Music

Syd Hartha Sings With American Artist Sarah Barrios in Reflective 'All My Sins'

The song forces you to ask yourself, "Am I a bad person?"
IMAGE Sony Music
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When two talented singer-songwriters come together, one can only expect great things. That’s exactly what happened with American artist Sarah Barrios and local indie darling syd hartha. 

Barrios is an American singer-songwriter who has built up quite an impressive resume over the years. The 26-year-old Connecticut native grew up exposed to music her parents liked—The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Norah Jones, Sting, The Andrews Sisters, Etta James, and John Mayer. At 13 she started playing the guitar and became obsessed. She has since won the New England Music Award for Best New Act of the Year in 2014, been nominated the following year for Best Female Performer of The Year, and has opened for acts such as Charlie Puth, Jasmine Thompson, Melanie Martinez. 

In many ways, Barrios’s career mirrors that of syd hartha, who started her musical journey at age 12. Of course, as the daughter of a music legend, there’s no denying that music runs in her blood. After years of doing her own thing and going her own way, writing and performing at small, intimate gigs, syd hartha signed with international label Sony Music, which helped expand her audience. She was named New Artist of the Year at the 2020 MYX Awards, took home the trophy for Wish Contemporary Folk Song of the Year at the 5th Wish 107.5 Music Awards, and won Best Folk Recording at the 33rd Awit Awards.

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With such similar career trajectories despite being on opposite ends of the globe, it was only a matter of time before the two talents’ paths crossed. It happened early this year after Barrios wrote a new song and felt it needed something a little extra. 

“I really wanted to do a collaboration with another woman, as all of my previous collabs have been with men and just happened to stumble upon syd hartha one night,” Barrios says. “Her voice was so calming and yet also, so powerful and after binge watching all of her videos on YouTube, I just knew she would be the perfect person to help bring this song to life.”

For syd hartha, the opportunity to work with Barrios was just too good to pass up.

“Being in the industry for a few years, I have never partnered with anyone for a song yet until Sony Music and my manager Raymond introduced me to Sarah,” she says. “I looked her up and started listening to her music, and when I listened to the demo for 'All My Sins,' it hit me right in the feels. I fell in love with it in an instant. I relate to it so much! When they asked me if I was interested in doing a collab with her, I said yes without hesitation.”

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Photo by Sony Music.

The resulting song, "All My Sins," is a snappy little generational anthem—a gentle acknowledgment of confusion and questionable decisions that every young person has gone through in life set to a beat that toes the line between dancey and contemplative.

My parents will be so ashamed / With some of the things I’ve done and the shit I’ve said / I wish it was just a bad dream,” the lyrics go, which we’re sure anybody can instantly relate to, regardless of age.

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“For me, this song is about thinking through all of the mistakes you’ve made and asking the question of, ‘Am I a bad person? Or am I just too hard on myself?’ Barrios says. “I’m definitely an over thinker and a perfectionist, so sometimes I find myself in this place.”

Although they haven't met each other in person (yet), both artists had only good things to say about working with each other on the song. 

“It is such a blessing and so exciting to be able to create art with someone across the world!” Barrios says. “Being vulnerable can be hard, but I think both myself and syd, really tried to put all of our emotions into the song!”

“With All My Sins being my first collab song ever, it was honestly scary at first but really exciting at the same time!” syd hartha adds. “We may be in different parts of the world with different time zones and everything but everything went smoothly. Working with Sarah has been amazing! She was very welcoming and chill. It’s an honor to work with an artist like her.”

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Despite the pandemic, it seems artists have been busier than ever churning out material. “All My Sins” is significant not just because of two artists of different backgrounds coming together, but because it’s a genuinely good, introspective pop song that can perhaps lift spirits and make people feel good. And god knows we need more of that during these weird times.

Listen to the song, which is now available in streaming platforms everywhere, here: 

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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