Fuse is celebrating Pride Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future LGBTQ History before our eyes. Today we're honoring Syd, singer-songwriter, producer extraordinaire, and frontwoman of GRAMMY-nominated funk-soul band The Internet.
A Los Angeles native, Syd (born Sydney Bennett) initially made her name as Syd Tha Kyd, resident audio engineer and producer of local hip-hop collective Odd Future. Her mother, a former DJ, and her uncle, OG producer Mikey Bennett, largely influenced the 25-year-old's gravitation toward the studio. After spending the majority of her Odd Future days behind the mixing table, Syd officially made her leap into the spotlight in 2011 as the face of The Internet. Formed with fellow collective member Matt Martians, the somewhat accidental offshoot project was met with critical acclaim for its genre-defying cross of neo-soul, alt-R&B, funk and hip-hop.
It was through The Internet that Syd made waves for not only her ethereal, synth-laced sounds, but also for her quiet confidence as an openly gay frontwoman in a traditionally hypermasculine space. After coming out via the band's "Cocaine" video, the songstress remained ever self-assured in her own identity, refusing to be defined as anything or anyone but herself. While it's no secret that she isn't here for your "gay artist" labels, Syd is well aware of the impact her coming out can have. In a 2012 interview with LA Weekly, she discussed the importance of seeing gay female artists being comfortable in their own skin:
"I decided to [come out] because I wish I had someone like that [an openly gay female artist] while I was coming up. People write on my Tumblr just thanking me for making the video, saying that I really inspire them, and they want to be like me. But I wasn't always this way, this comfortable with myself, and I remember what that was like. So I figure, fuck it...If I could help open a door for someone, who knows what I could do next? It took me a very long time to be comfortable in my own skin. I would love if everyone could be that happy."
Earlier this year, fans further witnessed Syd's growing self-confidence with the release of her debut solo album, Fin. Showcasing her signature seductive drawl, the 12-track project serves as a sonic testament to Syd's burgeoning independence—understated yet complex, self-assured, and deceptively effortless. The R&B space—long centered around sensuality and the male gaze—is being redefined by Syd's unabashed approach to gender fluidity as she flips the script to become the gazer herself.
Speaking to The Fader in 2015, she demonstrated the very honesty and uncompromising attitude she later channeled into Fin:
"It's no secret that I love women. I think everyone loves women. And I like having beautiful women around me. I realized in the process of making [Ego Death], if I actually was just honest about that—about how much I love women—it might just open some more doors for me. That, and you don't have to be good looking or buff or any of that to be a sex symbol. It's about your confidence, and how you present yourself."
Tune in to Fuse and come back to Fuse.tv every day for profiles, videos, galleries and more on the individuals around the world who are creating Future LGBTQ History. Join the conversation with #FutureHistory and find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder.