Local Women Making History: Autumn Sky
By Mary McCune
The sky is the limit for this musical maven. As the self-proclaimed love child of Bjork and Stevie Nicks, Autumn Sky is an artist of multiple mediums, including singing, dancing, and painting. Having known Autumn for the past 10 years, I have seen her emerge from her creative chrysalis into an ambitious, charismatic, and outspoken woman who has truly become a linchpin to Sacramento’s music scene and a role model to girls everywhere.
Autumn is regularly featured at sold out shows across California, and has performed at local events such as TBD Fest and Concerts in the Park. She was even an official presenter at this year’s Sammies. Check out her music on iTunes!
How long have you been in Sacramento?
13 years. Before that I was in 12 different places before I turned 18! My parents are very restless and nomadic, l suppose.
What made you decide to settle down here?
When I was really little, my parents would drive us through midtown to church and I fell in love with the trees and the Victorian houses. When my parents told me they were going to me I said, “you know what, I’m 18….I think I am going to just stay here.” It was the first place I ever knew street names, and for a child who was always new, it was nice to walk around and finally feel part of a community.
What inspiration does Sacramento bring into your music?
I am a humongous people person, and I love people-watching. It is a natural state of a writer to be interested in people, and we are a diverse city. And I am still discovering cool new things; just the other day I was driving around and saw three murals I have never seen before. It’s amazing that this city keeps changing!
What is your favorite Sacramento venue to perform at?
I am a really big fan of Harlow’s right now. I love their stage, the sound guy is awesome, and the manager is really nice to me and puts up with my shenanigans. There are some other good ones here like Assembly and Ace of Spades.
What is your favorite bar to hang out at?
LowBrau! That’s only because I used to work there and am friends with everyone who hangs out there. It’s the only place I had to stop working at—actually, I never quit, I just asked to stop being scheduled to work because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving. I was spending 0 time writing songs and all my time drinking beer after work with friends. It was the only job I quit because I liked it too much, and I guess it is a good problem to have!
Aside from Sacramento, what is your biggest source of inspiration?
When I was little I was homeschooled and I spent a lot of time by myself imagining. There was even a point where my Dad assigned me a year-long project to create my own world. It was my own world in its own galaxy with emperors and empresses, and politicians, flora, fauna, languages…the amount that my dad making my imagination super strong, especially as a small child really helped me. I write from a sense of wonderment that I got from my dad.
It seems like your parents really helped you hone in on your creative senses, so aside from singing, how do you satiate your creative side?
As a writer, it’s really an ebb and flow process. When I am feeling like I am hitting a wall, I will just switch mediums. I will start painting or dancing so I am constantly creating. It is a very therapeutic process.
If you had to give one piece of advice to emerging female artists, what would it be?
Don’t make anyone your competition. It alienates you and robs yourself an opportunity to find a kindred spirit with someone as creative as you. The only person you should be in competition with is yourself. The song I just wrote should only be better than my last one. Use the friends around you to be your comrades and community to boost your creativity. Nobody wants to be successful without any friends because there is no one to share with. I would rather have people to share my success with.
I like to end my interviews with a “Lightning Round”, but since you are a singer, I am giving you a special “Staccato Round”! In my opinion, these questions really get to the soul of a person…so here we go:
Alligators or crocodiles? Crocodiles
TLC or Salt N Pepa? TLC!
Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Breakfast Club
The Beatles or Elvis? Elvis (suck it Beatles!)
Acoustic or electric? Electric
Froot Loops or Lucky Charms? Lucky Charms
Sound of Music or Mary Poppins? Mary Poppins
Madagascar or Morocco? Morocco
Rhyme or reason? Reason!
Really? But you are a singer! I watch a lot of Bones, so I like going with logical choices now…
Earth, wind, or fire? Wind