Welcome back to another installment of the Rooted Minds Blog’s Spotlight Feature, where we shine a light on creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs that are making strides to take their careers to the next level. In addition to that it is a space where we can celebrate the success stories of members of our community, friends, and newly discovered creatives.
This feature is super cool because we had the opportunity to work with her during the Rooted Sessions Story Mode Event (Tempe 2022). Leewater originally recommended her to the line up with a guarantee that she wouldn’t disappoint. Easy Call! Since then she’s formed a band that occasionally features our friend Stone on Sax, so it’s amazing to see the connectivity and creativity going on in the Phoenix Metro area. Let’s meet Squydd!
BIO: Squydd is a local musician and songwriter in Phoenix, AZ. She has been playing the piano and singing since she was 4. Squydd has played at different venues and events such as, for Roosevelt Row First Friday's, Last Exit Live, Lost Leaf, Crescent Ballroom etc. She is known for her contemporary R&B and Neo-soul sound. She is currently working on her new single Situation.
Rooted Minds Blog
RM: What has been your journey to being in the field that you’re in today? (Artist, Musician, Athlete, Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Creative, Etc.) What has been the most impactful lesson that you've learned?
S: My journey of music has been deliberating. Music was always in my life, my dad played when he was young and passed it onto me. I started the piano when I was 4 years old and started singing when I knew I wanted to do music professionally when I was 10. I also began writing songs around that time. From middle school to high school, I began singing in the church with my dad, doing praise and worship for the Diocese of Phoenix. As I grew up, I received great feedback to sing more, so I branched out to other areas like coffee shops, fundraisers, and volunteering to play at retirement homes for the elderly. When I was 20, I got signed under Sessions Live as a streaming artist, a live streaming platform for artists to grow a fan-base and earn money doing online shows. In 2021, I met Paris, a local DJ and music curator in Phoenix, who introduced me to the amazing music community in Phoenix (As I am based on the West side). My music sky-rocketed and I ended up having shows every week at different events and venues. I continue to spread my art and see where it takes me.
RM: For those who may not know, how did you develop the name or concept for your business or project?
S: I go by the name of Squydd. This name was given to me when I was in middle school. I went to a private school, and it was dominantly one race, and people were not okay with me being asian along with my appearances like my dark skin, acne, and being "too skinny". Squydd was given to me and I hated the name. Before I started high school I made a commitment that I was going to "glow-up" and I took the name and switched it to something positive. Now people know me as Squydd the musician.
RM: 1) Tell us about your inspiration behind an upcoming project. 2) What do you hope to accomplish and what do you hope people take away from it?
S: A saying I currently hold to that explains my songs are: "Chaos makes the muse". A lot of inspiration for my songs comes from chaos in my own life, which I think a lot of musicians can relate to. One of my songs, called 444 was written to bring awareness towards, self-harm and suicide prevention. I am also in school to be a License Therapist and the inner workings of humans is something I am very passionate about and do my best to incorporate into my music. 44 was an angel number that appeared to me during a low point in my life. And it led me to grow this song into existence. I hope listeners will find a sense of being seen, especially those who have felt similar ways, in hopes to use this song as a source of comfort during hard times. Also to bring awareness to others on how serious self-harm and suicide are.
RM: What have been some effective ways that you've marketed yourself in your space and industry?
S: Finding ways to express myself that stands out is always in the back of my mind when I do anything. I know that I am very creative, so I like to use all of my skills related to music or not, to go towards marketing myself. I know that confidence is half of the look. I do this by expressing myself through how I dress. Also by being different, I customize most of the clothes I wear for my performances, whether that means, cutting, sewing, painting on them or wearing them a different way than its purpose. When I do live performances I will do both covers and originals. However, you will never hear me sing a cover the exact way it is sung. I will always change something about it, to make it my own rendition. The key is to express yourself and the natural consequence will make you stand out.
RM: How have you grown as an entrepreneur or creative in the last 5 years and who's been influential in that process?
