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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia is known for its history and rich culture, but it is also known for its tremendous amount of talent. Sierra Hurtt is one of Philly’s talented singer/songwriters who spreads her message through her music.

“For me, it’s very important that my voice be my complete voice. It has to be my vocal chords, and my words and my melody to get my message across because I am trying to reach people with what I’m saying, what I’m thinking, trying to touch some part of their lives,” said Hurtt, who was born just outside Philadelphia and is no stranger to the music business.

When she was younger, she was surrounded by legends like Sister Sledge and Bunny Sigler, but the true influence came from her father, Phil Hurtt, who saw his own success as a songwriter and producer. Hurtt says her father never pushed his children into the business like some parents tend to do; he was open to whatever they chose. Initially, Hurtt chose a path in theater, but quickly realized her own talent as a musician.

“I’ve always called myself a vocalizer because I know people that sang, and I have learned how to manipulate the instrument I have to sounds that are pleasing to me, but I’m not a sanger,” she chuckled.

Hurtt also stressed the point that although many people refer to her as a singer/songwriter, she prefers to be known as a songwriter who sings. She said quite often, people attribute singer/songwriters to a particular sound.

“It’s putting me in a box that I don’t fit in completely. I like to invent my own genre,” said Hurtt.

Hurtt has traveled the world, touring specifically the U.K. and the U.S., spreading what she knows about love, the feelings that come with losing a loved one and the overall journey of life as she’s experienced it. Her lyrics easily draw you in due to a very unique sound that can be described in some ways as acoustic soul with a dab of rock.

Although Hurtt has been compared to singers like Tracy Chapman, Sade, and Sarah McLachlan, Hurtt prides herself in her ability to stand out.

“My father always taught us to own our voice, and for me, my songs are my voice. Very rarely do I sing or record other people’s work. I am very used to writing my own thing, showing someone what I want, and we go off running.”

Since returning from a tour in the U.K. earlier this year, Hurtt met a few guys (Daniel Bacon, Murat Keyder, Sam McIlvain, and Geir Overland) who loved her music and were very interested in working with her.

So now, for the first time, Hurtt will be trying something a little out of her comfort zone. Her band is adding a new dimension to her music.

“They are all just amazing musicians and amazing people and I am really excited to have a musical family that I can settle in to. I think we work really well together. They can interpret what I am trying to say and read my mind,” said Hurtt.

Being an independent artist definitely has its challenges, but Hurtt says she has seen many rewards come her way. Her first single, “Rooftops”, which was on her first EP “8 or 80,” featured soul sensation Vivian Green and won her worldwide critical acclaim.
Hurtt is currently working on her first album called “Stranger” which is set to be released later this year. Her single, “We Can Do Anything” was just released on Tuesday.

“To be a successful, independent artist, you have to realize that you are in a business and that nothing, absolutely nothing is handed to you,” said Hurtt. “It’s all about work ethic and love what you do.”

Reported by Crystal Cranmore, CBS Philly

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