Faye Webster is The Young Renaissance Artist Ingénue You Want To Know

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Story / Angie Piccirillo

Talent / Faye Webster

Photographer / Pierre Pastel

At first glance, you may mistake Faye Webster for a better-looking version of Dawn Wiener from the 90’s cult classic film “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” — but unlike Dawn, besides being undoubtedly more adorable, Faye is infinitely cooler and more interesting than most girls her age. With a range of artistic projects all the way from music, being part of a creative collective in her native Atlanta, to photographing some of the top rappers in the industry — Faye seems to enjoy dabbling a bit in everything and should undoubtedly be considered some sort of young renaissance art ingénue.

Beginning her songwriting career at the young age of fourteen, she released her debut album “Run and Tell” when she was just sixteen. After setting out for Nashville to attend Belmont University to obtain a songwriting degree, Faye may have realized that her creativity was far beyond what any professor could teach her. “The way Belmont [University] taught music is very commercial. It was just how to sell your songs, or how to write for other people, and I would never want to write for someone else — that just disgusts me. I understand teaching music theory and stuff like that, but I don’t understand teaching songwriting. I don’t like when people force creative direction onto you — I feel like that just makes someone worse.”
Perhaps Faye’s instincts knew not to meddle with the talent she already possessed, and she was pulled back to her native Atlanta, where she further developed her talents. While continuing to create music, she explored a passion for photography, and began taking photos of her friends on a whim — many of whom were rap artists on the rise such as D.R.A.M, Lil Yachty and Migos’ Offset. “I started taking pictures of my high school rap group. They’re called PSA. [“Please Stop Asking”] I would come home, take pictures of PSA, and then that’s when I met [Father] Awful.” Since then, her photos of her musician friends have been published in hugely popular publications like Rolling stone and Billboard, seemingly completely by accident.
Being part of the creative group that calls themselves “PSA,” a group of artists who make beats, skateboard, and do various other creative things in support of each other, is where Faye met Father, the Atlanta rapper who serves as CEO of Awful Records — the label which released Faye’s most recent self-titled album.
Though some prefer to throw her swiftly into the category of “folk,” Faye is resisting being fully trapped inside the box of the folk and Americana genre. “I hate using the word folk, but I try to kind of just use it as an identifier. I like “alternative folk,” but I don’t even know what that means, it’s something along those lines. I hate telling people I’m folk because I feel like it just turns them off.”
When it comes to her non-musical creative ventures, Faye seems to just go with the flow — “I do a lot of little stuff here and there — a lot of design. That was my major in college, so I design all my merch. I sew a lot. My mom is into sewing, so I’m always sewing somehow. Lot of arts and crafty little things, but definitely nothing as serious as photography or music.”
The self-titled album was released in May and continues to push Faye’s unboxable sonics further into a genreless realm — somewhere between folk and alt-folk, and maybe even a little R&B. The first single from the album, “She Won’t Go Away” mixes hip-hop vibes with Nashville influenced guitars — and even spices things up with organ synths and some violin.
The next stop on the road for Faye in the immediate future is a UK and US tour with artist Julia Jacklin in the Fall. After that, it’s likely only uphill at a rapid pace for this incredibly talented young artist.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
In the big picture, I really love Aaliyah. I love this girl Angel Olsen. The band Dawes is a very creative band. Natalie Prass — She’s one of my favorites. I really like the band The Whigs from Atlanta. They’re this old rock band I’ve just recently got back into.
If you could have dinner with your biggest musical influence, who would it be and where would you take them?
Maybe like, Erykah Badu. Somewhere really not fancy. Like hot chicken. I’d probably take her to get some hot chicken at Harold’s.
What music did you listen to growing up and what did some of your first songs you wrote sound like? Were they always folk/Americana-ish?
It’s a mix. I listened to a lot of really old country, and then when I got into middle school, I started listening to rap, but it was just really cheesy, whatever rap that middle schoolers were into. I think when I got to high school I kind of figured it out and made a good balance of the two.
How do you tell if rap is good?
There’s like three songs that are my favorites. No matter where I am when I hear them, I just go crazy — probably in an embarrassing way. That’s when I know it’s a good song [by comparing them]. I’ve been listening to these songs forever and still when I hear them, I love it. But rap is hard because I’m sure people think Eminem is good, and I hate him. I can’t even listen to him. It’s all opinionated, I definitely feel like It depends on the person.
What are the three favorite songs?
“Wrist” by Father is one of the songs. Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes covered “Diamond Ring”. It’s a song off of The New Basement Tapes’ “Lost on the River” album, which is a bunch of unwritten Bob Dylan songs that they found — a group of musicians got together and wrote the songs with his lyrics.
What is the biggest difference between your first album “Run and Tell” and your newest album?
With my new record, I purposely wanted to choose songs to strongly relate to the last one. I like when artists diversify into different genres, however it always freaks me out when they just go from rock to techno or whatever. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands do that, like the first two records are amazing and the third one is like, “What is this music?” So I really wanted to make sure I had at least two songs kind of like my old record, but it’s kind of like: “Okay, I’m growing away from this, kind of starting a new thing.” Songwriting-wise, I think the new album sounds a lot different than my last one. “Run and Tell” wasn’t as sincere as my songs are now.
Would you say because you had more time to think about things, do you think that there’s a through line to the album? Did you have to cut a bunch of songs out that you didn’t feel worked with the whole picture?
I didn’t really cut anything out. There’s definitely a bunch of songs that I tweaked. There are still songs on it that I’m not very proud of, but every artist has that. There are some songs I’ve written that didn’t go on it, but it wasn’t like, “Oh, this isn’t good, I’m not going to use it.”
When you were in college, did you do photography at all? When did you figure out you were good at it?
It was the second semester of college when I realized I was going to leave. I was a songwriting major, and I switched to graphic design. I took drawing, photography, web design, all these electives — that’s where I got into photography.
You didn’t get a degree in songwriting — Why did you switch out of it?
It was all country music. I took one songwriting class, and it was twice a week. I just didn’t like the way they taught it. Also, I was like, “What am I going to do with a songwriting degree? I’m not going to get a job doing that.”
Are you still in PSA now?
They’re still my best friends, I see them every day [when] I’m home. There’s eight or nine of us. Other than being a very good friend group, we did music, skated, art, but now — half of us will make beats, half of us will rap, [and] half of us will sing.
Your photographs have been published in Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines —  did you ever think that would happen?
No — I mean maybe now, it wouldn’t be as surprising, but back then it was the first picture I ever took. It was an outtake. It was like a last-minute, “Hey, will you take a picture of me and my dog?” And I was like, “Sure, I guess.” For that picture, that really was super surprising.
What is your number one beauty “go to” product?
I keep my beauty routine really simple out on the road.  I love Glossier’s sunscreen and I carry around their Generation G in Leo for a little color on my lips, but I also have every shade!




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