Sizzy Rocket is ushering in a fresh wave of genre-blending, Spotify-era punk in her new album, ANARCHY.
If you haven’t already listened to ANARCHY, you really should. Queer artist, Sizzy Rocket spent eight exceedingly productive days writing and recording the 10-track album at the end of last year and, well, she definitely made the most of it. True to her roots, the Las Vegas native puts on a sonic show with a firm nod to her punk-rock beginnings embodied both in the album’s title (I mean what says “punk” more than Anarchy?), and bold, grittier songs like “Running with Scissors,”, “& It Feels Like Love” and “Smells Like Sex.” In her standout track, “Rollerskating,” Sizzy manages to inject that illusive confessional lyricism coupled with a nostalgic pop musicality that universally resonates with listeners; an effect that is echoed in tracks like “Cocaine by the Pool.”
We spoke briefly to Sizzy about the creative process behind ANARCHY, queer representation in the music industry and her experience shooting the ultra-cheeky “Smells Like Sex” music video. Oh, and if you’re in need of a new hype anthem—”That Bitch” is your jam.
Sizzy just released the video for “Spill My Guts”, check it out below.
ANARCHY is your third studio album following Thrills (2016) and Grrrl (2019). Listening to all three in succession, there’s a clear evolution of sound from the genre-blending alternative pop/R&B crossover throughout Grrrl to ANARCHY’s punk-pop tracks like “That Bitch” and “Running with Scissors.” It sounds like there’s some serious identity formation happening in ANARCHY, what inspired the musical direction of the album?
I was really inspired by Travis Scott’s Astroworld — it’s so abrasive and deep and artful. I wasn’t really seeing that approach in 2020 to rock/punk music so I wanted to shoot my shot. What happens when you combine 808s with punk guitars with thoughtful, lyrical story-telling? I think the identity of the music becomes stronger. And that’s a bigger question I’m still answering.
There’s a brilliant juxtaposition between the unapologetic nerve of tracks like “That Bitch” and the heavy nostalgia of “Rollerskating.” When you first began creating the record, did you envision making something with such a creative range or did that happen organically?
It happened organically! On this record I intentionally let myself explore those extremes, both lyrically and sonically. I think it’s just a part of who I am as a person.
It sounds like “Rollerskating” is you at your most vulnerable on the album, with lyrics like “You’re still the one that I’ll never get over/Cause you loved me at a time when I didn’t love myself.” Can you elaborate on the meaning behind that song?
“Rollerskating” is about my first big love. I had just moved to NYC, I was 18, and I was falling in love with a girl for the first time. Those elements are a powerful combination! Now I look back on that time in my life with an innocent nostalgia. Like, yes, that experience was painful, but the pain is an important part of it. I can still move on and look back on those memories fondly.
You’ve spoken before about your experience growing up in the 90’s with very few openly queer musicians to look up to; now, you’re performing in an era where musicians across the queer spectrum like Kehlani, Pabllo Vittar, Troye Sivan and Janelle Monae (to name a few) are owning their identity and sexuality through their art. Do you find yourself creating music and expressing your identity for a younger Sizzy (a.k.a Sabrina) to listen to and feel represented by?
I don’t express myself directly to my younger self, but I do believe that my younger self would feel proud of who I am today. And I see my younger self in my fans.
Growing up, who were your biggest musical influences?
I grew up on early 2000s garage rock and I still think that wave of new punk / indie / electroclash is one of the most exciting ever. The White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, and The Kills are my biggest influences.
I have to ask, do you have a personal favourite track off ANARCHY?
Ugh I go back and forth but “Crazy Bitch” is my favorite at the moment because, like, I am one.
The “Smells Like Sex” music video has amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube, and because of COVID was directed via Zoom. What was that experience like?
Shooting that video was a wild experience! The director couldn’t even see what we were doing! It felt more like some bizarre performance art piece than shooting a music video. The final edit is jolt-y and fast moving but while we were shooting we had to be focused and move super slowly while zooming in and zooming out and getting the close-ups on the body parts, the limbs intertwines in awkward and painful positions… It was super challenging but definitely one of my favorite shoots ever.
You’ve opened for Imagine Dragons and written for the likes of Bea Miller on “Motherlove” and Noah Cyrus on “Slow.” Who would your ultimate musical collab be with?
It is one of my ultimate dreams to make a record produced by Rick Rubin.
What’s next? Have you got any future projects in the works?
Oh yes – but shhhh I can’t tell you my secrets!
Stay tuned with the adventures of Sizzy Rocket on Instagram.
Interview by Sophie Bishop
Photos of Sizzy Rocket by Alex Inez, cover photo by Terri B Thomas