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HI SENNA

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW HI SENNA WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya HI SENNA thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

It’s in our DNA! I basically came out of the womb singing I Wanna Be Adored shaking my little maracas (not a euphemism, it was well uncomfortable for my mum). But just from growing up listening to tunes on long car journeys to meeting the lads and us clicking instantly – there was a connection that created an opportunity too great to pass on.

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

So we’re an indie-pop 3 piece, consisting of myself on lead vocals (Poppy-Jo), Ste (guitar) and Si (drums), that I’d say specialise in writing uplifting, feel-good bangers. We met and formed just before 2020 and have played almost every venue in Manchester including Deaf Institute, The Ritz, Gorilla as well as some mega festivals like Truck and Ynot. We have a crazy, eclectic music taste between the three of us, but together are completely inspired by the entire Manchester music scene which is where our name HI SIENNA derives from – a spin on that iconic Manchester club, The Hacienda.

What’s the live music scene like in Manchester right now? Anyone we should be looking out for (Bar you of course)

There’s a really new band Oopsacat that are on the scene at the moment and we just love their dreamy bedroom pop sound – they just wanna make you sing your heart out while you’re all wrapped up feeling cosy in your duvet. It’s fresh af and they’re definitely one to watch. Jess’ vocals are unreal!

I’ve seen a lot of people struggling for support recently online. Whats your view on the industry?

We’ve been at this for a few years now and wow the industry has changed! It’s so saturated with so many good artists but it means the competition is harder than ever. Because there are so many social platforms and so many people putting out content, we feel it’s less about the music and more about the following these days, which is such a shame. Even when applying to play festivals, you’re asked how many followers you have rather than it being just about the music you’ve poured your heart and soul into.

We miss the feeling of playing a small venue and people rocking up on a random Tuesday, not knowing who you are but just wanting to hear live music. Everything is about tiktok these days and we’re far too old for it hahaha. That’s why we appreciate people like you guys giving us the platform to share our music and hopefully gain some new listeners, so please for the sake of small artists, keep doing what you’re doing!

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

I think we’re quite different to anything out there at the moment so we’re kind of sat on our own little planet! We’re pop but with deep lyrics that fuse with twangy guitars and every time we’re asked to compare ourselves to a big band we really struggle – but that’s only a good thing. To blow our own (synth) trumpet I’d say we have quite a unique sound – especially with my husky, sandpaper vocals and hopefully that brings something new to the listener!

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

1 – We once supported the Vengaboys at Flamingoland
2 – We met king Charles in a service station o the way to a festival
3 – We shared a dressing room with Eurovision’s Mae Muller.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

We try and not think too much about what anyone else thinks. If you spend too much time reading negative comments, there wouldn’t be any point releasing anything because you’d be too stuck in the noise. Not everyone is gonna like your stuff. But our main goal is to put a smile on people’s faces, get them moving and make the type of music that someone puts on in a morning to make them get up and ready for the day – if that offends anyone we suggest going back to bed for a few hours 🤣

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

I love reading about conspiracy theories and all the comments that come with them – especially the Avril Lavigne one about her being replaced by a body double.  Going down a rabbit hole on tiktok on that at 2 in the morning is a regular occurrence for me. I don’t believe it, coz no offence to Avril Lavigne but there’s so many bigger artists the ‘label’ could have done it with to keep making money if that’s the real reason! What about Freddie Mercury or Elvis?! I’d love it to be true but there’s no way hahaha

What was your best experience on stage?

Definitely Truck Festival last year. We played the mainstage about 2pm and were so convinced no one was going to be there that we had a few too many drinks the night before. We had the shock of our lives when there were a few hundred people there to see us, it was the quicket hangover cure we’ve ever had! That many people dancing and singing our songs it was truly something special.

What was your worst experience on stage?

Other than me chipping my front tooth jumping too hard into my own microphone on ur first ever gig, it has to be this one time we got booked for this biker festival. I think there must be another hi sienna or something because when we rocked up in our bright pink stage outfits to a load of bearded men in leather singing our happy clappy pop tunes we got humbled pretty quickly hahaha the beer tent made up for it though!

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

I recently got diagnosed with ADHD (which was really unsurprising to those that know me haha) but it means I go through phases of different interests and hobbies, as well as running the band! One week I’m a photographer, the next a DJ. Then I’m mad into F1 for one season but the next it’s watching dance troop videos for hours on the internet. This week’s interest however, is learning Danish on Duolingo – Jeg elsker musik!

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

We want to get straight back to writing and recording, we have SO many new ideas floating around, we’re already excited to work on and get out there! We’re hoping the EP creates more of a following for us which ultimately would give us the opportunity to play in new venues and cities we haven’t played in before!

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

We are so excited to release our debut EP,”Pickleback”. It’s the first time we’ve put out a full body of work and it’s a six-track, sonic journey through the tumultuous emotions of a breakup, that metaphorically parallel the experience of taking a Pickleback shot (if you’ve not had one then get to know!!). Each track metaphorically represents a stage in the process of the whisky shot followed by pickle brine, mirroring the bitter beginning, the tangy middle, and the sweet resolution of meeting somebody new, ultimately finding true happiness.

The album begins with “Cry ‘Til I Drown”, the first single off the album. It captures the initial anguish, yet, amidst the darkness, friends rally around, providing a lifeline of support and encouragement.

“Carabiner” shifts the narrative to the complexities of the dating scene post-breakup. It’s a whimsical yet poignant exploration of navigating unwanted attention and longing for genuine connection. The titular track,”Pickleback,” symbolizes the transformative power of love, inspired by the bittersweet taste of the iconic shot, while “Counting Kisses” delves into intimacy in new relationships.

“Blue Pills and Arm Scars” represents personal triumph over depression, leading to the optimistic and encouraging “Silverline.” Ultimately, the album is a testament to resilience, love, friendship, and self- discovery, inviting listeners to embrace life’s journey.

The artwork is class too – so shout out to my amazing sister, Liv Cole, who is so talented and made the design perfect– the t-shirts look MEGA and will be exclusively sold at our gig at Band on the all on the 20th July!

What was the recording process like?

There’s never a dull moment – it’s one of the things we love the most being in music. We work with an amazing producer and friend (shout out to Ian!) at Blueprint Studios in Manchester and it’s by far the coolest recording space going. It’s such a nice vibe and we’re always rubbing shoulders with some legendary artists when we’re in there! It’s long nights after working full time but it’s so worth it in the end when you hear the final product. We can’t stress enough how amazing Ian is and the hard work we’ve all put into these tracks. We’ll cherish them forever.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Less is more!! We always get trigger happy when we’re writing demos, thinking every song needs a trumpet or synth – we’re just influenced by so much it’s hard to not throw every bit of inspiration into a song! But I think the first time we sent demos to our producer he was like “woah okay do we really need everything?” – and working with him just put some fresh ears into our music and he’s really helped refine all our tracks to the amazing standard you’ll hear when the EP’s released!

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

I wish we’d had more time! We’re perfectionists and the recording process ran over schedule more than we’d liked. But when you’re not doing music fulltime and you also have a job and family, life really catches up fast, so it’s always a tough one to juggle. But we’re so unbelievably proud of what we have achieved so far, we just hope our music inspires someone somewhere to achieve their goals too!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Our EP launch party! It’s happening on the 20th July at Band on the Wall in Manchester and it’ll be the first time we’ll be playing all the new tracks live. It’s going to be such a night to remember and there’s tickets available on our website. And PS… I may or may not have bought a giant pickle costume…

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