Catch this talented teen at open mic night
Open mics don’t have the best reputation. Sure they can be hokey and maybe a little lame, but it would be remiss to forget the potential that open mics offer as incubators of young, up-and-coming talent. One such talent who has been popping up around Beaumont’s open mic nights is 17-year-old Port Neches-Groves high school student, Sydney Burrows.
Burrows is a young singer-songwriter who has been playing music since she was a child and shares her talent with anyone who will listen. I got a chance to talk with Sydney about her music and performing in the Southeast Texas area.
How did you first get into music?
When I was eight I begged my dad for a guitar. That Christmas there was a baby blue acoustic under the tree. Not a week later, the guitar was totally forgotten and my attention had moved on to another activity. Two years later, my dad signed me up to take guitar lessons and that’s when where my interest in music took off.
How long have you been performing in front of people?
I’ve been performing in front of people from the time I was in kindergarten. I would always do the talent shows in elementary and junior high. When I was around 12 or 13 I started to play keyboard for my church, Bridgepoint Fellowship, in the youth worship band.
What style of music do you like to play?
As far as the style of music, well, I’d have to say my style is broad. I really love alternative, or folksy music, but I also like to play pop and country — but, I prefer to play older songs, whether it be from the early 2000s or the 70s.
Do you write music, or stick to covers?
Usually when I perform in front of people, I tend to play songs I’ve written. My style is sort of folksy pop, however, I could probably put each of my songs into a different genre. Though I mostly play originals in front of people, I also do a lot of covers. When I’m not busy I like to sit at the piano and try to put my own twist on other artists’ songs. The songs I cover the most are “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, “Cleopatra” by The Lumineers, and “Particles” by Nothing but Thieves.
Who are some of your musical influences? What do you enjoy listening to?
My biggest musical influences are Stevie Nicks, Kings of Leon, The Cranberries, Chris Stapleton, and The Lumineers — though the list could go on forever — those are my top five favorites. I like listening to artists like Nothing but Thieves, Harry Styles, Bon Iver, and the Bleachers.
As you grow as a musician, do you see yourself pursuing music further? If so, where do you see yourself going?
I’m a senior in high school so I’ve been going through the usual panic of not knowing what or who I want to be after I graduate. However, I know for certain that music will always be a huge part of my life, whether I pursue it as a career or a hobby. As for plans for the future, I want to continue growing as a musician and to keep putting myself out there — where it goes from there, well, I’m not quite sure what will happen.
Where else can people see you perform in the future?
I’m in the theater department at PNG High School, so I’ll be performing in the upcoming productions of “Freaky Friday: The Musical” and “Newsies.” I’ll also be playing at Wine Styles in Beaumont on November 23.
Daniel Pemberton is a freelance writer for Cat5