Sissy Sheridan talks her new single, songwriting and Fash Bash
Sissy Sheridan has come a long way from the D.C. theaters where she fell in love with acting. You might recognize the fifteen-year-old from her role as Angie on the Brat show Chicken Girls or as the host of Nickelodeon’s first web series, DIY With Me, but Sissy isn’t just a single-threat. After the success of her cover of "Most Girls" by Hailee Steinfeld, Sissy was offered the chance to record an original single with Brat Records called "Who Me?". It drops this Friday. Peep below to find out the inspiration behind "who me?", Sissy’s journey to success, and how she balances her career with being a normal teen.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Girls’ Life: What is "who me?" about?
Sissy Sheridan: The song is basically about when you’re talking to people online, and you find out that they’re fake. And when you try to bring it up, they cause drama, being like, “Who, me? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And the song talks about being able to nip it in the bud and stand up for yourself.
GL: What was the hardest part of making the song?
SS: I think the hardest part was getting the bridge right, where it’s like, 'Boy, I’m sorry.' I wanted the bridge to be completely different, like a whole new song inside the song—inside, like, the original melody—and so it took a little while to find that, but once we did I was so happy with it. And I’m really glad now with where it is today.
GL: Were you influenced by any other current artists when you made the song?
SS: Yes, definitely. What I was going for was like a, "Breakup With Your Girlfriend" thing, like that kind of sound of Ariana Grande. But also, I don’t know if you know who Lennon Stella is, she’s an underrated artist, and she has a lot of music that’s similar to this. There’s a song called "Bad" by her, and it has similar vibes to that. I also love Billie Eilish. Like, I wanted my song to be more like pop—but definitely, those three were the main influences on my song.
GL: How do you balance your singing and acting careers with being a regular teen?
SS: For me, my life—I know it isn’t—but it feels normal to me. The traveling, and being on set and working and stuff. When I’m out in L.A., the kids that are out here are also doing the same thing that I’m doing, so it’s easy to work around each other’s schedules, but when I’m back home [in D.C.] it’s harder to see everyone because they’re at school for seven hours a day. Whereas in L.A. kids are done in four hours, and can do online school together. But I feel like, after a year of being out here and being back home, I’ve figured out a way to balance both schedules.
GL: Do you have any advice, now that you’ve written your own song, for other girls who want to try to write a song?
SS: I would say just sit down and start writing. A good way to start probably would be poetry because you can just take those words and then put them to a melody. And just think about experiences that have happened in your life that you want to share in a way other than just talking about it. If you’re able to surround yourself with other creative people, then definitely do that too. You have to just push yourself to do it, because you can’t always be like, "What could’ve happened?" And if you’re just starting out, my first thing was a cover, so I would recommend doing that, too—filming a cover and posting it on YouTube, and seeing how that plays out, and if you like the process.
GL: How did you get started in the entertainment industry in general? Was it something you were always interested in?
SS: When I was six years old, my mom signed me up for musical theater camp, and that’s when it really started. I absolutely loved it. I was obsessed. For a while, I only wanted to do musical theater, but I started to audition for TV and film. I did Maniac, a Netflix show, and being on set for that was insane. Just being surrounded by so many talented, hard-working people, and literally being in scenes with Jonah Hill, was insane. And then I did DIY With Me for Nickelodeon. But I had already signed a contract for Billy Elliot with Signature Theatre, and so I had to do that for three months. During that time—like, after I signed the contract, a month later—I got Chicken Girls. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of everything that’s happened.
GL: I'm sure! Finally, you performed at Girls' Life's Fash Bash a few weeks ago. How was that experience? Were you nervous?
SS: Yeah, that was my first time performing a song—just singing, like at a concert—and it was my first time performing "who me?", and it was so much fun. All of the kids were extremely nice. And they were all so talented and humble, too. I had four of my best friends from home there, which was so amazing, seeing them in the crowd and like, seeing them cheer me on. I had them learn all the words to my song, and like, I could see them singing it and everything. It was so adorable.
I definitely want to perform live way more now because of that experience. I was probably a little nervous, just because I hadn’t ever performed [my song] live before, but once I got on stage I felt so excited and ready. It was an experience I’ll literally never forget. And it was so great, too, having my friends there, and everyone in the wings like Jayden [Bartels] and Hayden [Summerall] and Taylor Felt. Everyone was so supportive and I had so much fun.
The song "who me?" is available to pre-save here, and you can officially stream it on Friday, August 23rd.