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Discussing the Accessibility of Manifestation Music with Ashley Sienna

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20-year-old dark pop singer-songwriter Ashley Sienna has taken the Internet by storm with a new genre of music she calls “manifestation music.” First garnering attention on TikTok with her song “What You Need,” the artist has since amassed nearly 900 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, and over 1 million followers on TikTok, with close to 92 million likes. Despite her quick rise to fame, success did not come as a shock to Sienna. In an interview with the New University, Sienna expressed how her dedication to manifesting ensured her success in her career. 

“Because I’m so into manifesting, I knew [success] would happen eventually. I had no backup plan, and I knew, ‘Yeah I’m going to blow up.’ I was certain, I was delulu, I knew it would happen,” Sienna said about her overnight TikTok fame. “I mean, obviously, it was still a surprise and exciting, but … it’s just like that moment knowing, ‘Wow, manifestation seriously works and whatever you set your mind to, you can get.’ So it definitely did change my life for sure, and, again, it’s just so exciting to be able to do what I really love for the rest of my life.” 

After beginning guitar and piano lessons at a young age, Sienna had always wanted to be a musician. She began posting on YouTube at the age of 11 and eventually branched out to Spotify and Apple Music. Her confidence in her craft stems from her childhood interest in manifestation, sparked by her father. 

“My dad kind of introduced that whole concept [of manifestation] to me,” Sienna said. “He would always play CDs in the car while we were driving all about manifestation. ‘The Secret’ was a big one that really got me into it, and then one day… I was like, ‘Hey, what if I combine my two passions of manifestation and music into one so that people can use this to manifest?’” 

The inspiration to create music driven by manifestations pushed Sienna to create “What You Need” — and eventually an entire album — when she saw how people were responding to her powerfully moody songs. Each song on her forthcoming album “I AM” has the intention of manifesting something different — whether that be love, money or beauty — released on Nov. 15.

Sienna’s manifestations are woven into the lyrics of “What You Need” with the lyrics “When I set my eyes / On somebody I like / He won’t leave my sight / I claim that he’s mine.” 

The introductory song of “I AM” is “HALF WOMAN, HALF UNIVERSE,” a song Sienna collaborated with the HotHighPriestess on that features the essence of the universe as Sienna opens the album with a series of affirmations to lull the listener into a state of peace and acceptance: “Everything I desire desires me more / My presence is addicting / My mind is worth millions / My body is a temple / I receive just by existing / I am femininity / I am divinity / I am the universe / I am who I am.” 

“I Win” is slightly more daring, darker as Sienna sings “You can’t control it / All these urges taking over / You keep fighting / There’s no denying / I’m in your mind living rent free,” emphasizing both the powerful impact manifestations can have on even other people and Sienn’s range as an artist. 

“I have this note on my phone, which is filled with ideas for different manifestation songs and maybe some affirmations, and what I like to do with my music is to tell a story with affirmations,” Sienna said when asked about her writing process. “Not only am I stating the affirmations, but I’m also kind of expanding on that and trying to tell a story around it so that people can use the music to visualize and paint a picture of what reality they want in their bodies. You can take [this album] as a little manifestation toolkit.” 

The intention of “I AM” is to help the general public gain easier access to the world of manifestations, and Sienna believes there is nothing more powerful than the phrase “I am” because, as she said on the Priestess Perspective podcast, “we are whatever we want to be.”

Sienna is aware that manifestation can be intimidating to get into, and her goal is to make that process more digestible and less daunting. 

“What it comes down to is your mindset, what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking,” Sienna said. “With my music, I want to just show people manifesting is not that hard. Even the music you listen to — the lyrics in that music [are] the things you manifest…so when you listen to that music, it just aligns your energy and helps you attract what you want. So you don’t need all these complicated methods. Even just by listening, you’re manifesting.”

While streams of her songs contribute to Sienna’s success, money is not her main focus, and she truly believes in her cause. Sienna’s music is about giving back by feeding the universe with magical affirmations that will positively serve her fans. 

“I’ve been releasing music for a long, long time and I’ve never felt more passionate about making something that can change people’s lives as well,” she said. “If I could give back in any way with making music, it’s to create music that empowers people. I’m so grateful that people are using this music again to change their lives.” 

Sienna held her first release party for “I AM” on Nov. 10 in Los Angeles and a second one on Nov. 14 in Toronto, and her album is currently available for streaming. To stay updated on Sienna’s music and future career steps, find her on Instagram and TikTok, or through her website.

Lillian Dunn is a 2023-2024 Arts & Entertainment Editor. She can be reached at lbdunn@uci.edu.