Breaking CultureMusic


May 6, 2022

“Have you ever played Dance Dance Revolution,” asks Minneapolis’ SYM1, gushing excitement. “All the music on there…it’s good!” Video game soundtracks sparking a burgeoning music career could be outside of the box. Still, the twenty-something artist who describes herself on her Instagram bio as “Hyperpop adjacent pop artist, Digital Overlord” isn’t one to color within the lines.

“I lean toward, pretty much, within anything I do for it to be a simulation,” she says.

Simulation…SYM1…Get it?

Yet, before her hometown Twin Cities City Pages considered her the “futuristic EDM maven you’ve been waiting for,” SYM1 found it better to hone her sound before jumping out the window without a parachute. “I’m still developing it, honestly,” she says matter-of-factly. “It’s hard when you don’t know what you want to do specifically, but you keep trying over and over again until you find that right sound.” In 2017, SYM1 established that sound with her debut single “Dark Matter,” a soulfully energetic futuristic vibe that’s a nod to the New York City Rave scene of the early 2000s. Five years later, that meticulous approach to her craft (she dedicated herself as a solo act in 2015) resulted in SYM1’s first-ever EP, All That U Want. “Some of the songs on here are seven years old,” she admits about the five-track project. “It took this long to get them into a space that I felt was up to par with what would represent me.”

And when you go to a SYM1 show in the Minneapolis music and art scene, the tunes, and aesthetics—from set design to her outfits (“I definitely dress the way I want to!”)—align to complete that representation. “[Fans] can expect a resurgence of this “club kid” vibe,” she says. “There was a rave scene in the movie Blade, and I want to bring that scene to life. There’s a club in Batman Beyond, and I want to bring that club to life. All of these places and parties that I wanted to be a part of growing up as a kid, I want to bring those spots into actual real life.”

Unfortunately, reality almost derailed SYM1’s musical aspirations at the cusp of her second decade, thanks to doubters and Debbie Downers. “When I initially started, I had toxic people in my life who told me I’m too old to pursue music. I had people really close to me say that I was never going to make it. That it was never going to be financially successful, and they were so wrong. You really can do things if you believe in yourself and believe in each other.”

Image credit – Nathanael England

SYM1 hasn’t looked back since. Though not signed to a major label yet, her buzz and fanbase continue to grow in the Electro genre and the Twin Cities, where her goal is to bring more outside ears to the area. “The scene is really fruitful—there are so many people doing really cool things. I think we just need more assistance in getting to know each other and seeing where we can collaborate better.

SYM1’s journey is all about evolution. Now armed with a community of like-minded creatives, she plans to apply that growth in her music, style, and individuality. Or, a metamorphosis, if you will. “I’m definitely in my futuristic era. But I can already sense it’s transforming into something else. We’ll see what that next thing is.”