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Read Stage Right Secrets‘ exclusive Q&A with SIMA, below.


Congrats on “Runaways”! How did the idea for the song come about?

Thank you. I just had a rough idea that I worked on at home with lyrics, mainly the verses, and some basic pre-production and I played it to Evan in the studio. I just wanted to make something undeniable with a huge sound. We just started molding the song. Evan is an amazing producer and he came up with some crazy riff, mean guitar parts and drums sound and the song ended up sounding completely different than my basic idea but the lyrics of the verses and melody stayed the same.

Do you have a favorite line from the track?

“You can’t destroy our faith, we won’t be controlled by hate”

The visual with the fire and everything are absolutely stunning, how did the concept come to be?

Thank you. I wanted to create something that fits the rebellious vibe and lyrics of the song. The song is super powerful on it’s own, so I wanted to create something captivating visually. I wanted to bring symbols, ritual, and tribal elements like a fire that symbolize burning down the past and present and everything that doesn’t serve us anymore in order to discover something better and new. I wanted to create a transformation visually.

A good way to see it is looking at wildfires. They can be super destructive, burn things and destroy property and even take lives, but some fires are good fires and they are necessary for renewal and growth, like in our ecosystem. Wildfires can clear out dead wood and other materials that would otherwise have taken a long time to break down. It creates fresh nutrients in the soil for a new generation of trees and plants. It helps to keep a forest ecosystem healthy. It’s like when you burn a letter or something from your past that energetically blocks you, you create space for something new.

Also, I know the fire girl, Kim Manning, for many years. We used to practice Kundalini yoga together and I knew that she’s an amazing contortionist and roller skater so I asked her if she also uses fire when she roller skates and she said yes. It turned out to be exactly how I wanted it to be – fierce and fiery.

This song will be featured on your upcoming album, how far along into the process are you?

I’m pretty much done with the record. I’m just going back now and listening to all the songs and making changes and adjustments in the production and mixing to make sure that the record has a cohesive sound and feel.

What’s the hardest aspect of being an independent artist and releasing your own record?

It’s definitely challenging. The hardest aspect is to know how amazing the music is and wanting the whole world to hear it. It takes big money to break in and being limited with funding, I can’t always reach as many people that I want to because I don’t have a team behind me and a proper marketing budget. Also, this biz has a lot of people watching what you’re doing but no one will give you a break until you do it all on your own and start making money, and then they might come to you. So I don’t sit around and wait. I take charge of my life and I do what I love without waiting for validation.

I’m a hustler and I learned to make things happen with small budgets. Also, when you do everything on your own and spend every penny you ever made on something you believe in, it’s never easy, especially when you have to wear many hats. Sometimes I want to focus more on the creative aspect of being an artist without spreading myself thin, but at the same time, I like to be hands-on with my career from the music, promotion, marketing, styling, design, visuals, production and pretty much everything else.

I work with a small circle of talented friends and creators to help me with my visions and I don’t worry too much about other stuff. My journey and life are proof that dreams come true, especially looking back to where I come from and what it took to get here. So it’s definitely challenging but at the same time empowering and satisfying to see what one woman can do on her own with her dreams and visions.

How do you go about figuring out which songs will/won’t make the cut?

If I don’t think that a song is good or strong enough or if it doesn’t have a strong vision, lyrics, sound, something different, a message that is important to me to pass on, I won’t put it on an album. I will pass on it. Most of the time, I write with the intention of creating something powerful and inspiring.

Since most of the country is or was in quarantine, what have you been doing to occupy your time? (New skills, cooking, bringing shows, etc.)

I used the time to work on the “Runaways” release. I also took an online class. I love cooking so I did a lot of cooking. Home workouts and have also picked an acoustic guitar.

Do you find it harder or easier to be creative while stuck at home?

I enjoy being at home and I enjoy my own company so it doesn’t matter to me when it comes to creativity. I always find ways to keep myself creative and busy.

What else can fans expect from you this year?

My new album Runaways. Cool lyric videos, acoustic video of “Runaways” and I’m hoping to get back to the final editing of my documentary “Broken Wings” and finally complete the film.

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.