interview / Courtney Melahn
photos / Eric Rippin
Our latest #wcw comes in the form of Lena Fayre, Echo Park-based singer-songwriting making waves with her special brand of pop music that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a colorful yet surrealist alternate universe – especially when you couple it with her music videos injecting the melodies with a whole new dimension. We caught up with Lena just before she made the trek to the insanity known as SXSW to talk International Women’s Day, guilty pleasures, and what it’s like living and working with your comrades.
You started off 2015 with a bang after releasing your latest album, OKO, last year. How’s the release been for you so far?
Oko came out in August of 2014, which still doesn’t feel like that long ago to me. I released a couple of videos from songs off that record, too, and people seemed to have liked them. That was a nice feeling, Oko being my first full length and all. Since then, I’ve been making more music. I’m just about finished with a new EP. It has the same ethereal, dream-like soundscape that Oko indulges in, but mixed with a bit of R&B sensibility.
I saw that Spotify added ‘This World’ to their International Women’s Day themed playlist ‘Women of Indie and Alternative’! How rad! What was it like being included in such a stellar line up?
So sweet! I use Spotify all the time to find new music and make playlists for myself, so being included in one of theirs was very surreal. What a cool way to celebrate women. *heart eyes*
Your music videos have been a massive success for you. ‘Everybody’s In’ was released only 3 weeks ago and has already racked up 300k views. What are your inspirations for these audio/visual collaborations?
To capture the visual that lives within a song is an interesting endeavor. Sonically, ‘Everybody’s In’ is warm, inviting, light and lush. But, I’m singing about how I feel isolated and left out. There’s a tension between the lyrics and the music. I wanted to highlight that binary. So, we used lighting and color to capture the electric vibe of the song. There isn’t much of a narrative in the video, just me existing in different, obscure environments. I also just wanted to have fun with it. I’m a sad girl, but I don’t want to cry all the time. Laughing is good.
I feel like your videos are almost like mini movies… Are there any directors you dream about collaborating with?
Shia LaBeouf maybe. That could be tight. I’m really into him. For the most part, though, I get a lot out of collaborating with my close friends. They’re all artists as well, so getting together and making something beautiful/challenging with people I know and love is strange and magical.
You’re pretty interwoven in the upcoming Echo Park music scene. How do you feel about bringing a totally unique pop style to the table?
I’m just being myself. I love where I live and the people here, so to contribute in any way to the music/art scene makes me so happy. It’s nice to leave the house for coffee and see people you have played shows with or listened to their records. It’s a beautiful, interconnected world we’re in.
Describe your perfect day in Los Angeles:
It would most likely include *rare* overcast weather, a walk through Chinatown, live music, spontaneity, and maybe a friend to share it with.
Speaking of LA… What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song to blast and sing along to while stuck in traffic?
I have a CD in my car called “Nope But Ya” full of guilty pleasure songs. Today, I’m feeling ‘Hush Hush (Original Version)’ by The Pussycat Dolls. But honestly, I’m guilt free. I’m listening to it right now. It’s too real.