Sydney Gore, Associate Music Editor at Highsnobiety
1. First of all, why are you "cool"? (like..why might people on the outside think that you're cool)
This is a question that I honestly don't have an answer for so here's what two of my closest friends said:
"You are true to yourself, never fake, don't care what people think, and constantly evolving your style in a way that's still very you !!! While that may all seem intimidating to a person, you are still a very warm person with many close friends. Due to your loyal Taurus ways !! " - Annie
"Cuz you're classy, sassy, fun and real"- Giulia
Something else that you should know about me is that I'm a Taurus with a moon in Leo and a rising sign in Capricorn with an INFJ personality and an aura colored in yellow and orange. Oh, and a reiki master confirmed that I am sensitive to energy and have healing abilities as well as a strong third eye which I think is PRETTY DAMN COOL. I firmly believe in manifesting your own destiny.
Did I mention that I'm an only child?
2. Can you talk a little bit about your career? How did you get your first job at NYLON, then TRL, then Highsnobiety?
While I would personally prefer to label myself as a content creator, the more professional term would be writer or editor. So during my last semester at American University in 2015, I was selected as an intern for the digital editorial department at NYLON. (I spent three months of my life commuting all the way from D.C. to NYC so please don't even try to complain about taking the MTA from Brooklyn to Manhattan...) I remained in touch with my supervisor and after completing an editorial fellowship at The FADER and a talent relations internship at Refinery29 that summer, she reached out to me about applying for her editorial assistant position following a recent promotion. It didn't take long before I was offered the job, and I eventually worked my way up to assistant editor. Once that door closed, I briefly moved on to Genius as a freelance editor while also covering news on weekends for The FADER before getting recruited by MTV for a position on TRL's social team. Eight months later, a friend of mine hit me up about an associate music editor position opening up at Highsnobiety--before I knew it I was turning 25, submitting my two weeks, and then flying to Berlin for onboarding!
3. Media is… ROUGH. Especially now. Did you ever have a moment where you were like — that’s it, this is too hard, I’m done w media, I’m moving to a farm and raising [insert innocuous farm animal here]?
On top of being extremely OVER the current media landscape toward the end of my time at NYLON, I was also feeling burnt out and uninspired. Before I accepted the position at TRL last year, I was able to spend three months freelancing for outlets like PAPER, V Magazine, Girlboss and Pigeons & Planes. It wound up being the perfect opportunity for me to get back into my groove, figure out what I enjoyed writing about again, and focus on pieces that I actually cared about.
For me, it's not that media is necessarily a hard industry to work in — I have always known that I wanted to be a writer, but I never would have predicted going the journalism route. There's just so much going on all the time inside and outside of work that it can be overwhelming in a way that has a negative effect on your body, mind and spirit. Also, people that work in media are so not doing it for the money, and that is a hard reality to swallow. (At this point, I'm wondering if I'll ever be at a point in my career where I have my own office, how sad is that?!)
Right now, I can honestly say that I still feel conflicted about the direction that the media has tumbled into, but I have this vision of becoming a content strategist or consultant so maybe that will happen sooner rather than later. Eventually, I would LOVE to live in a cottage somewhere off in the countryside, away from all this madness but not too far from a city with culture (and a WiFi connection)!
4. In my mind, you're like...an ~it girl~. You're always ahead of trends, your IG makes me want to be you, etc. Do you think about your image and how you’re presenting yourself to the world? Does this come naturally to you?
I would never ever considered myself an ~it girl~, but please stroke my ego harder! For me, it's important to be authentic and honest in everything that you do so that's my approach for how I present myself to the public. Since I was little, I have always felt this duty to be a role model. In that sense, it comes naturally to me. Over time, my feed has definitely become a little more curated, and I post less because I only really share things that I find interesting, inspiring or entertaining. I used to be the most active on Twitter, but that all changed after I got attacked by an artist's stans one time, but the silver lining of that experience was coming to the realization that I was spending an unhealthy amount of my time on there.
5. I'm very open about this, but I have..well, ABYSMAL taste in music. How did you get to a point where you felt like... hey, I have GOOD taste. I am a music tastemaker. Do you ever feel doubts about that? Do you ever question your own taste? Do you ever like something and think, I wonder if this is “good”?
I realized that I had good taste after my friend and I got approved for our own show on the student-run radio station in 2012. I strongly believe in my abilities as a tastemaker and a curator of sound and it's probably the last thing that I would ever doubt about myself. Music is something that has been engrained in me since I was a child and I wouldn't be where I am today without it being playing such a prominent role in my life. It's literally my job to be able to distinguish whether or not something is good and as someone who works really hard at trying to be less judgmental that can be challenging AF! More than anything, I try to use my platform to elevate talented individuals that aren't getting nearly enough recognition. I'm also very proud of the fact that I have turned into one of those boys that I used to have a crush on that would introduce me to cool new music — I'm THAT guy now!
6. What did you used to worry about, or care too much about, that you don’t anymore? How did you stop caring about it?
I stopped worrying about the way that others perceive me, especially on social media. I never want someone to meet me and think that I'm putting on some sort of fake persona online — what you get URL is the same IRL, although it's probably slightly toned down because digital receipts last forever. The only thing that matters to me is being happy with myself so I don't waste my time trying to impress others with an alternative version of myself. I stopped caring about all of this when I started accepting myself for who I am.
7. If you could tell someone who wanted your life but thought they weren't "cool enough" just ONE THING, what would you tell them?
Trust your gut, it will always lead you in the right direction.
FIND SYDNEY at @thecoolestsydontheblock