Take 5: Martyna Wren

Martyna Wren is an acclaimed British singer songwriter, having toured both nationally and internationally, including support slots for Paul Carrack, Jools Holland and specially requested appearances for Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Tim Rice. Now this accomplished artist releases the single Bigger Things’ off her forthcoming EP ‘The Collector’.

Martyna is no stranger to working with campaigns to help survivors of life slings and arrows and indeed her recordings are empathic as well as healing in their message – she has previously recorded a cover of ‘Sound of Silence’ for the award-winning National Avon Campaign against Domestic Violence. She has also written and recorded vocals for national and international producers including Downton Abbey’s John Lunn.

Possessing a ‘supremely rare kind of voice’ (BBC Radio 2) Martyna’s smooth and soothing vocals are instantly recognisable and unique but Martyna freely acknowledges she is influenced by the greats:  Carole King, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt as well as inspirational and talented peers such as Sarah McLachlan and Alison Krauss. Simply amazing. We decided to find out more about Martyna with a ‘Take 5’….

When did you realise that you wanted to do what you do? What or who has inspired you ?  

Writing songs at the piano has always been somewhere I felt at home. I started playing when I was 6 and as I got older it became all I wanted to do. When I was around 11,  I used to go to the library every Friday and take out as much music as I could without knowing anything about the artists. It’s given me some very eclectic influences.

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with? 

I’d love to write with Lori McKenna, her songs always tell a story that stays with you. I’d also like to go back in time and be a part of Lilith Fair, it was such an important stand for female musicians and had the most incredible line ups. 

Tell us about your single ‘Bigger Things’– what’s it all about?

Bigger Things is about self-sabotage and how difficult it can be to get away from our inner negative voice. We can’t always see how far we’ve come or what’s around the corner so when things go wrong it can feel easier to quit than to keep going. I wanted to write a song that people can turn to – to bring them a little hope and faith in what’s to come. 

Tell us five interesting or exciting things about Milton Keynes – the town in which you are based :

  • David Bowie and Queen have both played our National Bowl, although I was too young to be allowed to go to either gig. 
  • We have a set of concrete cows that people come to visit.
  • Parts of the film Withnail and I were shot in Stony Stratford.
  • During World War II, 10,000 people worked in secret at Bletchley Park decoding enemy communications.
  • The Cock Horse nursery rhyme refers to a horse rented from The Cock Hotel in Stony Stratford (also a venue where I performed one of my first gigs)

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

 My first trip to Nashville, my EP being released and some future writing collaborations. I’m grateful for how much there is to come this year.