With four top-five records in her back pocket, bluegrass singer/songwriter/mandolinist Sierra Hull is ready to begin the next chapter. After finishing up her record deal with Rounder in 2020, her future is looking bright—and anything is possible.
In 2008, at only 13 years old, Hull released her first album with Rounder. She initially signed with them to make four albums: Secrets in 2008, Daybreak in 2011, Weighted Mind in 2016, and 25 Trips in 2020. Hull was initially drawn to the label because so many of her bluegrass heroes, like Allison Krauss and Tom Rice, signed with them as well.
The release of 25 Trips in 2020 officially marked the completion of her deal with the label, and she is now looking toward new horizons.
“I’m complete with my obligations,” Hull tells American Songwriter. “And right now, I feel excited about just being, for the first time in my career, in a fresh place where I’m sort of free to do whatever I want.”
Whether that means releasing music on her own or continuing her work with Rounder, she has not yet decided. “It’s not that I wouldn’t ever consider resigning with Rounder, or another label of some sort,” she assures. “But right now? It’s just kind of nice to sort of have a moment to kind of catch my breath, and really think about doing what I want, and perhaps releasing a few things on my own and see how that goes.”
Either way, Hull is sure that she is not yet done making music. “I’ve known I wanted to do this since I was eight years old and started playing,” she recalls. “And I feel like I was really lucky to have found that early where it’s like, ‘This is what I want to do. This is the path I want with my life.’ And so, there’s no plan to do anything else.”
Although Hull has been playing music for 22 years, it is not just how long she has been playing that drives her desire to create— the passion that she had for music when she was eight is still very much alive. “As long as I still love it, and I feel like I’ve got something to say, and can physically still do it at a high level. Then I hope to be doing it a really long time,” she affirmed.
Having recently celebrated her 30th birthday, Hull unpacked some of the added pressure put on female artists to have kids and start a family as opposed to their male counterparts. While starting a family is a priority for her, so is continuing her work as a musician. She notes, “I think it’s interesting turning 30 because then that starts to become where you’re really thinking about ‘Where is that timeline going to happen?’”
Hull’s music career is still in full swing, but it is not the only priority she has on her mind when planning for the future. “I still am very ambitious career-wise. That’s always been a priority for me in my life, so I don’t want that to have to take a backseat,” she says. “But at the same time? I’m very sure about this other thing I also want.”
Hull also has the inspiration of countless female artists who have been able to balance a family and a music career. She knows it is possible to have both, saying, “I’ve seen other women that have been really good examples of that. So, I know it’ll be hard, but I don’t plan on it just being something that I completely step away from my career for.
“I would love to see my kids someday know their mom does something that she’s passionate about,” she adds.
As for Hull’s future in music? The possibilities are endless. She admits, “I have some stuff I’ve recorded. Nothing that’s just completely ready to be out there in the world yet. But I’ve been working on some stuff since about August, kind of here and there.”
Although she has been working with new material, she is concerned more with the integrity of the music than how quickly it can be released. “I want to make sure whatever it is, that I’m really proud of the work I’m doing, and sort of giving the best representation that I can,” she says.
No matter what Hull decides to work on next, she is not in any rush to put out new projects unless she is genuinely invested
”And if I make a project? I’m just fully committed to that. And so, I’ve never really been one to think, ‘Well, I’m just going to put something out for the sake of putting something out,’” Hull explains.
With the future wide open and a range of both musical and personal goals to look forward to, the next chapter in Hull’s career is sure to be an unforgettable one.