Singer-songwriter Sydney Lyndella Ward, known by her stage name Sunny War, taught herself the guitar when she was 13 years old. As she’s grown up, she’s relied on it to express herself. From Venice Beach, California, War came to perform in Columbia. for the first night of the True/False Film Fest on March 5 at Cafe Berlin.
According to her website, War is “a force of nature that is hard to pin down.” Her music starts with just her guitar and her voice. Her lyrics aren’t inspired by anything specific, but they consist of whatever is on her mind. This can be relationships, the world, or anything that makes her feel like crying. It's her way of being her own therapist.
“I would describe [my music] as a very minimalist audio diary,” War said.
Because the emotions behind her songs are so powerful, War’s songs are often times sad.
“I think that’s good because that’s been something that’s been comforting to me in music,” War said. “I usually want to listen to sad stuff when I’m feeling sad, and that makes me feel better because I feel like someone else was feeling that way. So it's just an emo fest, I guess.”
War believes that her sound isn’t considered mainstream because she doesn’t rely on others for approval. Her music is hers and she owns it.
“I feel like with singer-songwriter stuff somebody is going to like it no matter what, if they like that kinda stuff in the first place,” War said. “There is a lot of stuff that I don’t like that a lot of people like and I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind.”
Every song War writes is unique because she listens to many different types of music. These range from Brazilian, to heavy metal, to alternative, to pop, to basically anything that is based on the guitar. All these different genres inspire her sound and the different vibes in War’s music.
Chloe Prewett, a freshman at the MU School of Music, believes that anyone can connect with War’s music.
“She’s soulful and has a sound that everyone can enjoy singing along to,” Prewett said. “She’s super unique, especially with her blues style because that's not super mainstream.”
War looked forward to performing in Columbia because she’d never been before and has never even been to Missouri. Sunny also said she, “was excited to experience the college town feel of Columbia.”
Sunny performed at Cafe Berlin Thursday night. Sunny performed songs from her two most recent albums and a couple of new songs that are about to be released.
Edited by Sophie Stephens | firstname.lastname@example.org