Who more perfect to embody the “REBEL” Issue than an artist whose entire brand centers on it? Sizzy Rocket’s track “Rebel Revolution” tackles the current culture of musical homogeny head on, dedicating itself to the legion of musicians and other artists who, in the face of defiance and pressure to be homogeneous, live and create by their own rules. Her energetic style makes her ethos all the more exciting, taking listeners on a wild ride of rebellion and catharsis. Along with single “Wendy’s Parking Lot,” Sizzy Rocket give us a taste of her lively, unapologetically queer studio album, Live Laugh Love.
Ahead of Live Laugh Love, we sat down with Sizzy Rocket to talk about “Rebel Revolution,” working with former Lady Gaga and Britney Spears collaborator Fernando Garibay, and how she’s carving a lane that is entirely her own. Read the full interview from “The REBEL Issue” below.
Can you tell us about your earliest musical influences? Who did you listen to growing up?
I loved The White Stripes growing up. To this day, they are my favorite band. I actually had a shrine dedicated to them on my bedroom wall when I was 16. I would rip out magazine articles about them, I had every record, and I would tape up the vinyl inserts. The first time I heard “Seven Nation Army,” it absolutely changed my life.
Can you share your experience at your first major performance?
My first performance ever was at an outlet mall. I was seven years old and just fell in love with it immediately. I was part of this kids performance troupe, and we would do variety shows at the mall every weekend. That’s how I got my start.
How would you describe your sound to someone unfamiliar with your music?
I like to say it’s punk for the girls and gays.
Can you tell us what we can expect from your forthcoming studio album? What are the major themes it explores and what is the overall vibe?
This album is about resilience; how to keep going when you lose everything, and how to let go. Making this work is what really got me through the past few years, through my own struggles with depression and anxiety through the pandemic. I felt so alone, drowning in my own fucked-up thoughts, but every day I would show up to the studio, and for a few hours I could let them go and just express myself genuinely. Art is that powerful. Making this record really kept me alive and taught me how to love myself again.
What inspired the lyrics to your single “Rebel Revolution”?
Music is the most sacred art form. Most people don’t realize how much it takes to actually become a musician, how much craft and focus and dedication it requires. I feel like it’s been completely cheapened by TikTok culture and these influencers who use music as a vehicle for fame. It’s so disrespectful. And it’s time for artists to take our power back. That’s what “Rebel Revolution” is about. I wanted to make a 2022 anthem for the true artists, the real rebels who do this to make bold statements, deliver a message, because they fucking have to, because music is in our blood. Fuck “content.” There’s a difference between art and content and we need to wake up and see it for what it is.
So what is the “Rebel Revolution,” and who are the ones rebelling?
Like I said, the rebel revolution is about artists taking our power back, taking back ownership of our work, daring to leave a mark on the world IRL (not just online), and refusing to succumb to self deprecating TikTok trends. The ones rebelling are those who dare to make something real and original in a world ruled by algorithms and followers, a world where sameness and perfection are rewarded. It’s a fucked up matrix, but this song is an anthem for the ones who dare to break out of it and live life by their own rules. It takes so much courage.
Can you tell us about your latest single, “Wendy’s Parking Lot,” and how it sets the tone for your upcoming album?
My new album has a lot of energy. It’s pretty manic and all over the place because I don’t like to limit myself to one sound or genre. “Wendy’s Parking Lot” isn’t even the most hype song on the album, but I think it gives you a perfect taste of the rage we captured…it’s truly next level. Buckle up.
Recently, you have been working with producer Fernando Garibay. What is it like behind the scenes in the studio together? How did you start working together?
Working with Fernando changed my life. Being around him just makes you want to be great, the way he moves around the studio. I mean, the session is completely focused from start to finish. He has this gentle way of bringing the best out of everyone in the room, making the artist feel comfortable enough to show their true essence and capture it on record. Most producers I’ve worked with in LA just want to make beats, they aren’t really concerned with the artist or the song at all. But that’s what separates the legends. He’s an artist whisperer. I started working with him as a songwriter first, so it was beyond cool to get the Fernando Garibay icon treatment on my own record.
Do you draw from your personal experiences to write your music? Is it hard to bare it all sometimes?
I always draw on my personal experiences in my music. If I didn’t, I would be a fraud. Baring your soul is part of an artist’s job. But of course it’s hard sometimes, being vulnerable in such a volatile world. Art is always worth the risk.
You were a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent – how was that experience? What did you take away most from being on the show?
I was in high school, so I honestly don’t remember much about it except that the reality TV show contestant life really isn’t for me. You don’t get to make the creative decisions or call the shots.
What made you decide to create your own independent record label, Lost Chrrry Records?
I decided to start my own label because I was sick of record labels telling me who I should be, what I can say, what my body should look like – it’s so demeaning. I was even told to hide my sexuality early in my career, and it really traumatized me. Lost Chrrry was a way for me to define myself as an artist on my own terms. My dream is to have my own diverse roster of true artists, who can build sustainable careers in the same way without having to sacrifice any creativity for commerciality.
Can you tell us about your position on sex-positivity and how that informs your music?
I’ve never labelled myself as sex-positive, but people tell me I am all the time. I just simply believe in expression, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Sex is something to be celebrated; it makes us human. When I express myself through music or fashion or whatever medium I choose, I’m doing so because it makes me feel beautiful and powerful; in charge of my body. It’s a way of harnessing chaos and energy and making something beautiful. It’s alchemy.
Your sexual identity has inspired some of your songs. How has sharing that with the world made you feel stronger?
I think living your truth in general makes you stronger. People have definitely come at me for being so fluid with my sexuality, for rejecting labels, for going back and forth – but sexuality is confusing and constantly evolving. I think I find my strength within that evolution.
Were you ever made to feel afraid of your queer identity? How did you overcome that struggle?
Yes, early in my career I was told that if I came out as a gay woman, it would “ruin” everything. But I did it anyway. You have to trust your intuition over everything else.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have any personal icons?
My personal style is rooted in punk with a glam cherry on top. I love David Bowie, and Blondie, and Vivienne Westwood with a dash of Gaga. Classic rock icon style, studded leather jackets with vintage jeans, lots of jewels, and a chunky platform boot. You can’t go wrong.
Who are the biggest rebels of our time, and what is it about them that resonates with you?
I love Saint JHN and Teezo Touchdown; artists who challenge the system and find success outside of it. I think Teezo will be one of the biggest rebels of our time. It’s the way he uses social media, the way he communicates. It’s an action, a way of going about your life and art.
What does it mean to be a rebel today?
It means making bold statements fearlessly and creating new ways to share art with the world. Nothing is impossible, that’s the rebel mindset.
Do you have a personal motto or words of wisdom you live by?
Live laugh love!
What is next for Sizzy Rocket? Do you have any performances or new releases you can share?
My new album will drop later this year, and it’s my most ambitious body of work ever. Obviously, there will be a new show to go with it too in the spirit of true punk: unhinged. That’s all I can say for now. I think my work speaks for itself.
To read our print feature on Sizzy Rocket, pick up your copy of “The REBEL Issue” here.
Photography by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine
Styling by Indira Cesarine
Hair and make-up by Sizzy Rocket
Styling Assistant Elise Adams
Photographed on location at Hotel Shangri-La, Los Angeles