Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to up and coming artists that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with SIMA.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your musical journey:
SIMA: My musical journey began in a room I shared with my older sister Janet, in our childhood home in Israel. My sister was a huge rock/metal fan and I was forced to listen to the music that she listened to, which, in retrospect, I’m grateful for. She introduced me to amazing records and bands like Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Nirvana, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, The Doors and many more. She also took me to my first rock concert to see Deep Purple when I was 11. Growing up I had a friend whose parents were artists, painters, sculptors and educators. I loved spending time in their home. I was exposed to poetry, art, classical music, jazz and classic rock. My friend was a very talented guitar player, so we spent a lot of time together, singing and playing music. He also introduced me to some incredible rock bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Sting, The Cure and many more great artists.
I started writing poetry and journaling about my experiences growing up. But my real songwriting developed when I left Israel and moved to New York City. For the next few years, I focused all of my time and energy on songwriting and developing a solid singing style, drawing inspiration from a variety music artists and bands.
I worked on my first record ‘This Is Truth’ for a few years when I was living in NYC and Miami. This record started my career. It represented my past, accepting myself for who I am, facing my fears, hardships and the times that I felt disconnected and alone. It was a glimpse of where I was heading musically and creatively. Completing the record wasn’t an easy thing, as I lost a lot through the process of making it, but it was the most significant piece of work and a major healing process. I completed the last song for the record ‘This Is My Truth’ in L.A.
‘This Is My Truth’, the single, was the first song that I ever wrote completely on my own. It represented taking my power back as a woman, taking ownership of my career, my talent, my life and knowing that no matter who I work with, or whoever comes into my life, that, my talent and my visions are mine, given to me by God for a reason. It was like things came full circle.
The first single I released was ‘Breaking Down The Walls’, a powerful and inspiring rock song with a message of hope. It was mixed by the Three-time Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer, Tom Lord-Alge (U2, Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Matthews, Oasis) and it was mastered by Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound Studios in NYC, also a Grammy Award-winner, who has been producing for major labels, mastering, engineering, and mixing hundreds of albums for major pop and rock music artists (The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Muse.)
I was creating music that was on the same level of the signed bands. People couldn’t deny my talent, my music, hard work and the way I presented myself visually and they started paying attention to my music and the message behind it. I wasn’t afraid to be raw and vulnerable and have my voice heard. I was relatable and grounded and people felt like I’m expressing what they are going through.
In 2014 I released ‘Beautiful Liar’ which features some of my most ambitious and textured work. It’s very diverse. From emotionally charged ballads like ‘Set It On Fire’ to up-tempo rockers like ‘Alone With You’. I took a big step forward in both songwriting and production. I wrote the lyrics and melodies for all the songs on that EP and co-produced it. It was an empowering experience and allowed me to overcome my insecurities by once again shading more layers of my old self, my past,pain and heartbreaks and realizing what I wanted to create in my life.
I’m currently working on a new album. Eight songs are completed. I released the first single called ‘Head Over Heels’. I’m testing the water first with that song. It talks about how, sometimes in life, we give up on love, because we get hurt so many times, that we become numb to it and forget how it feels to be in that vibration, to being love head over heels with someone, until you finally meet that special person who changes all that and brings you back to life.
I’m also working on a peace documentary/music project called ‘Broken Wings’. The idea started from the song that I wrote called ‘Broken Wings’. I wrote the song during the last war in Israel two years ago. I wanted to inspire a brighter future for both Israeli and Palestinian people to break down the walls of hate through the universal language of music that connects hearts and opens dialogue.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
SIMA: My influences mainly come from my own life experience, my past, upbringing, heartbreaks, relationships, love and my curiosity for life. I never really listen to a band and say that I want to sound like them.
With that being said, I listen to a lot of different type of music. One of my favorite artists growing up was Bjork. When I heard her music and saw her music videos, I was blown away. She was so ahead of her time, so unique, creative, expressive and authentic and I loved her raw and intense voice. She was singing from her soul and writing about deep stuff, she was wild and rare. I used to listen to her for hours and I bought every record she released. I wanted to master the way she was screaming and letting her self go so freely. She wasn’t playing on the safe side of the music industry. She was herself and I loved that. That’s something that I always wanted toaccomplish with my music. I wanted to create honest and unique sound that you can’t really place in a box.
I was also inspired by Stevie Nicks, Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries, RIP, Shirley Manson from Garbage, Alanis Morissette, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, Mazzy Star and bands like The Cure, Massive Attack, A Perfect Circle, Metallica, Portishead, Linkin Park, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, New Order, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Roxette, I love Nick Cave music and I’m a big fan of his old stuff, Nine Inch Nails, Jack White, Judas Priest and the list goes on and on.
METAL ANARCHY: What can you say about your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
SIMA: My latest single, ‘Head Over Heels’, is about being in Love. About finding that special someone that you can’t get out of your mind, someone that you can trustto be by your side no matter what.† It talks about how sometimes in life we give up on love, because we get hurt so many times, that we become numb to it and forget how it feels to be in that vibration, to be in love head over heels with someone, until you finally meet that special person who changes all that and brings you back to life.Although ‘Head Over Heels’ talks about love and finding that special someone, it’s not your typical love song. It has an intense badass rock sound. It’s intimate and at the same time, has in your face attitude of a woman who is not afraid to express her feelings and deep desires.
I wrote this song when I was working on myself and growing spiritually and letting go of the things that don’t serve me any more. I was letting go of old baggage, past experiences, insecurities, self doubts, negative beliefs and emotions regarding relationships. I started getting really clear on what I wanted out of life. For many years I was focusing on my career and I realized that I’m neglecting a big part of me that wanted to find balance in life. I didn’t want to deprive myself of things that are important to me.
I think the readers and people in general could relate to the song because, we all pretty much go through similar experiences in life and relationships and love are things that we all deal with and challenged by all the time. We all deserve to love and be loved and that’s what the song is about, opening my heart for love again. On top of it, the song is rocking and driving and I believe that people would dig my sound.
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
SIMA: People should expect to go through a range of emotions and experiences. Have fun, rock out and dance, as well, experience raw emotions and honesty, heart to heart connection.
METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
SIMA: I see myself and my band famous 😃. Touring the world, creating and releasing new music and growing and expending creatively, collaborating with other artists and bands and exploring new platforms and other areas of creativity like film, T.V and much more.