Change is a process that we’re all constantly met with throughout our lives. Whether it’s a result of difficult experiences, circumstances, or the realisation that we’ve outgrown our former selves. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many artists to reinvent themselves, not only because of the devastating effects the crisis has had on the arts, but also the revelation of life’s impermanence.
Cape Town-based musician Kirsty Adams is one of these artists, and she’s sharing how a period of pain and loss gave her the courage to re-introduce herself as a brand-new artist to the world, named MissSire.
The 26-year-old singer/songwriter and violinist, who has performed across South Africa and New York, collaborating with artists such as, Jazzuelle, Diiice, Sloani, Lize Mynhardt, and Carol Thorns, says the pandemic’s lockdown period prompted her to do some self-discovery. To find out who she truly is and how that should influence her career. The answer she received was a confirmation of what she’s suspected for quite some time – that Kirsty Adams had ‘evolved’.
“I felt that Kirsty Adams had a time for herself and a phase where she was surrounded by many styles of music, and almost pressured by it. And there were certain cultures around me during that time that made me obliged to withhold certain information about myself. MissSire allows for a newfound self-expression that transcends my past,” says Kirsty. A name she came up with while brainstorming with one of her music friends in their dining room.
“There was a lot of discussion or monologue about my star signs. I say star signs because I fall on the cusp of Cancer and Leo. And then just randomly at the dining table, while talking about the word ‘sire’, it hit us — MissSire. That was it. That was the name,” shares Kirsty.
MissSire’s debut single How, released on 18 December 2020, is the boldest song she’s ever created in her music career. This is evident in its 808 beats, expression, and what Kirsty considers “a very direct way of communicating a feeling.” That feeling being grief.
“At the time I wrote ‘How’, which was probably within a day, I found out about the passing of a very important mentor in my life. A mother of female empowerment and the supporter of many of my dreams,” says an emotional Kirsty. “So, the overall message of ‘How’, is how you can turn grief and sadness into power.”
Kirsty, who was meant to study a Master’s degree in Songwriting at New York University (NYU) last year, says the pandemic placed this and all her other plans for her career on hold. Which meant she had to find other ways to keep herself busy and earn an income.
“My parents have shown me grace and housed me during lockdown, and while I was staying there, I would start what was is now called Femme Arts Cape Town. A platform to empower and normalise the presence of women artists in Cape Town, South Africa,” says Kirsty. Adding that she did some writing and odd journalistic jobs during this time too.
As for details on MissSire’s Extended Play (EP), which will house debut single ‘How’, Kirsty chooses to remain a secret — for now. Only revealing that its theme is primarily around spirituality and the company you keep, whether friendship, family, or romance.