S: When I think about my journey for the past 5 years, I cannot believe how much it has taken form. 5 years ago I wrote songs, I thought would only be listened to by me. Now I perform them for hundreds of people and they've come to life and received love on their own. 5 years ago I would fan-girl all of these local musicians when I saw them play. Now I have the honor to play with them and work with them. I do believe in God's divine timing that every moment of growth and opportunity was placed there for a purpose. Every person I met became a little part of my growth either directly or indirectly. One very influential person is Paris, a local DJ and music curator in Downtown Phoenix. He put me in a place where light was able to shine on my art, and people could see what I can really do. He's presented endless doors of opportunities for me and it was my choice if I wanted to open them. I do believe I got myself to where I am today, but he is a significant part of my growth. I think sometimes we all need that one friend who sees something in us that we don't see in ourselves. And it takes an incredible person to take time out of their lives to nurture it and teach us how to see it in ourselves. My parents are also another influence in my life. Without their support I would not have been able to live out this growing dream. It would be impossible without my parent's support.
RM: What are some short-term goals that you are working towards, that friends and supporters can help you with?
S: Some short-term goals I am manifesting are working on expanding the ears for my songs. Meaning, releasing music, at least 3 for the year and start working on an EP so that it is shared with everyone. Anyone who has listened to me sing and play, has supported me in tremendous ways. I know that working on music in the studio will take some time away from performing, but I know it will be worth it once it is done.
RM: What are one or two things that keep you grounded? How do you practice good self-care or how can you practice it better (if you've been lacking in that area)?
S: I feel I've been on a life long quest to find what keeps me ground/rooted in myself. Coming from a place that was not always emotionally stable it has been important for me to find what keeps me grounded. What I've found so far, is being surrounded by nature, preferably at the park. Also, honest affirmations keep me grounded when my emotions get overwhelming. Affirmations like: "You're a new woman, you will get through this." "You are safe" "It is okay not to feel happy, but you're gonna be okay." Practicing self-care is giving attention to yourself. A good start is looking at all the ways you show love to others or ways you want others to love you, and instead doing it for yourself.
RM: What are some words of wisdom or encouragement for upcoming creative entrepreneurs that you'd like to share?
S: Words of encouragement as a creative is to do what you love for no one but yourself and to follow what makes you happy. We are the experts on what make us happy, but there are people/environments out there that think they know better. It is important to build your intuition and build the inner voice, so that you can protect your art and protect your happiness. Also, to get involved in a community like-minded in art as you are. It opens a lot of doors, creates friendships, find love etc.
RM: What has been the best piece of advice you have ever received in reference to your career and industry?
S: The best advice given to me in music is to not give up and not live in fear. I struggled with living in fear and while it kept me "safe" it was robbing me of opportunities and finding my true potential. I learned that being scared was okay, but not doing it is not. A lot of times before I performed I was scared or worried. But it all went away when I started singing. When I reflected, I realized even tho I felt every rush of emotion, at least I was doing it, and more opportunities came pouring in, and that is how I knew I had to keep going.
Thanks for checking out our feature on Squydd, be sure to tap the links below in order to stay connected.
Videos by Squydd:
Thanks again for checking our feature on Squydd, be sure to tap the links below. She is making some good music and coming together with other musicians to jam and create. Shoutout to Leewater for the referral and we'll look forwardto Squydd’s fore-coming music releases.
We appreciate you for taking the time to learn about the artists that we feature. If you or someone that you know wants to be featured visit www.iamrootco.com/opportunities
LINKS to Squyyd
I Am Root®
Check out more features at www.iamrootco.com/features
Subscribe to the I Am Root® Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/c/iamrootco1
Peep our last feature with B.
More about Dom Root
I am from Inglewood, California, currently working in Phoenix, Arizona as a Sound Engineer (Live, Recording, and Mixing). I am a Music Producer and Creative Artist looking to build portfolio and for live performance opportunities. I graduated from Arizona State University studying Creative Writing and Philosophy. I later studied audio production technologies at Mesa Community College, before taking on more freelance work.