Syd is Close To Achieving Her Dreams

Syd is Close To Achieving Her Dreams

The frontwoman of Grammy-nominated group the Internet strikes a chord.

The frontwoman of Grammy-nominated group the Internet strikes a chord.

Photography: Justin Campbell

Styling: Yana Kamps

Text: Marissa G. Muller

This interview appears in the pages of V114, The Fearless Gigi Issue, on newsstands now! Order your copy of the issue today at shop.vmagazine.com

Syd may be the frontwoman of the R&B group the Internet, but her feelings about the Internet itself are complicated. On a phone call, the singer explains that she has recently deleted the Instagram app from her phone—something she does with some regularity. “Every week, I delete Instagram so I’ll stop seeking validation through it,” she explains. “Honestly I delete [it] to get that part of my self doubt away.” And yet, Syd adds, that self-doubt is also a driving force. “It pushes me to get better,” she says. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting likes on my pictures.”

The 26-year-old L.A. native got her start in her teens as the lone female member of Odd Future alongside Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. While she officially left the provocative crew in 2016, Syd remains the lead singer of the Internet, the Grammy-nominated offshoot that she and fellow Odd Future member Matt Martians founded in 2011. Last year, Syd, born Sydney Loren Bennett, gained a newfound independence with her solo debut, the sparkling, Aaliyah-inflected Fin. But, despite being more center-stage than ever, Syd originally intended her first album to be sung entirely by other artists. “I’m not an attention-seeker; I’m not the life of the party,” she says. “I really do enjoy being the frontperson for the Internet, and performing, [but] it brought other dreams I hadn’t realized.”

Simply put, the dream is to follow in the footsteps of her idol and mentor Pharrell Williams, a musician as adored for producing others as he is for his own hits. “I’ve always wanted to be like Pharrell in that sense,” Syd says. “He [does] exactly what I want to do: produce, write for other people, and maybe do a cool cameo in a music video or sing a hook here and there.”

Syd is close to achieving her dreams. She’s recently received praise from not only Pharrell but also Beyoncé, who offered her endorsement via Instagram. “I don’t even know how to talk about that,” says Syd. “She’s just the greatest. Her putting one of my songs on her Instagram was really surreal,” says Syd. “I actually have a beat called ‘Does Beyoncé Know My Name?’ It was after I ran into her and she gave me a hug. I was like, Oh my God.”

With approval from Beyoncé and Pharrell, Syd’s future is looking bright. Next up, the Internet will release its fourth album, Hive Mind, on July 20. And while she’s already working on her next solo album, Syd is firmly living in the moment—thanks to yet another idol. “I saw Erykah Badu recently,” she says. “She said something that changed my life: ‘We get depressed when we focus on the past and get anxious when we focus on the future so we got to try to start living more in the now.’”

SYD WEARS CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES LOUIS VUITTON
Credits: MAKEUP HOLLY SILIUS (LOWE & CO) USING CHANEL PALETTE ESSENTIELLE, HAIR TRACI BARRETT (ART DEPARTMENT), PHOTO ASSISTANT BENJAMIN ASKINAS, STYLIST ASSISTANT AMIRA AOUDJ, LOCATION DUST STUDIOS

UP NEXT

VTV | V & Kim Petras Celebrates Gigi Hadid