Meet Sizzy Rocket: high school valedictorian turned hot rebellious punk star. The upcoming singer-songwriter has been putting out killer music for five years now and has written for artists like Annita, Bea Miller, and Matoma.
Sizzy was born and raised in Las Vegas. When she was seven years old, she joined a kids’ performance group and would perform at malls every weekend. Eventually, she started learning how to play the piano and wrote her first song at nine years old. “Then from there, my style and my love for music just sort of evolved over time,” Sizzy says.
The Sizzy Rocket alias came into play when she was 17. The name is a combination of the iconic Ziggy Stardust and Iggy Pop. Sizzy discovered punk – which she notes “was like a catalyst” for her – and moved to New York, where she started booking shows.
“I played this underground venue called the National Underground when I first moved there, and I played for like one person, but I was determined, and I ended up putting out my own music on Dropbox,” Sizzy shares. Well, that determination landed her music in the hands of Universal and eventually led her to sign a publishing deal with the label.
Living in New York also allowed Sizzy to fully embrace her sexuality, a part of herself she had a difficult time accepting for many years prior. The city introduced her to the queer scene – something she did not have in Vegas – and surrounded her with other queer women she was finally able to identify with and look up to.
“Sexuality is a thing that’s constantly evolving, and what’s important is to just be who you are and just continue on that journey.”
As an artist, Sizzy has always made it a conscious priority to be empowered by and vocal about her sexuality. “I feel like it’s important for me to be vocal about it because the message is about going from feeling ashamed to then turning that into your own power, and that reigns so true to a lot of queer kids,” she explains.
In 2016, Sizzy dropped her debut album, THRILLS, a 13-track collection which includes “Bestie,” the song that blew up on Twitter overnight and established her loyal fanbase.
“I’m proud of [THRILLS], and I love those songs, and I wouldn’t have the best fucking fanbase in the world without that album,” Sizzy ensures. However, she admits she was not entirely “steering the ship” with THRILLS, as she was “very new to the music industry.”
“It was my first record deal, and as a young female artist, people assume you don’t know what you want or don’t know what you’re talking about. I felt like I had to do what I was told in order to get what I wanted, so that album kind of came together without my creative input.”
With her sophomore album Grrrl, which was released in 2019, everything was on her terms. “I made it with one producer, so every sound, every lyric, the way it was distributed, the cover art, everything was definitely 100 percent me, which felt really good,” Sizzy says.
Grrrl was a defining album for Sizzy. At the top of 2019, she had just returned from tour, parted ways with her old managers, and was “in a very public relationship with another artist” at the time. She felt like she was at a starting point.
“I was like, ‘Who do I wanna be? What do I wanna say? I need to make an album,’ and Grrrl just kind of came out. It taught me who I wanna be and what I wanna say is super vulnerable, honest, and romantic, but also badass and in your face, and I found that contrast within myself making that album.”
Returning to her punk roots, Sizzy’s latest record ANARCHY is “a very noisy album with heavy guitars and a lot of distortion,” as she describes. “There are a lot of big 808s and trap hats, and the lyrics are very pop culture.”
She feels it is “a very good mix of hip-hop, punk, rock n roll, and pop,” but it took her a while to find that sound, which she explains is the perfect balance of all her influences. “I feel like in the past, I’ve either wanted to do super bubblegum pop or super raw,” she adds.
Back in February, Sizzy dropped the album’s first single, “That Bitch,” a song she wrote on the floor of her apartment after her last breakup. “It wasn’t even in my mind to do an album yet, I just had to write. I was not in the best place, and I felt like my confidence was just ripped from me,” she says.
“I asked myself, ‘What song would I need right now to get me back to feeling like myself?’ and I wrote it at like two in the morning. Then, I took it to Dave the next day – who produced Grrrl with me – and he surprisingly got the vision from this shitty little piano demo.”
Sizzy says ANARCHY is definitely her best album – certainly her most visual – and probably the most special to her. “It’s like an accumulation of everything Sizzy Rocket so far,” she says. “Grrrl was a brand-new chapter, but ANARCHY is everything about Sizzy Rocket all in one, so I really wanted to make visuals that are fun to watch and super queer – aesthetically – about the feeling of this world.”
Check out the rest of my interview with Sizzy below:
How did you discover your sexuality, and how has it evolved?
My first relationship was with a girl when I was in high school. I was like 15, but I was super closeted, so it was a secret from my parents. I remember when they found out, I was so ashamed; I thought it was wrong, internally. When I was little, I vividly remember this tabloid magazine with Alicia Keys on the cover, and it said, “Alicia Keys is gay,” and it was this whole thing – this rumor – and it was being conveyed as a negative thing. So, I was more scared that it would affect my career and my art. Obviously, that’s not true, but that feeling is very real, and if I were to tell my younger self how to get through that, I would just say, “It’s okay to feel that way, but you don’t have to feel that way.” The message is that you don’t have to internalize that, it’s not real. Then, when I moved to New York, that kind of opened my mind. So, you know, it’s a constant journey. I feel like being queer in this world, you’re always gonna have to be creating a space for yourself, and it’s so dope to see so many gay artists, lesbian artists, drag queens, trans artists– I feel like the space is getting bigger and bigger, and it’s such a beautiful thing to see.
Where did you gain your fanbase?
