By M. Lapham
Sydney Alton started by recording YouTube videos. Now she was walked the red carpet at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards at the company’s request.
While she didn't perform at the show, she does have a history with Radio Disney. Last spring, she became the first Chaldean to have a song to play on the station, with her song "Up for Air."
Her career's early connection to Disney holds a special significance for Alton, in no small part because of her chance to reach kids.
"I love working with the Disney family, because I get to inspire kids and being someone they can look up to is an honor I don't take for granted," says Alton.
A native of Farmington Hills, she is not from a particularly musical family. However, when her family found her singing around the time she began to talk, they realized she had a special talent. Throughout Alton's career her family has given her constant support, for which she is thankful.
Her musical side continued to bloom. She wrote songs in elementary school, joined the choir, took piano lessons and performed as the Cheshire Cat in her middle school's musical rendition of Alice in Wonderland.
Then came the YouTube videos.
Alton began to record and upload songs, mostly covers (a song previously written and recorded by someone else) at first. With that, her following began to grow and she was able to build a connection with her fan base early in her career.
While she usually sang the work of others in those early recordings, her current crop of music is all written by Alton, who says the songs come from authentic experiences and emotions. She will sometimes wait or work longer with some songs to maintain that personal connection with her music so she gives her fans the best music possible.
That personal connection may end up having a flavor not often found in the world of pop music. Alton is interested in incorporating elements of Middle Eastern culture and influences into pop and R&B style in the future songs she writes.
Her songs have shown up on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes. Her song "Soldier," has done particularly well, having been streamed more than 300,000 times. As of September 17, Alton has 1,860 monthly listeners on Spotify. (Just to clarify that means 1,860 in one month, not an average.)
She recently released the single "Quiet Girl" on the three platforms. The early fan response was very positive. It can be listened to at iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon
Of course, it isn't all recording for Alton. She has had live performances in Detroit's New Year's Eve Drop and at the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle. Those shows brought out loyal fans.
"It was so special to me. It was an honor to be a part of such an amazing event," Alton says of the Salvation Army experience. "The fact that we were raising money for families in the Christmas season made it all worthwhile."
She would like to do more live performances and hopes to go on tour in the near future, likely to coincide with a début EP, which is a recording that is more than a single, but less than an album, she is working on.
Playing for a Salvation Army event may be only the beginning of Alton's charitable work. She has been looking into other charities that could use her talent. UNICEF in particular has caught her eye because of its mission to put children all over the world first by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
Alton is a young woman who wants to make difference – with her music, in her life and by inspire others.
Wherever Alton's trajectory takes her one thing is for sure, she launched from a sturdy place with deep roots.