For Sylvia, being an artist is not only about singing. It’s also about listening deeply: to herself, to others, and to the stories that want to be told. That’s what first led her to discover her love of music as a child and, subsequently, to enjoy more than two decades of a successful and multifaceted career as a singer and songwriter. But listening is also what brought Sylvia to a crossroads more than 14 years ago, when she heard a new call.
While profoundly grateful for the chance she had in her young adulthood to see the world from the jump seat of a tour bus, she began to crave other experiences and, in particular, opportunities to help others. She answered this call by becoming a certified life and career coach through the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, CA in 2002. Since then, she has coached business executives, artists of all genres, small business owners, individuals, and non-profit organizations to make the same type of productive self-discovery that provides positive momentum as they develop both personally and professionally. For nine years, she also served on the board of a non-profit organization that serves and supports the chronically mentally ill. She never stopped singing during this time – keeping a weekly appointment with her voice teacher and continuing to participate in benefit concerts – but she made a conscious choice to pivot away from music and pursue new and different contexts in which to cultivate her long-held personal values of compassion, curiosity, and non-judgment.
Sylvia has described music as a living, breathing thing that needs time and space to grow. Now – having given it that time and space – she is hearing its call once again and telling the stories that want to be told. June 2016 will see the release of All in the Family, her first album in 14 years and also the first on which she co-wrote the majority of the songs. On this album, Sylvia touches on the choices, challenges, and turns in the road that have brought her to where she stands today and delivers her most personal material to date, combining her skill as a vocalist with her heart as a storyteller.
Also on this album, Sylvia speaks directly to listeners who might themselves be considering a new start. Rejecting conventional binaries about youth, age, and their bearings on one’s creativity and relevance, Sylvia celebrates her experience and unapologetically owns her voice as a seasoned artist. In doing so, she welcomes listeners to live fully in the present moment – embracing all the possibilities it holds – without discarding the past, seamlessly weaving her current music in with the sounds and songs of her early career. As a performer, she still enjoys singing hits like “Nobody,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Drifter,” but she brings to them a presence and perspective that infuses them with new life, reminding fans why they first fell in love with her music while also allowing them to experience it anew.
Although at one time Sylvia might have classified her years away from music as a detour, today she has the confidence, clarity, and courage to see them as vital steps on her journey – steps that have allowed her to reemerge as a more complete, more conscious artist than ever before. This viewpoint directly informs All in the Family, and she is eager to share it with new listeners as well as her long-time fans who have grown along with her.