Bio for songwriter Sydaiya Rehema
Meet Sydaiya Rehema, a 25-year-old songwriter/producer from Boston whose fierce ambition is matched only by her talent. Rehema has the vocal chops to be a successful singer in her own right, but prefers to remain behind the scenes and pen hits for other vocalists.
“I’ve never had a desire to be in front of the camera, or even behind a microphone for that matter,” Rehema said. “My place is in the director’s chair. I love to be a part of the creative process.”
Rehema grew up inspired by the sounds of Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Rod Stewart. She began performing at an early age, and whether singing in a children’s choir or the high school chorus, Rehema’s vocal talent was consistently recognized; in 2002, she took second place in a statewide talent competition.
Despite the steady stream of praise and accolades, Rehema never felt she was meant for the limelight.
“I feel like people are born performers,” she said. “Not me. So I struggled to find my place in music, because as a female you’re a diva performer or you don’t exist.”
After testing out various career ventures outside of music, Rehema made her way to Berklee College of Music, where she decided to link the creative and the pragmatic as a Music Business Management major.
“It was the best of both worlds for me,” she said. “The music itself was something that was live and fiery inside of me, so I knew it was something I could devote myself to. At the same time, the business application made it practical. It made sense.”
While at Berklee, Rehema was regularly enlisted by local artists to sing hooks on rap songs, which led her to begin writing her own hooks – and eventually – complete songs. Rehema wrote her first song in 2007 and knew she’d found her calling.
“The more exposure my songs started to get, the more positive feedback I received,” Rehema said. “That’s when I changed gears completely and made a decision that this is what I’m supposed to do. Once I made that decision, I jumped in head first and I’ve been a crazy maniac ever since. I’m in it to win it.”
Since graduating from Berklee in 2008 and embarking on her professional songwriting career, Rehema has worked with several local producers and joined the production collective MIP (Musically Inclined Productions). Her song “Lifted” was recorded by up-and-coming songstress Ja’Shayla and picked up by the Sinternet.com radio programming network. Additionally, two of Rehema’s songs are set to appear on the debut album from Lucas, a budding r & b artist based in the UK.
Though Rehema is relatively new to the art of songwriting, her talent and innate musical sensibilities are undeniable, and the integrity she brings to her content is refreshing; while she is perfectly comfortable creating the next danceable pop smash, she’s not looking to pen meaningless hits.
“I won’t be stupid or dumbed-down,” she said. “I won’t write nonsense. There’s got to be something —some angle, some message – I’m conveying here. It can’t just be notes with mindless words.”
Rehema names her key songwriting influences as Ne-Yo, Babyface, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Elton John and the late, great Michael Jackson. Though she currently works in pop, r & b, urban and dance genres – penning ballads as well as mid- and uptempo numbers – her goals are far-reaching; she hopes to expand into rock, reggae, children’s music and even country.
“I want to be a songwriter through and through,” Rehema said. “Not just in pop music or urban music or whatever I’m type-casted to coming out the box as a young black woman. I respect the songwriting process, I respect it as an entity. So I want to take it as far as it goes.”
And make no mistake, Rehema is poised to go far. With rare talent, admirable drive and a love for music that borders on obsession, Rehema is set to achieve all of the lofty goals she’s set for herself – and more.
“I want to be a master songwriter at the end of the day,” Rehema said. “I’m going to be the Oprah of songwriting. Tell me I can’t do it!”