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Life Experiences Shape Music Major Ashlyn Sisco’s Creative Spark

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

It’s extremely hard to put Music major Ashlyn Sisco’s music into a genre. There are so many different ranges of emotion running through her style that putting her in a box would not be fair to this rising singer/songwriter. Born in Southern California, spending her teens in Texas, and now at Columbia College Chicago, her road to music came at an early age. “Coming from a family full of musicians, I was constantly surrounded my music and my dad and older sister singing and playing guitar all the time. I have been singing since I was a child growing up in church and singing with my family, but I didn't start playing an instrument until I was about 10 which was actually the piano. I didn't pick up guitar until I was older, about 14 or 15, and I didn't start writing my music on guitar until I was 17 because I preferred the keys for songwriting for a long time. Now, I prefer writing on guitar over everything else, but it is my newest instrument.”

For Ashlyn, her environments growing up gave her food for thought when it came time for writing inspiration. “California definitely shaped a lot of who I am as a person especially because I experienced public school, private school, and homeschool throughout the time that I lived there. In high school, my family moved to a city right outside of Dallas, Texas which is where I did a lot of my maturing and becoming the young adult that I am now. Texas is a huge part of my story and I am so thankful for all of the things that shaped my childhood.”

Ashlyn also points a strong arrow towards a musical influence that has dominated the pop charts for the past seventeen years. “My earliest influence was definitely Taylor Swift, as a kid she was all that I listened to and I think that it is definitely reflected in my writing style. I do think that growing up in church and hearing a lot of contemporary worship music shaped my writing style quite a bit as well. That type of worship music is very lyrical and simplistic in its chord structure and melodies and I can absolutely see those aspects reflected in my personal work.”

In terms of her artistry, Ashlyn views herself as multi-faceted, and a devout storyteller. “I feel like more of a poet than a songwriter because my passion lies in the words when it comes to songwriting. Every song I listen to, my ears catch all the phrases and words because I think so much feeling and emotion can be placed in even one line of lyrics. Musically, I am very inspired by artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo, Leith Ross, Holly Humberstone, Lizzy Mcalpine, John Mayer, the list could go on and on.”

Being a freshman, Ashlyn has not let any opportunity pass her by. Her desire to be a performer on this week’s “Sessions @33,” has led to a riveting performance that showcases her craft at its highest peak, as well as providing momentum for her future plans. “I am actually currently working on my debut EP, shooting for a release in the summer so keep your eyes out for that!! In the future, I plan on continuing to write and record more music to keep releasing and creating!”

Last but not least, Ashlyn had this to say about her experience being on Sessions @33, and how it can benefit others. “Sessions @33 is such a valuable opportunity for every type of musician. As an artist who doesn't have a ton of music released, this was such a great place for me to give people a taste of what I create and hopefully get some people excited for future music releases! Even the experience of performing live in front of a camera and audience of audio engineers, camera crew, colleagues and peers, is unmatched. Any opportunity to meet people and perform original music is so important to an individual's artistry. Even for the volunteers who work behind the scenes mixing the sound, editing the video, capturing behind the scenes, and all of the effort that goes into just one of these session videos, is creating so much benefit.”

Check out Ashlyn's Sessions @33 performance:

Sessions @33 is a series featuring Columbia College Chicago music artists performing a 4-song set in an intimate performance space at WCRXFM, Columbia’s very own radio station. In addition to the artists getting exposure, students from various departments get experience in filming, audio recording, and talent management. Support these fantastic up-n-coming artists, as well as the collaborative efforts of the students involved behind the scenes, by watching sessions on YouTube, as well as listening to the podcast version on either Apple or Stitcher.

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