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Identify the “stake in the game” from a young age, how?

Posted: August 22, 2023

Stake in the game. How much stake in the game can you have when you are young and unaware of some of the risk that comes along with an attempt for musical glory? The stakes can often be so high, that loss becomes a huge discouragement for many. Despite the “stakes” some have welcomed the negative outcome that is associated with becoming an artist or musician. I wonder often how many really understand what is involved, or are they just blinded by the potential to see clearly?

If you are growing up in the music industry, do you know what it means to have “Stake in the game”? Believe it or not, some young artists do. They research, the educate, and they learn from experience. If they are under responsible adult supervision, then they clearly are focused. Even if nothing results from their hard work in the music industry.

Guitar Thrills Magazine does their due diligence before interviewing an artist. Especially when we have a specific topic prepared. There are certain topics that are conducive to a specific genre, culture, or age group. However, any given article or topic can be applicable to any audience.

There is an artist that we looked forward to interviewing. Her name is Sierra Levesque. Undoubtedly, she is a rocker at heart. She has a strong desire to be a professional guitarist. She seems to have counted the cost and welcome the stakes.

 

ABOUT SIERRA LEVESQUE

Sierra Levesque is a Rock singer/songwriter, guitarist, pianist, bassist, and drummer from Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. Her goal is to help lead the NEW GENERATION of Rock 'N Roll.

Recognized by Guitar.com as being “Gen Z’s Most Ambitious New Guitarist” and one of "10 Young Shredders Shaping Rock and Metal Today", Sierra's love for Rock music came from listening at a very young age to many Classic Rock and Heavy Metal bands from the 70s and 80s.

Sierra has been described as a combination of the powerful voice of Ann Wilson and the skilled, catchy guitar playing of Nancy Wilson.

Her musical influences throughout the years have been Pop, Rock, and Metal acts such as Avril Lavigne, Ghost, Heart and Scorpions.

Having won the 2019, 2022, and 2023 MyFM Spirit Award for "Best Local Musician" in Pembroke, Sierra has already gained notoriety from large media outlets, as well as from some powerful figures in the Rock music industry including Nancy Wilson (Heart), Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Sons Of Apollo, Asia, ex Guns 'N Roses), DJ Ashba (SIXX A.M, ex Guns 'N Roses), Desmond Child (Songwriter for Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, KISS), and Mark Slaughter (Slaughter) to name a few.

Sierra's powerful vocals, hard rocking guitar riffs, and relatable original songs always take every stage by storm!

 

INTERVIEW WITH SIERRA LEVESQUE AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Hello Sierra. This is the first time that we got an opportunity to ask you some questions. A topic directly related to the decision-making process. I guarantee that many artists that have spent years in the industry didn’t consider their “stake in the game”. Most likely, they would have selected a different career if they did. First, tell us more about Sierra Levesque?

Sierra: First, thank you very much for having me in Guitar Thrills! I’m 18 years old and I live in a small town called Pembroke in Ontario, Canada. I was around the age of three when my parents heard me singing along to a song by Avril Lavigne in the car. They realized that I enjoyed music, so I began performing in local musical theater productions at that time. After years of doing that, I decided that I wanted to begin learning instruments. So, I began taking piano and singing lessons at age seven, and that was when I wrote my first original song. Then, I started drum lessons at age ten, guitar lessons at age twelve, and bass lessons at age thirteen. To date, I’ve written over forty original songs and I have seventeen of them fully self-recorded. I’m very excited to be releasing my debut single, “GET OFF MY STAGE” everywhere on Friday, September 1st!

 

GT: When did you decide that the rock genre was going to be your career?

Sierra: I think I decided early on that rock music was what I wanted to make a career in. I grew up listening to rock music with my dad. Mostly bands from the 70s and 80s like Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi. So, I always say that I had rock music in my blood. Then when I started taking guitar lessons, I knew that I wanted to learn all of the songs that I grew up hearing. This influenced my own playing and style which has translated into my original music. Rock is what comes naturally to me and I truly love performing any rock song.

 

GT: Did you have someone to talk to about the challenges you might experience in the music industry?

