Fox Sinclair is as agile and elegant as her namesake. A Louisiana transplant who moved to LA in 2012, she’s now an up-and-coming musician and dancer about to break the sound barrier. Inspired by the soulful blues of the South and hip-hop beats of Europe, her influences meld to form her unique sound. Fox is an artist who brings her homes with her.
She can be both subtle yet wild, timid yet exuberant. While she’s never feared the spotlight, Fox remarks on her journey navigating the maze of the music industry. Fox’s philosophy is to pave her own path — to do what she loves because she loves it, and to let no one get in her way.
In the interview below, we discuss her musical break-out and learn about her process making a name for herself among a robust community of artist-dreamers. It’s a talent that involves many moving parts. We’re excited to introduce to our FORTH readers, Fox Sinclair.
Describe your artistic journey. How did you get into the music industry?
I grew up singing and doing choir, which was always just something fun, though, dancing was my main gig. Then, I lived in Paris for a year when I was in college and dated a musician/actor who had a music studio in his basement. He had this loop pedal, which had three different samples. I would go down while he was making music and obnoxiously get on the pedal, make all these rages and go to town. For the whole nine months I was living in Paris, I was obsessed with that loop pedal.
Then, when I left France, he gave me the loop pedal as a parting gift. Back at school, I started to use it in my performance pieces. I moved to New Orleans after college and kept making loops and playing around. I thought I would see what else I could do in the music world.
What kind of artists inspire you?
That’s always a really difficult question because I’m not obsessed with anybody. I’ve always been the kind of person that knows every lyric to a song but not who sings it. It’s all generated from what feels good. However, I will say that I’m influenced by old blues and jazz singers like Billie Holliday, Etta James, and Aretha Franklin. I love Aretha Franklin! I grew up listening to Motown a lot. Then, you know, everyone kind of influences each other. It’s been funny finding the spaces in between my love for ratchet hip-hop music and soulful blues and jazz.
Describe a typical day working on your music.
Yesterday, I woke up at maybe 8:30. I’m planning on making a music video that is in pre-production, so I sat at my computer and made a look book for how I want to style and dress the environment. Then I went to the gym, pretended like I worked out hard, and came back and worked on a song I’ve had for a while. I messed around with putting some new kicks on it and a new bass line.
What audience do you want to reach with your music, and what kind of message do you hope to send?
I think I’ll reach people who like the same kind of music that I like, which means in the R&B family. I don’t have a message. I just make music because I want to, and it feels good, and I get to say things I wouldn’t say in real life.
I was thinking about this today. You just got to birth your babies. You can’t keep them in the womb and you can’t put them back in the womb and hope they get different colored eyes. I’m progressing, I’m learning, and I’m trying to be okay with being vulnerable and just seeing where it goes. Because in the way that dancing on stage opened me up to learning a lot about myself and the world, if I can just break the vulnerability of performing my music, it can come about in the same way. It’s a growing experience.
What role does Los Angeles play in your art?
I keep to myself, for sure. I have my very small community of friends. I go to my corner bar, I go to my corner store, I go to my corner coffee shop. I actually just got rid of my car because it was giving me anxiety. Now, I take the metro everywhere. I’ve been taking the bus lately, too. Being on the bus is like being on a soap opera.
I think being in LA makes me care about art. I could make art to self-satisfy, but here, musicians and artists are trying to make art their life. I would love to make it my life — it’s what I spend everyday doing. The industry is here. When you weed out a lot of bullshitters, you find people that want to work. Once you start dedicating yourself to what you need to do, all the others who will work hard to get there will join you. You just got to power on through.
What have you learned so far through the process of making music?
I learned that you just have to ask for what you want, which was kind of hard for me at first. I ultimately want to be in charge of my art.
Do you have any fears pursuing an artist’s lifestyle?
I think my fear is self-sabotage — my fear is fear. It’s hard for a lot of people to recognize the level of success they can have. People think that you have to struggle to be successful or that it’s just not realistic, because not a lot of people are. I’m just trying to get to the point where my dreams become a reality.
You told me you love to travel, but what keeps you grounded?
I got [my cat] because I knew that if I didn’t have anything to be accountable for, I would be going everywhere at once. And then, 10 years would pass by and while I would be highly cultured, and probably know multiple languages, I would not have really evolved. Being in this apartment that I’ve been in for three and a half years, and gone through a lot in — for the first time I feel home. I’m from Louisiana, but I never really felt settled there. I’ve really invested in friendships and relationships here, and I have my cat to come home to every night. I grew up with divorced parents and was always going back and forth, but now I feel really stable. Some people look at my life and think it’s wild, but now I’ve found stability in something creative, and that alone has given me so much inspiration.
What would you advise young artists today?
That nobody else is going to help you get where you want as much as you can help yourself. That’s it, straight up.
Fox is a Los Angeles based producer, singer, songwriter, and performer. Her music is characterized by her raw and smoky vocals and trap-infused beats. In both her life and her music, Fox exhibits a multiplicity of styles with soul and poise.