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 “Oko” released 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 One” I 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. It’s just like, that’s 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.
There’s a specific lyric in “Do You Like That” that goes “you’re honest, just way too honest” and I think that’s a perfect sentiment about this generation and how we want truth but when it happens we think it’s 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 that’s 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 doesn’t always work and I think that’s super sad that it can’t happen. Not to say it can't happen because there’s 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 that’s 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 it’s 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 I’ve 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 I’ve 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?
There’s 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 it’s 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 it’s Winona Ryder in the 90’s, but that’s not even on purpose it’s just that I’m 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 that’s just my personality. So yeah I don’t 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 ).