Sierra: Yes, I’ve been very lucky to have had many different music mentors and teachers throughout my life who have all given me valuable advice and stories about the music industry and what I might expect to deal with. The two guitar teachers that I’ve had, an amazing local musician named Pat Hammel and renowned guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, have really helped me so much and have provided amazing insight for what it’s like to work in the industry.

 

GT: Did you have any opposition to your decision? If so, how did you address it?

Sierra: No, luckily everyone has always been very supportive of my decision to pursue a career in rock music. I have three amazing parents (my dad, stepmom, and mom) who support me in every way possible and who are always at my shows!

 

GT: What sorts of things did you consider? Did you give yourself a timeline for becoming a successful artist or guitar player?

Sierra: I knew that I would have to work very hard to achieve my goals. So, I began focusing on learning as much as I could about every instrument and many aspects of the music industry including the business and marketing side, as well as the songwriting and performance sides. I also knew that I would have to begin releasing music to display my own sound, so I learned a lot about self-recording my own songs and all of the instruments on them. This helped lead to me preparing for my first single release which is coming up in September!

 

GT: You worked with some excellent names in the music industry. Can you tell us how that came about? What did you learn from the experience?

Sierra: I’ve been very grateful to have worked with and performed with many names who I have spent my life looking up to. I had the chance to perform with Nancy Wilson in May, 2022 when I attended a Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Los Angeles. That was amazing and I definitely learned that even the biggest names can be the most kind and humble. I also work regularly with Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (ex - Guns N’ Roses, Asia, Sons of Apollo) who has taught me so much about guitar, songwriting, recording, and the music industry in general. I began taking online lessons with him in April, 2020 and have been learning so much ever since. He has taught me a lot about the hard work and dedication that it takes to be in the music industry and I hope to be as hard-working and kind as he is, in my own career.

 

GT: I can recall when I was younger. I had many musical inspirations. The artist that covered this month’s issue was one of them. Who was or is your inspiration?

Sierra: I have had many inspirations along the way. When I was younger, the main influences were Avril Lavigne and Guns N’ Roses, who both still inspire me today. I also really love Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart as well as my favorite band Ghost. My guitar teacher Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal has also inspired me a lot. I feel that my own music definitely has aspects of many different artists and bands who have inspired me, all mixed together.

 

GT: Talk about your choice in guitars. What was your first guitar and which brands do you perform with now? Is there a specific sound, or style to the guitar you play now? Explain.

Sierra: I have always loved unique guitars and luckily, I grew up getting some very cool guitars for Christmas and my birthday from my parents. The first guitar that I ever got was a white Epiphone Flying V. I have a wide range of guitar brands that I use, but I usually turn to my Fender Acoustasonic and Rainsong Carbon Fiber Acoustic for performing live. As for electric guitars, I always love using my Flying V and I also have a few ESP electrics that I enjoy using. I really enjoy versatile guitars that can take on many sounds depending on the song that I’m playing. I would say that the guitar style that I use most for recording is a Les Paul shaped electric and I try to use a new one each day for performing live (as much as I can)!

 

GT: What are some of the most memorable venues, that you have performed at? Is there a place that you always dreamed about playing at?

Sierra: The most memorable has to be when I played two nights in a row at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, California. I was an opening act for Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns. Just to be on that stage was a dream come true!

My biggest dream is to perform at Wembley Stadium in England one day. Ever since watching footage of Live Aid, that has always been a lifelong goal.

 

GT: What are some projects that you are currently working on?

Sierra: I am very excited to be releasing my debut single, “GET OFF MY STAGE” everywhere (on all platforms) on Friday, September 1st! I’m working on promoting this single and I am also doing six select performance dates as a part of my “GET OFF MY STAGE” Mini Tour across the U.S. and Canada! I’m performing in Syracuse (NY), Nashville (TN), Ottawa (ON), and Arnprior (ON)!

 

GT: That is awesome. We always keep tabs on the artists or musicians that we feel will make it. We believe you will be one of them. So, continue to make application of the knowledge that you receive. Learn from those that have made the mistakes, so that your transition into the music industry will be as easy going as possible. Undoubtedly you have a bright future ahead of you.

Sierra: Thank you very much, I truly appreciate being included in this feature and I look forward to reading about all of the other Guitar Thrills featured artists!

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