Hi Fiona, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Really great! Just recovering from a wild first night of my residency!

Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Money”?

Yeah! The song was inspired by our cultural infatuation with pop culture. It’s about all the vices we use to escape from ourselves. I was really inspired by the Kardashian hierarchy that our society is so obsessed with and the ways it destroys and fulfills us.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I don’t think there was a particular event but I went through a phase where I was really aware of how I was perceived. I tried really hard to fit the mold that society deems socially acceptable and then I watched it destroy me. I don’t think I was conscious of it at the time. We are so programmed to normalize very self destructive habits. It’s centered around my own realization that the elements of my life I thought made me really happy, were really masking so much sadness.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! We are releasing the video in mid May. We shot the video when I was touring in Europe. It’s very much a highly emotion-driven fashion piece. I got to film in some of the locations that one of my favorite photographers Helmut Newton shot very iconic pictures!

How was the recording and writing process?

It was different than past experiences but I think that’s the beauty of this record. Usually I go into the studio with everything written for a couple weeks, knock the production out and then maybe spend 1-2 months mixing and mastering. This record we worked on for a year on and off throughout different projects. My producer engineers a lot of big records so we would take month-breaks and he would do these really cool projects. When we got back all of us had learned so much that we were able to bring that into the record.

What was it like to work with Mike Schuppan and how did that relationship develop?

The first time I met Mike was when he mixed my single “What You Want” and we immediately clicked. After that we set up a session to write a song and we wrote this new single “Money!” After that we were both hooked and through all the wild highs and lows that happen during the recording and planning process I feel so lucky to work together.

How much did he influence the song?

Mike started with the bass-line and there was something so dirty and cool about that line. I remember being in the studio and typing this story so quickly because I was so weirdly inspired by the bass-line and grime to it. I wrote the chorus on my way home singing into my voice memos. I think some of the best collaborators know when to let you escape in your own head and then when to make comments. Travis Warner was also a huge part of the record. We both write so equally fast and he has a great gift of making these very small tweaks that tighten the song up and also has such a poetic mind.

What role does David Bowie play in your music?

I started off in musical theatre and Bowie’s influence (and also Madonna) opened my eyes to how mainstream music can have that same theatrical flare that my favorite musicals did. I love escaping in characters and the freedom you feel on stage. Bowie is also one the best lyricists and he allowed each record to be the result of where he was currently at in his life and wasn’t afraid to make a record that was so sonically different than his past work. He was revolutionary.

How’s your new EP coming along?

Great! We are in the final tweak phase and I’m a huge perfectionist. It’ll hopefully be finished in May.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Aw I have a title but I haven’t told a soul. I don’t want to announce it or even say it out loud until the record is mastered. I’m hoping we’ll release this fall.

Would you call this a departure from your previous record or a follow up?

I think it’s a little bit of both. I think as an artist you should be making art that is topping all your previous work but there are some similar story influences that continue through. This is definitely my most mature work to date, and I hope to continue to say that throughout my career.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! I’m doing release shows in Chicago, New York and London and am hoping to go back on tour this fall.

What else is happening next in Fiona Grey’s world?

Other than new singles, music video and the new EP I’m beginning an exciting collaboration with Orchid Quartet, an amazing all female quartet and a fashion collaboration with Venia Collections who make environmentally sustainable high fashion but still functional pieces!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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