Having spent the last few years releasing a flurry of bright and gorgeous electro-pop offerings, Canadian artist Serena Sun has now returned to share her latest effort 'What You Wanted'.
Channelling the bold and pulsing aesthetic of acts like Robyn and Lorde, 'What You Wanted' makes for an incredibly vibrant listen from this fast-rising name. With its sweet and seductive tones layered amongst her beautifully enriched vocals, her newest gem is just what we all need to brighten up our day.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has been inspiring her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
I started playing piano at the age of 5, and guitar in middle school. I honestly loved them both but viewed them more as vehicles to help express the songs I was writing; when I was young, I really fell in love with the process of creating music through both songwriting and production.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I listened to a mix! In elementary school, my best friend and I somehow got hooked on M2M--we would rehearse covers of their songs on the playground and put on little shows for ourselves. In highschool, I remember falling in love with Bon Iver, BANKS, Taylor Swift, Lorde, and the Kooks.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Metamorphosis by Hilary Duff, a classic!!
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Oooo this is a tough one! A song I’ve been listening to a lot lately is “All Your Exes” by Julia Michaels; this is the case for a lot of her songs because she’s such a great songwriter, but I think the lyrics are genius. She takes a simple feeling that we’ve all felt before, a subtle insecurity in a relationship, and finds a way to describe it in a unique and charming way. Highly recommend giving it a listen.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Yes! I have a few. I absolutely love going for a drive and putting on a playlist I’ve never listened to before because it can be super inspiring. You never know what lyric, production style or melody will spark a new idea. I also love taking a song I’ve written in the past but wasn’t fully obsessed with, and trying to rewrite it in a way that is, in my opinion, better.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
My favourite artists are always changing, but some of my go-to’s are Charlotte Lawrence, Sasha Sloan, Troye Sivan, Sam Setton, and ELIO. Some other artists I’m currently obsessing over are Silver Sphere, spill tab, Aria Ohlsson, and HANNI.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Sasha Sloan. No question, that would be an absolute dream of mine!
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Speaking with people who listen to my music and feel empowered by it. I am so grateful for every message I’ve gotten from people I’ve never met telling me that my song has touched them. I write a lot of sad songs, so it genuinely gets me everytime when someone says they feel less alone when they listen to my songs. My goal as an artist is to create relatable songs that help to heal others.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The self doubt that creeps in every once in a while is the absolute worst. I am so grateful for all of the incredibly supportive people I have in my life, they keep me going when I am actually the meanest person to myself. That’s definitely something I am currently working on because if I’m the only roadblock to my success, I better get out of the way!
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
I’ve had a lot of conversations with my parents about what it means to be a musician and an artist. They’ve been very supportive of my career decisions, and I am extremely grateful for that. Their advice has always been to enjoy my life and “do whatever makes you happy.”
Additionally, I really love the Serenity Prayer because there are a lot of things that determine our success as musicians that are out of our control. “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”
Serena Sun's new single 'What You Wanted' is available now. Check it out in the player below.