No one makes country music quite like singer/songwriter Sierra Black, and that’s because the brave young vocalist is carving out her own path to create music that is inspiring and irresistible. The Las Vegas native built her career in her hometown, sharing the stage with Keith Urban and even performing an impromptu duet with Garth Brooks, before taking her talents to Nashville, where she was discovered by superstar producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts).
Sierra’s music takes its rightful place in empty void that has existed somewhere between the spots occupied by Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. Her alto voice is hypnotizing and her music is fun and flirty. She has an empowered attitude, but remains sweet and approachable. She always tries to help others when she can, but she always stands up for herself. “You never have to be afraid to be spunky and it is never a bad thing to be in love,” says Sierra, who is dedicated to serving as a positive role model to young women and girls.
Performing weekly in Vegas, including a residency at the Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino, she has become the consummate entertainer, captivating audiences with her impressive vocal range that has been compared to LeAnn Rimes, as well as her confidence and bubbly personality.
“Saving You Ain’t My Job” developed from an idea Sierra typed into her phone after a bad date with a guy who had his ex’s lips tattooed on his chest. “I had this thought one day that it wasn’t my job to save this person.” She says, “We could have fun, but if he was looking for me to be the good girl, that wasn’t going to happen.”
A popular performer both on and off the Strip, she has delivered such high-profile performances as the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo and the Coyote Fest in the Orleans Arena. Those experiences made her ready to take the next step to Music City, where she has immersed herself in Music City’s creative community while honing her songwriting and storytelling skills.
“When I’m working in Nashville and mention Vegas, people say, ‘You are in Nashvegas,’ and that has become the perfect description for my music and style,” Sierra says. “It has an all-American appeal and foundation, yet there is always a little extra pizzazz and glamour.”
That perfect blend was captured in the playful and beat-driven “Dance Around It,” which she co-wrote with Mark Bright and Chris Stevens. “It is different and unique to my own style,” she says. “It has some carefeee lyrics. ‘Let’s just have a good time and dance around the possibility of what we could be.’”
Sierra can’t remember when music wasn’t a part of her life. She is the youngest of five siblings and relatives on both sides of her family were performers. Her mother’s mother was a member of The DeCastro Sisters, who had the No. 1 hit “Teach Me Tonight.” Her father, a well-known developer, is one of six children, all of whom sing and play guitar.
When she was young, she was afraid to sleep alone, so she would go to her brother’s room, where her father would bring in his guitar and sing songs by Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard. When she began working with a vocal coach in high school, she decided that she wanted to pursue a country sound.
Her first public performance was at age 12, when she sang the national anthem at the Best In Show, a large charity event benefitting rescue animals. “I was hooked!” she says. “Then I had my first real show when I was 15, about 90 miles south of Vegas, and then it was like, ‘Game over! This is just too fun.”
During the last year, she began regularly performing at hotels and bars all over Vegas. “It started at the South Point Hotel,” she says. “That is one of my favorite places to perform because it is a cowboy joint. Everybody there is already hooked on country music, so it brings a whole other vibe to the audience.
“It’s fun and exciting because now more people know about me and hear about my show and see the ads on TV or in the newspaper. My name is starting to snowball here, which is cool. The fun thing is that even people here who have residencies aren’t from here, and I was born and raised and have lived here my whole life.”
She joined Keith Urban onstage to sing “We Were Us” at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. “Keith called out my name and out I walked in front of 25,000 people,” she says. “That is something I will never forget.”
Another unforgettable moment occurred when Garth Brooks invited her to join him during a soundcheck. “I was choked up in the beginning because it was the Garth Brooks, and when he started to harmonize with me on “How Do I Love,’ I thought I was gonna pass out. Trisha Yearwood made a joke about being in her dressing room and hearing someone singing her song. Both were the kindest most humble human beings. I was honored to meet them but just to be in their presence was enough for me. I’m looking forward to maybe someday maybe making it to the show with him!”
Of course, Sierra is defying the tagline, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” because word of her talent is spreading nationwide. Of course, she remains inspired by the town built on dreams.
“There are no rules here,” she says. “A lot of people take that negatively, but it’s your own game and you are free to say and do and be exactly who you are and that is the most inspiring thing about Vegas.
“The most important thing is to be exactly who I am. The most important thing is to be true to yourself.”