Serena Sun – Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

Serena Sun is a Vancouver-based singer, songwriter, and producer. Serena shares her experience in navigating the highs and lows of life through her unique melodies and honest lyrics. Inspired by a mix of indie pop and ambient soundscapes, Serena fuses the two with her airy vocals to create a unique, emotion-driven sound.

Serena’s new single, ‘Panic Attacks,’ was self-produced from her bedroom studio. It’s a happy-sounding sad song about experiencing anxiety; how it shows up at random points and can be triggered by external circumstances and traumas.

Listen to ‘Panic Attacks’ and check out our interview below!

Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your single, “Panic Attacks”?

Yes! I wrote this song after I had a panic attack on the beach. I was on a surfing and camping trip with some friends, and after going out on the water on a very choppy day, my body went into shock and I couldn’t speak to my closest friends. I tried to calm myself down by going to my car and spending some time alone, but I still wasn’t able to talk when I got back to my friends.

Since music can act as my therapy, I took out my guitar and started writing this song. The lyrics and melody came out effortlessly, and that’s how I knew it was special. Once I got back from the trip, I recorded and produced the song from my bedroom studio, and now it’s out in the world!

How do you think your community has contributed to your success?

I would be nothing without the people in my life. Every artist starts somewhere, and I started releasing songs on a whim; the people in my life were kind enough to share it and give me positive feedback, which kept me going. Now I’m starting to have people I don’t even know reach out and do the same! It’s been a wild journey and I’m so excited to see where music takes me. I am so grateful for the mix of friends and fans who have supported me from day one!

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

I’ve been writing songs since I was a kid, and even though they were barely songs back then, I’ve always enjoyed sharing my life through music. I think music is so beautiful because it has the power to communicate raw feelings to the listener; through the production, the song can communicate a certain feeling or mood. Through the lyrics, the listener can relate to the artist and understand what they’ve been through. I’m really intrigued by the mix of production and songwriting–that’s probably why I decided to teach myself production over the last few years. 

Describe to our audience your music-making process.

Every song is different; sometimes I start with some chords and find a melody that I like, other times, I’ll start with a lyric that speaks to me. The chords will usually move me to create a melody on the spot, and when that happens, I sing a string of words to fill the space–some of those words stick and I include them in the final song. I keep a journal and google doc ready with lots of lyric ideas that come to me over time; those phrases also sometimes make their way into songs. 

What advice would you give other musicians?

I would tell other musicians, and my past self, not to be discouraged if their path doesn’t look like someone else’s. With music, we’re always getting better and fine-tuning our craft and artistry; I look back at my past year and see how much I’ve improved as a songwriter and producer. As time paseses, we meet more and more people, and each step of the way, we learn more about ourselves. All of this comes together to help shape our artist projects, so I’d say it’s important to just enjoy the journey. 

How did it feel when you released this new music?

I was both nervous and excited! This one was very special to me because I produced it myself. It felt like I had ownership over the whole song, how it felt, and how it sounded. I think it’s very normal for artists to feel a bit anxious about their releases–each release is sharing another part of us with the world, so it’s easy to let how it performs get in our heads. But now that it’s out, I’m stoked! I am super happy with the response I’ve gotten from it and am excited to make more music to share. 

And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?

It’s so hard to pick! I would say my top 3 right now are Sasha Sloan, ELIO, and Maude Latour. They each have such unique talents and sounds. I am obsessed with Sasha Sloan’s writing, her lyrics are always so relatable and witty. ELIO finds a way to meld mind-blowing production with her amazing writing. Maude Latour has such a cool way of describing her life and things around her through her lyrics, so I really appreciate that in her music. Honestly, they are all next level and I would be honoured to work with any or each of them!

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