Singing to her own beat

Freshman Siena Rodriguez writes and records her own music for a local recording studio

Singing to her own beat

Isabella Pagano, Reporter

On a typical day, you can find Siena Rodriguez laughing and talking with friends, working to finish her homework on time or listening to music, like any teenager.

But every weekend, you can find her in a recording studio writing and singing her own music.

Rodriguez works as an artist for a record company where she has her music produced. Rodriguez has always enjoyed singing, and she began singing seriously early in life.

“I started singing when I was in second grade. I was in a small musical for a summer camp,” Rodriguez said. “When I first performed, I realized that this was something I really wanted to do.”

Songwriting did not come until later, however.

“I’ve always loved writing, in school, and I love music,” Rodriguez said. “And I was like, hey, these two things work together, I can write my own music. It’s a lot more fun when it’s meaningful to you.”

Fun is at the center of all of Rodriguez’s recording sessions. Her producer wants her to be comfortable during long sessions and hopes to make the experience enjoyable for Rodriguez.

“[The producer] always wants me to show up in comfy clothes,” Rodriguez said “because I’m in the studio for a really long time. It’s important that everything is relaxed while I’m recording.”

A typical day recording starts by sitting down and talking through what is going to be recorded.

“We need to make sure that everything is polished up. He wants to check that my music and lyrics sound good together before it becomes a song,” Rodriguez said.

Next, Rodriguez heads into a recording booth where she sings and records her lyrics. If the first take is not up to par, she records it again.

“[The producer] can stop me if he needs to, and then I go back and fix the spots where there might be trouble,” she said.

Carmel choir director Joyce Haqq said that recording makes it easy to perfect your music.

“The awesome thing about when you’re being recorded,” Haqq said, “is that you can have as many takes as you want to get it right.”

Rodriguez began recording after her father met the owner of the studio.

“My dad was out at a comic convention and he met this guy, and they started talking about how he had just opened up a recording studio and he had gotten certain people’s albums out,” Rodriguez said. “So my dad brought me to the studio and we worked out a deal and now I record music there.”

Rodriguez writes all her own music, and she is inspired in part by different artists, including Alessia Cara, Juan Gabriel, and XXXTentacion.

“I really look up to all artists that write their own songs,” Rodriguez said, “and I really try to deliver the message as well as they did.”

As for her future music and potential releases, Rodriguez plans for a few songs to be released on Spotify and Apple Music around New Year’s.

“By the time summer is here, I should at least have an album out.”

Rodriguez enjoys songwriting, and also the reactions of her listeners. “The expression that people get on their face, when people smile or connect with your song, it’s really rewarding,” Rodriguez said.

She hopes people respond to and enjoy her music.

“I really hope that people can relate to my music so they don’t feel alone in certain situations,” she said, “or just have a song that you can turn on and say ‘This is my song!’”