After a five-year hiatus, local singersongwriter Sierra Noble was excited to release a new single called “Let Me Out Of Here” on Oct. 1. The song was made in collaboration with Rusty Matyas and touched on their respective experiences with mental health.
“Rusty’s side of this song comes from his experience with alcoholism and his journey to sobriety. Alcoholism had him on the brink of death, and music is in large part what helped him heal,” Noble says.
Noble’s contribution to the album stems from their experiences with mental illness. In 2016, they decided to take five years off from producing music and performing regularly to regroup. Having started their music career at 13 years old, they say they never took the time to process their trauma.
“I was in the deepest depression I’d ever been in and was experiencing debilitating panic attacks on my bathroom floor every day for months. It was rooted in over a decade of chronic and traumatic stress, experience with abuse of all kinds, including sexual abuse and harassment throughout my life since I was very young,” Noble says.
While Noble has not done a lot of recording or any releasing “in the throes of the (COVID-19) pandemic,” once vaccines became available and restrictions began to lift, Noble was presented with new opportunities, including an internship under Riley Hill at No Fun Club.
“The pandemic allowed me to pursue some interests and passions that I hadn’t had time to explore before, namely audio engineering and production,” Noble says.
Noble was also accepted to the Women in the Studio National Accelerator program. The program, which includes mentorship programs, sessions on both the technical and creative elements, networking, workshops and business skills, was created by the Music Publishers of Canada in response to the lack of representation of women and genderdiverse people on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020.
According to Margaret McGuffin, the CEO of Music Publishers Canada, out of Canada’s top 100 chart, only 2 per cent of songs are produced by women, and only 12 to 15 per cent are written by women.
“If you do not see yourself in those roles, you may not pursue those roles. You might not know those opportunities exist if you haven’t seen people that reflect you in those roles,” McGuffin says. “We are continuing to break down barriers.”
Noble found the program to be inspiring and has enjoyed being part of it and connecting to a network of women and non-binary folks in the music industry. Noble is also thankful to the grants from Manitoba Film and Music recording production fund and Manitoba Arts Council to work on their next project.
“The pandemic has been extremely tough in many ways, especially financially, so to be able to receive funds that will allow me to take the time I need to focus on writing my next body of work is an incredible gift,” Noble says.
For music and more from Sierra Noble, visit sierranoblemusic.com.
Published in Volume 76, Number 05 of The Uniter (October 7, 2021)