Autumn Sky has made things go her way with her musical career for over 10 years. Not only has the young singer/songwriter from Sacramento made her musical path her own, she has done it with a grace, style and charm that can only come from someone who is truly inspired by herself; by someone who has the confidence, drive and talent to make a vision for herself that she feels is the right vision to follow.
Performing her music since she was 15, the sassy redhead has played with words since she was very young, writing poetry and creating a lyrical style that has grown and blossomed with her years. Now at 25, the songstress is ever recreating herself with each experience she has, crafting songs and words that tell a story of who she is with an honest directness that is disarming and thought provoking.
“My music has grown quite a bit since I was fifteen”, states Autumn. “I'd say many terrible decisions, heartbreaks and eventually finding the courage to love myself has made my music more believable, more soulful, more intellectually deep and vastly more relatable to the people who listen. Although that's not to say my music was bad. I just hadn't really been through the ringer yet and didn't know what it meant to lose something, like most young people.”
Starting out as a solo performer, Autumn gave it her all to tell her stories with song. She came to a point where she was not fully satisfied by how her songs were transported to the ears of her listeners, so at 19 she put together a band to try to enhance the music she was inspired to create.
The solo artist can often lend simplicity to the songs, which in itself can be a profound way to uphold the lyrics, but a full band often adds more depth and a spectrum of aural magic that a solo artist cannot achieve alone.
”It was very unfulfilling not being able to properly present what I heard in my head when I wrote songs to a live audience on stage when I played by myself,” says Autumn. “Being in a band has brought out all the nuances I longed to hear for such a long time, and being able to work creatively with others is my biggest joy. It's fun to build songs and work on them together, seeing them transform and get shiny!”
Her current band consists of players she has been with for 2 years. Barry Paul Crider on lead electric guitar, Kyle Kaylor on acoustic guitar, Anthony Medina on bass and Jared Obregon on the drums. There is a solid wall of cohesion with her band that highlights the drama and intensity of her music. Autumn’s vocals are strong and filled with emotion as she belts out her words. She is not a woman songwriter with an acoustic guitar in the normal sense of the idea. She is not a prissy girly-girl singer; she does not use her femininity to show weakness but to show her strengths and fierceness. Her band does a great service in upholding her visions of getting her music to a deeper place and to get the lyrics bound into a more corporeal realm so we can all touch them with our minds. It’s a great gift to find that, and Autumn has done well in choosing those to help her manifest what she hears in her brain.
Taking the bull by the horns, as they say, Autumn has forged her musical career to suit her. She has not sat back and let other’s direct her future, but she has taken on many aspects of managing her career herself. She knows what she wants and she understands how she needs to go about getting it. With so many years under her guitar strap negotiating the world of music as business, Autumn knows a bit about the music business and how it works.
“The music business has been its usual self, which is disappointing and run by people who lie to you and don't give what they promise to. But working for MYSELF in music with my close friends has been amazing,” Autumn states. “ I feel like I've done more by myself than I ever could've seen accomplished by someone else working for me sometimes, because I know myself and I believe in what I can do. Sometimes half the battle working with others is finding someone who believes in what you do as much, or more, than you.
“I'm proud to be a woman in music, I'm proud of my education that taught me the beautiful poetry of words. I don't look at my being female as a downside, though others might; I look at it as an opportunity to be a good example of a working woman. And I'm doing my best.”
All text and photos by Carolyn McCoy ©2013