WLUW sat down to chat with Detroit's Siena Liggins at Mo Pop 2019. Check out the highlights below, where we talked about Detroit's art scene and the importance of pop music as a genre.
With this being your first big festival performance, how did it feel being on stage? Was it any different from being at a show or concert?
It was incredible! It was the best feeling ever. I mean, I wouldn't say it's different from any of my shows since we come in and do what we have to do and show out. But today was a really special day for me, there was so much energy. I was really excited to be up there, it was a great feeling.
From your own perspective, what can you tell us about the scene here in Detroit?
Detroit is the birthplace of so much music. Techno, Motown, so many things are born in Detroit. So to be a part of a city that has such a rich history in the arts is a sweet feeling. And my team Assemble Sound is like my family. It's amazing to get to make music with them and feel like I’m a part of that movement as well. Detroit’s music scene is budding and growing, but at the same time very deeply rooted here.
You mentioned Assemble Sound. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Assemble Sound is this awesome music collective. It's in this old church out in historic Corktown. The building has been around forever, anyone visiting Detroit should definitely drive by and look at it if you get a chance while you're here. But essentially, it’s this really cool group of friends that bought out this old church and turned it into a bunch of DIY studios. And now a bunch of artists in Detroit and producers work out of it and make cool stuff.
Let’s talk about your “Me Again” music video. It highlights a very specific and relatable experience in our day and age. Can you talk to us about your inspiration behind the video and its meaning?
All of the ideas for my videos just start in my head. I usually take it to my team to figure out what’s feasible. What can we make happen? The song is about being on your phone, so we thought it’d be cool if you watch it in vertical view on your phone. It’s like your walking through the party with me on snapchat or an instagram live video. That's what you do at a party, you're going to post everything. Everybody today is going to post everything that they're doing all day. So we just wanted it to feel like that. And it was so much fun to me because it was literally all my friends. I was I didn't tell them we're shooting a video. I was just like, “I'm having a party!” You try to tell people you're doing stuff and they’re late or whatever, but I was just like, I'm throwing a party and I will buy all the booze.
As an artist, where do you pull other inspiration from? Who did you listen to growing up?
Fun fact! Today's the 20th anniversary of “Writing’s on the Wall” by Destiny's Child. “Say My Name” is 20 years old, which is crazy. That song is iconic. And also, as old as we are. That's what I grew up on. I grew up on Destiny's Child, NSYNC, Usher, Britney Spears. Eventually I grew into my own taste, but my mom was young when she had me, so I grew up listening to the music that she was listening to when she was my age now, which was pop anthems, club anthems.
Like your “Flowerbomb” lyric: “hit it one more time, call her Britney Spears”
Yeah! One of my favorite songs of all time. Oh, let me clarify: not“Flowerbomb,” “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”
What are you listening to right now?
I listen to Cashmere Cat and DJ Snake on a regular basis. You know whose album is low key fire? Mason Ramsey.
Whoa. That's a hot take.
It’s really good! “Twang” is fire. I've listened to every remix of “Old Town Road” too. I also listen to Yung Baby Tate, who is awesome, she's a friend and she's so dope. And Chance the Rapper. Shoutout Chicago!
What's up next for you?
More music of course. That's what it's gonna be. It's always gonna be more visuals, more ways to engage with people who listen to my music. I'm in a really great place right now because everyone that either follows my music or follows me online, I'm still busy enough where there's stuff I can give them, but I have enough time and space now I can still check in with them regularly. I can catch up on what they're doing, and that’s a great feeling. It’s cool being booked and busy but also enjoying it.
Photos by Elise McGannon