Origin Stories: Sierra Noble, Canadian Singer/ Songwriter

‘I love seeing people’s energies come together’

Sierra Noble has lived in New York City and Nashville but always seems to return to Winnipeg. (Supplied photo)

Born in Ottawa, Sierra Noble moved to Winnipeg as a baby. They started their artistic career at 10 years old.

Noble lived in New York City and Nashville for their music career but always returned to Winnipeg, where they currently live. They believe there are a few reasons why many artists choose to stay or live in this city.

“I think the cultural landscape of Winnipeg has a lot to do with it. I think the weather has a lot to do with it, honestly. We have a whole lot of time that we spend inside. You just spend that time working on your passion,” Noble says.

“It’s a central place, and artists who aren’t from here feel it’s convenient to be here. There’s a lot of collaboration that happens here ... not every city has that.”

They embarked on a self-discovery journey that began several years ago.

“It’s a process. It’s a life-long journey, for sure. A big part of me doing that was kind of starting to do things in my career on my own terms, realizing how good that felt,” Noble says.

When Noble was coming up in the music industry, they felt artists were not always invited to be themselves.

“I was strongly encouraged to write certain types of songs or be styled a certain way, do certain types of photo shoots. Very little of it was my own doing,” Noble says.

Over time, the lack of agency and self-autonomy adversely impacted them.

“It takes a toll on you, on your sense of self. I was always told who I was or should be. When it starts at such a young age, you don’t realize that that’s happening. I had a really rough few years, everything coming down around me, my body forcing me to look at those things,” Noble says.

They stepped out of the spotlight for a few years to heal. However, they didn’t do it alone.

“Therapy’s awesome. Highly recommend (it). I’ve been able to peel away the layers of wallpaper that others have put on me ... figure out which ones I like, which ones I want to keep around, but, more importantly, where the wallpaper stops and where I begin,” they say.

These days, they approach music differently than in the past, choosing songs based on their own preference and not on whether tracks will sell.

“It’s a process of allowing myself to write songs that I like ... it was a lot of tossing away a lot of my creations very flippantly. That’s a journey also, just trusting my creativity again. My heart has things to say,” Noble says.

Today, the multi-instrumental artist occupies their time with music-related interests other than their own songwriting and performances.

“Over the pandemic and since, (I’ve) started to produce music for other people and engineering and mixing. I’ve found immense joy in doing that. I have always had a collaborative spirit. I’ve always loved connecting with others,” Noble says. “That’s really where I thrive. I love seeing people’s energies come together.”

Published in Volume 77, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 27, 2022)

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