Siena Liggins Talks Songwriting, ‘Ms. Out Tonight,’ & More
Detroit creative Siena Liggins, now Atlanta-based, went from being a behind-the-scenes songwriter to one of Billboard’s top new LGBTQ artists. Among various other achievements, she has shared stages with the likes of Lizzo, Doja Cat, King Princess, and Leikeli47. In the latter of 2018, Siena Liggins shared her first slew of singles: “Flowerbomb,” “Naked,” and “Me Again.” As the years go on, she continues to perfect her craft, venturing into uncharted land musically.
With an aptness for savoir-faire paired with flirtatious wordplay and catchy hooks, Siena Liggin’s work highlights her experiences and worldview in an unapologetically saucy and honest way. Earlier this year, she shared her eagerly-awaited single “Dirty Girl” featuring Yung Baby Tate. The record serves as a predecessor to her debut album, Ms. Out Tonight, which will include 12 stellar records alongside accompanying visuals. “All in all, though, it’s just a bunch of songs I like to sing,” Siena shared.
In our latest interview, we had a chance to speak with Siena Liggins about her transition to becoming a musician, working Yung Baby Tate, and her forthcoming album. Check out the conversation, lightly edited for clarity, below.
For those who aren’t familiar with your music who is Siena Liggins?
Well, that depends on who you’re asking–once someone called me a bootleg Charli XCX, and I was flattered but I’ve never put much thought into boys. I sing obnoxiously catchy pop songs about girls instead.
What sparked your transition from a songwriter to full-blown artist and what would you say is the most rewarding part about it?
Honestly, I failed a songwriting exam; I’m an art school dropout. The professor asked me in front of the entire class to play the song I wrote for my final the way it was intended to be after a vocal performance student totally botched it. She called me out in front of everyone then she told me I would’ve gotten an A if I had just sung it myself. I haven’t really looked back since.
You have a record with Yung Baby Tate called “Dirty Girl.” Talk to me about the backstory and your decision to work with YBT.
I’ve been a fan of Tate’s and we’ve always been super friendly when we’ve run into each other. I don’t know if she even knows this but I wrote “Dirty Girl” after a show I opened in Detroit while she was touring with Leikeli47. After the show, we went to the strip club for dinner and we laughed about how no Detroit strip club was ever gonna compare to Atlanta’s. “Dirty Girl” was my unsolicited take on a hot girl strip club anthem, and when I moved to ATL, Tate was my first and only choice for the feature.
You’re also preparing the rollout for your debut album—what can you tell us about it?
Yes, my debut album, Ms. Out Tonight, comes out on my birthday, on April 27th. It’s crazy how it came together, but it’s double entendre, truthfully. There’s the obvious allusion to being “out” and the paradigms therein regarding my sexuality, and that’s all over the place in the salacious lyrics and messages on Ms. Out Tonight. Then there’s the sonic piece where I am really challenging everyone to hear me as a pop artist like Miley and Britney and Madonna before her, even though girls like me often miss out on being included in that conversation. All in all, though, it’s just a bunch of songs I like to sing.
When people listen to your music, what type of emotions do you want to evoke through your music?
At first, I want people to be shocked and they usually are because people aren’t always expecting what they get from me. Then I want listeners to fall in love. Run it back; play it over and over again in the car, at a party, in the shower, for their friends ad nauseum until just the thought of another earworm by Siena Liggins is borderline sickening. Rinse and repeat.
Outside of yourself, what artists do you currently have in your playlist rotation?
Sometimes, I think I’ll listen to new music and I just end up listening to “k bye for now (swt live)” by Ariana Grande for the millionth time. I’m also obsessed with Doja Cat, Saweetie, and Chloe x Halle, SZA, and the late, phenomenal art icon, SOPHIE.
In your own words, what makes you an artist to watch in 2021?
In my own words, what’s not to love? Don’t miss out tonight.