It was Twitter, actually. “Bestie” was out, and I still don’t know exactly how it happened, but I guess someone had posted the “Bestie” video in a Halsey chat or something, and I woke up one morning to a couple of thousand teenage girls who just newly discovered my music fucking going crazy on Twitter. I was like, “Oh my god, this is crazy. What the fuck is happening?” and I tweeted, “If you’re a new fan, DM me your address, and I’ll send you a sticker.” I got like 500 DMs, and I fucking sat there and handwrote every envelope, put the stickers in, and sent them out. I feel like from the start, I’ve established this really strong loyalty, and it’s crazy to see how it’s evolved. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t really think of another smaller upcoming DIY artist who has just gained a fanbase with this level of passion and loyalty for four years. They inspire me to keep going. It’s this like crazy energy exchange that I’m really grateful for.
How was your experience attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institution?
It was a great experience. When I got to New York, I was very focused on rebellion, so I wasn’t a great NYU student; I just partied all the time. I think I was just drunk that whole time. But you meet so many amazing people – other artists, people who are studying engineering, people who are studying the business side. I feel like going there definitely shaped me as an artist, but at the same time, I was a little art school dropout rebel. That will always be the contrast of who I am – on one hand I’m high school valedictorian, follows the rules, good girl, but on the other hand, I’m a very, very, very bad girl.
Who have been your biggest inspirations?
My biggest influence is definitely Jack White. The White Stripes changed my life when I was a kid. I think “Seven Nation Army” was one of the first rock songs I ever heard, and I was like, “Yeah, this is it.” But also, Patti Smith, Karen O, Travis Scott, and The Kills are huge influences of mine. There’s this artist SAINt JHN that I’ve been listening to – he really influenced the new album just with his melodies, and his lyrics are like fucking poetry. I would say those are the biggest ones for sure. I also love Andy Warhol. I’m really influenced by how artists do things, so I love his style. I think I’m influenced by both the sound of artists and the way that they operate.
What is your favorite song on Grrrl, and why?
I’m gonna give you my top three. “Tattoos,” for sure – I love that song just because it’s sexy, and I love that feeling of, “Holy fuck, you’re gonna fuck me up but I love it,” and the dance break is so fun. Then, I love “Tequila in My Blood” – I just think it’s a great song, and I wrote it with Eric, who’s like my main collaborator, my main songwriter friend. And then, “Grrrl” is definitely one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written because it feels honest, like really, really fucking honest. Also, I love the songs that connect most with my fans, and I feel like “Grrrl” is one of those that connects the strongest.
Tell me about your creative process.
Usually, I just create from scratch. I’m actually really involved with the production of my music. I don’t physically work on the computer, but I’ll verbally produce. So, usually, something will prompt a song, whether it’s a word, a melody, a line, or a drumbeat. For the last album– I don’t know, it all just kind of happened at the same time. Sometimes, it starts with a feeling; I’ll be like, “Oh, I want a song that feels like this.” So, it depends how it starts, but I love starting from net base, like silence, and then go.
Which of your songs is your favorite or most special?
You know what, I think it’s the piano demo of “Sid Vicious” that I put out at the top of last year – for so many reasons. The first reason is I was doing that song live on a few tours before I put it out, and I feel like it was one of those songs that if you were a real fan, you’d know it. A lot of my fans rip the audio from live YouTube videos, and they’re always telling me to put it out. A couple of producers tried to produce it out, and we could just never get it right. Then, when I parted ways with my team at the top of 2019, that was the first song I put out independently. I knew it was gonna be a special moment for my fans because they already loved and knew and connected with that song. They were asking for it, and I finally delivered, which is a good feeling. But also, just claiming my independence and having it be my first release was really special, so I love that song, and I love the story of it. It’s about a real person. I had this fleeting weekend with this guy who just reminded me of Sid Vicious, and then he left back home to Australia. I was just so nostalgic – not heartbroken – but it’s that feeling where you’re pining over someone that you know you can’t have, but you both love each other. It’s one of my favorite feelings to write from, so I just love that song.
What are some of your goals as an artist?
One of my goals is to find my visual aesthetic, like the universe or the world that this album is going to be living in. I feel like it’s unfolding slowly – “That Bitch” and the photos and the polaroids we’ve been doing so far are all part of this bigger world that I’m trying to define. Another goal of mine is to start doing photography. I feel like it’s such a cool medium because you can capture a moment and then be able to revisit it. Music is dope, but you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, so I’m excited to pick up photography and document the world in a different way. And then another one of my goals is to focus on loving myself and accepting myself for who I am and just radically accepting my journey so far because, you know, it’s hard sometimes.
Which artists would you like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Peaches – that’s a dream of mine. I'd also love to collab with Tyler, The Creator and MIA.
What do you do outside of music?
I love soul cycle. It’s closed at the moment, and I actually cried when it closed. That’s definitely my top hobby. I’m out there outfitted in the front row – that’s like my favorite thing. I also love writing long-form poetry and prose. I’ve started cooking more, which is fun. I just bought this big pot, and I’m gonna make Bolognese. I’m either doing one of those things or making music or hanging out with my boyfriend, and that’s about it.
What is your proudest moment?
Right off the top of my head, I would say my proudest moment was on my Grrrl tour last year, which I completely booked and funded myself. We played in a gallery in LA because all the venues were booked, and I was just like, “Fuck it, I’m playing in a gallery.” We set up a sound system and cleared out all the stuff, and there was a line of kids down the block. It felt like, “wow.” I was performing, seeing everyone crammed in this little space, sweating and screaming and having a blast. It was such a special, rare moment. I felt my own power, I felt my own vibe, and seeing everyone fully in that experience was probably my proudest moment.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
I want to go to Berlin. I just feel really connected to Berlin, like on a soul level. I feel like punk is still thriving there.