A real rapper. Flames on the mic. She not only holds down a track within the confines of your headphones, but if you’ve ever seen her perform, then you know her prowess extends to the stage as well. She’s a real emcee – working her audience, connecting and exchanging with her crowd. I don’t exactly remember the first time I saw her live, but I remember the vibe. The venue was bare bones, there was no stage: just a DJ playing her backing tracks, her and her mic, and the crowd. That show was one of the illest live hip hop events I’d been to in a hot min. I vividly recall Sydanie covered in sweat, highlighted by everyone’s cellphone flashlights shining on her (there were no fancy house lights), dabbing her brow with a towel, spitting face to face with us, going HAM. It was magnetic. You wanted to get closer. Sign me up. I’m a fan.

Her EP Stillwater, released last year on her birthday, is a whole mood. It’s revealing, exploratory, and reflective all at once. It’s also just ... good. It’s good music from a self-identified queer, young, Black mother in the midst of refining her craft.

And more about that mother bit: Sydanie is also the founder of the MOCHA (Mothers Organized in Community Healing Arts) Project, an initiative she started in 2016 to manifest safe creative spaces for members of her community. MOCHA centres racialized, queer, and economically challenged mothers and families and allows them the space to seek healing in each other and themselves through creative practice and exchange.

Her life game, like her rap game, is about the back and forth of energy and ideas. In both spheres she critically examines and disrupts the systems that constantly threaten to colonize our art, our bodies, and our minds.

Peep her on the socials (FB, Insta) and have a listen at soundcloud.com/sydanieee.

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