For those in the mood for some introspective indie rock by someone who isn’t afraid of speaking out, Sydney Sprague is your next must-listen.

Having daydreamed about being a musician when she was a kid while surrounded by her Britney Spears and *NSYNC posters, it’s a little surprising that Sydney Sprague ended up becoming a singer-songwriter with a penchant for guitar licks and introspective lyrics.

Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, the 28-year-old rocker has just released her new single ‘i refuse to die’ under her new label Rude Records, and it’s one of the most intriguing indie rock songs to have been blasted from our speakers at Tone Deaf.

Couple that with an outspoken streak that involves openly discussing the political climate in America (she even penned a Trump diss track called ‘A-Bomb’ back in 2018), there’s definitely something about Sydney Sprague.

So to figure out what makes Sydney tick, we decided to set her down for a chat as part of our popular Get To Know series.

How did your artist name come about?

My artist name was chosen by my parents at birth. I think they did okay! It’s not easy to say or spell, but I usually just tell people Sydney like Australia, Sprague like Prague but with an “S” at the front. I’ve tried out a few other band names over the years and nothing ever really stuck of felt like *me*.

How would you describe your music to your grandma?

My grandma isn’t with us anymore (RIP), but she used to always say that my songs made her feel good.

Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

The first couple of singles I’ve got coming out are ‘i refuse to die‘ and ‘steve’! ‘I refuse to die’ is a song I wrote back in December 2019.

It’s about how my life at that time felt too good to be true, and I was paranoid something bad was about to happen.

It’s probably just my anxiety talking but I think I had some intuition that 2020 was going to be a nightmare. ‘Steve’ is one my favorite new songs, it’s about removing all the toxic things and people from your life and starting over.

Check out ‘i refuse to die’ by Sydney Sprague:

Click to play videoPlay

What do you love about your hometown?

I love the music scene in Phoenix! It’s so underrated! The city is huge and so spread-out that I feel like it’s taken a long time to get everyone together and develop a “scene.” but we’ve finally gotten there in the last few years.

We’ve got awesome venues like the Van Buren and my favorite, the Rebel Lounge, and really supportive local promoters like Psyko Steve and Stateside Presents. I started playing shows when I was 14, and having the opportunity to play real venues growing up was such a big deal.

There’s crazy talent here and I’m super lucky to be able to collaborate with my amazing friends like Danielle Durack, Jared & the Mill, my new label-mates Sundressed, Dick Dorado, and God Samaritan, just to name a few.

My boyfriend Chuck Morriss III (also my duo partner in our side project Competition Jones) has an amazing space at a studio called Highland, so there’s a ton of stuff going on all the time. It’s exciting to be a part of. 

Career highlight so far?

I think the highlight has to be making a record at The Hall of Justice in Seattle. So many of my favorite records were made in that studio, so it was crazy to just be in that room, and to be able to spend a whole month making songs – it was a dream. It was pretty much my whole bucket list in one swing. 

Fave non-music hobby?

I’m pretty boring! I love hanging out with my cats at home and playing Magic The Gathering with my boyfriend. If I do venture out of the house, I love going to vintage shops & Trader Joe’s.

What’s on your dream rider?

Topo Chico, cold brew coffee, and the best local snack food from whatever the show is in. One of my favorite parts about being on tour is trying all the snacks!! 

Dream music collaboration?

Max Martin!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

It’s hard to make any kind of plans these days, but in my ideal future, in 10 years I would be on the road playing shows and/or making records with Chuck in our big fancy bunker/studio. 

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

‘Breathe’ by Michelle Branch.