Sheyda Fassari of Petaluma records her songs in Nashville
When you catch your first glimpse of Sheyda Fassari in one of the several music videos she has released this year, you’ll see a bold woman belting out her lyrics in a big brassy voice.
There she is, for example, out on Lake Berryessa with a boatload of friends in the YouTube video for “Wish I Could Want You,” recorded at the end of last summer.
“I made a whole girls’ trip out of it,” she said. “All of the people in the video are either friends from home, or they flew out from Nashville with me.”
The “home” she’s referring to is Sonoma County, where she spent a decade growing up in Petaluma, following her early childhood in San Diego.
Nashville is where she lives now, collaborating with other songwriters there and putting out tunes that are more pop and rock than you’d ordinarily expect from the capital of country music.
“I would say I’m a pop artist in the sense that I want to include different styles. I will listen to anything. I want a little bit of blues and country swing. A lot of my songs have a rock edge,” she said.
“I’m honing in on a very specific sound now in my songwriting, I notice,” she added. “I want to write about real things, whether it’s funny or something more serious. I have a goal of writing four or five songs a month.”
Her first single, “The Dragon,” released earlier this year, is about watching a loved one struggle with addiction, while her newer recording, “GTG” (which stands for a line from the chorus, “Get the gun”), is a boisterous song about tough women having fun.
‘’I had recently gone on a girls trip to Kentucky. A guy we barely knew invited us,” Fassari recalled. “I said, ‘I’m driving and I’m bringing a crowbar, a bat and wasp spray.’“
It’s been a busy year for the singer-songwriter. "Lungs" was issued at the end of October and she'll have "Won't See Me Crying" coming out on Dec. 3, for a total of five new releases this year.
Fassari wrote her first song at age 14 and has written some 150 of them since.
“I took a poetry writing class and one day, I put some of my poetry to three chords that I’d learned. It didn’t sound good, but that’s what got me started,” she recalled.
“Then my mom sent me to a two-week summer camp music program and I got to record some of my songs. I don’t think I would want anyone to hear them now.”
While developing her persona as a songwriter and singer, she also has pursued an education and learned the business side of the music world.
At 29, she’s producing her own songs through her own recording company, Iron Rock Entertainment based in Fairfield, which she started with her father, Christian Fassari, a retired civil engineer.
Fassari’s mother, Wynne, owns a horse training business, Iron Rock Dressage in Fairfield.
“I’ve been lucky to grow up around people who believe in hard work and education,” Fassari said.
After graduating from Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa in 2011, she studied at Sonoma State University for a couple of years and played with a cover band at small bars.
In 2014, Fassari moved to Nashville to study vocal performance at Belmont University. Once there, she found out she had vocal nodules that needed to be surgically removed.
She switched her plan to a double major in songwriting and business, and graduated last year. Through her songwriting, she found her voice again and resumed singing.
Now that she’s producing music steadily, with a fourth release planned for next month, Fassari is easing into live performances, with a show scheduled Dec. 4 in Fairfield.
“Trying to perform has been difficult for the past year and a half because of COVID. I’ve had a couple of small shows in Nashville, and I’ve been auditioning musicians for a band,” she said.
“I am in the mindset now to build up a lot of content, establish a firm business and get some social media exposure,” Fassari said. “Then I eventually want to get out on the road more.”
You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at email@example.com or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.
Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat
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