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INTERVIEW: Serena Sun

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

Hey there! Thank you so much for having me. I’m doing well thanks. I’m currently in a masters program, and we just finished our first round of finals, so that’s a relief! I feel like I can finally breathe and spend some more time concentrating on music.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Release Me”?

Yeah, definitely! “Release Me” is one of the most honest pieces of writing I’ve ever created. My music producer, Jeremy Lim, and I worked very hard to capture the feelings I was experiencing when I wrote the song. I think it’s a very truthful reflection of that specific time when I was feeling hurt and strung along during the aftermath of a relationship.

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

Yes. I had just gotten back from a quick trip to LA, where I used to live. I met up with Jeremy to record another song we were working on, but was feeling so off that day that none of the vocals we recorded were any good. I apologized to Jeremy and told him he was welcome to work on something else while I took a nap. He started playing around with some melancholy chords, and I started singing how I was feeling, and BOOM. That’s how “Release Me” began.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, we have a music video in the works and it will be released alongside “Release Me”! A few of my friends are featured in it (shoutout to Mason and Gabby!) and it was shot in New York City by Martin Jernberg, an insanely talented videographer and friend. I’m really glad it worked out because I think we did a good job of telling the story of me moving on after the breakup, while the memories still lingered.

How was the recording and writing process?

Seamless. I feel like Jeremy and I work really well together in the writing and recording process because we’re always so honest with each other. Whenever one of us feels like something is off, we immediately bring it up, and never take offense to what the other person is saying. We always know that our opinions are for the good of the song and we justify our comments.

What was it like to work with Jeremy Lim and what did he bring to the table?

Jeremy Lim is so knowledgeable, so trustworthy, and SO talented. With respect to his ability to create beautiful music, I seriously can’t speak of him more highly. We met 8 years ago and briefly worked together on a track. Our friend, Isosine, picked it up and used it in one of his YouTube mashups; it was very popular and gave the song some added momentum, which was fun! Not only is he a patient and understanding friend, Jeremy is also a very good listener; he truly has a unique talent of being able to translate feelings and words into music, and I highly appreciate that about him as a producer.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

Yes, absolutely. When I’m co-writing with someone, or working with photographers/videographers/any other creatives, I always want all of us to come out of the project feeling accomplished and satisfied. When I’m working with others, I get to try out different styles of songs that I might not have otherwise made on my own.

How did you get to balance the dark themes with the most uplifting tone?

I feel like that’s kind of a reflection of my personality; when things go wrong in life, I definitely feel the sadness and darkness pretty deeply, but after a while of just letting myself feel that way, I try to cheer myself up and see the good parts of the situation. As someone who believes in God, I’m usually able to see a guiding hand in my life, no matter how bad it’s been in the past. So yes, I hope that my music is able to bring some light to those who feel helpless or trapped, because I’ve definitely felt that way before.

What role does Vancouver play in your music?

Oof, great question. So I grew up here in Vancouver, but I’ve lived in New Hampshire, Los Angeles, China, and Chile during different periods of my life. I would say that the weather plays a role in my songwriting– haha it’s gloomy and raining most of the year, so that’s where most of my sad Serena songs have been inspired. Vancouver is also a very nature-filled city. I love spending time outdoors, so the constant access to hikes and proximity to the ocean definitely feeds inspiration for my music as well. I’d say the most important part of Vancouver though, is my support system here. I feel so at peace in this city because of the amazing community of people I have here.

Does the new single mean we can expect any new material – how’s that coming along?

Definitely. I feel like I’m just getting started with my music, and that’s actually really really exciting. I’m constantly writing songs and figuring out my sound, so you will definitely be hearing more from me in the future!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

There is a song I’m currently working on, and it’s tentatively called “Something More.” No release date in mind yet, but hopefully another song will be out by the end of 2019.

Any plans to hit the road?

As of right now, my main focus is to continue to finetune a few of the songs I’ve written and have them recorded. I’ll be playing some local shows in Vancouver, but I don’t have any specific plans to play outside of B.C. until a later date. I’m definitely a wandering soul though, so if I’m requested somewhere, I’ll be there!

What else is happening next in Serena Sun’s world?

Well, I’m in this master’s program for a year, so I’ll (hopefully) be graduating from that! Other than school, friends, and music, I don’t have much going on. More releases, more shows, and more development as an artist I guess! I have a feeling that it’s going to be a really good year of growth for me, so I’m very excited and grateful for both the good and bad that comes my way.

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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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