Q + A with Lena Fayre

Interview / Isabella Castro-Cota

Photos / Ysenia Valdez

Hailing from Los Angeles, Lena Fayre redefines what it means to be a California girl. Beginning with her self-titled EP released in 2013 to her album Okoreleased in 2014 and now her most recent EP Is There Only One,her poignant and dark vocals combined with the haunting melodies showcase a new side of pop music. We caught up with her during SXSW to discuss her newest EP, relationships, and influences.  

About your EP Is There Only OneI thought it was really interesting how you talk about relationships and how technology affects them, could you elaborate more on that and the inspiration for the EP?

Yeah, it just came from my personal experience of being in a relationship that was heavily affected by social media platforms and how what exists in that fictional space becomes your reality and how far my mind went with what I perceived to be truth on those things. Its just like, thats not an accurate representation of people and how they really are and what they care about I find most of the time, at least for myself you know, so when you take a fictional platform basically and lust and love and combine them it gets really messy. So I just had a really gnarly experience with that and just wanted to share my thoughts on it. 

Theres a specific lyric in Do You Like Thatthat goes youre honest, just way too honestand I think thats a perfect sentiment about this generation and how we want truth but when it happens we think its way too much, so how do you feel about that? 

Yeah, it was too much for me. I love the idea of being open and honest and being like full disclosure about things. Especially the type of relationship I entered into, it was like thats the deal. You have to be completely honest and trusting another person and sometimes I found, that as much as I liked the idea of that, to live in that is really difficult and really challenging. I see a lot of people around me trying to live this super honest life in terms of their relationships and it doesnt always work and I think thats super sad that it cant happen. Not to say it can't happen because theres tons of people that have relationships like that that are super solid, but for me I wanted this person to be honest and they were and thats what fucked me up. 

When did you start writing the EP? 

I wrote the song Do you like that,which kind of predicts the end of the relationship before the relationship actually ended, and it turned out exactly how I wrote [the relationship] to end so that was the first song I wrote. That was January of 2015 and basically that was throughout the whole month and its actually the song order of the EP was in the order that I wrote them.

When did you decide to pursue music as a full time career?

 I’ve been doing this particular project, Lena Fayre, for two or three years seriously now but Ive been doing music since I was 11 or 12 years old. By doing music I mean writing and recording music in a professional scenario, so Ive been doing that for a long time but no one ever pushed me to do it, my parents were encouraging, my family was encouraging, I just really liked it.

 Any albums, artists, or people that you look up to or just find inspiration from?

 Theres a lot of female vocalists that I grew up listening to, like Amy Lee from Evanescence when I was like 12 years old which was the biggest deal in the world to me because I thought she was just such an angel. Then I got older and found out about Beyoncé and lost my shit because they were just women who use their voices as instruments and that was a crazy thing for me. Then I grew up listening to a lot of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails and Iggy Pop and stuff like that. A lot of alternative influences from older people that I hung around so its weird that I ended up doing pop music but I think those more alternative influences reflect in my music somehow.

Style wise any inspirations or is it more of just things you see and read that you draw inspiration from?

If I had to pick a person whose style I feel like most reflects mine its Winona Ryder in the 90s, but thats not even on purpose its just that Im drawn to more boxy male silhouettes and she really did that. I just prefer to be really comfortable and that just means I like to be fully clothed most of the time thats just my personality. So yeah I dont know, I like simplicity and I like finding beauty in simplicity so minimalist things like simple two pieces are my favorite things to wear.

Keep up with Fayre on Twitter (@LenaFayre), Instagram (@lenafayremusic), and her website ( lenafayre.com ).