Rising Star Lena Fayre’s Dark Pop Alchemy


“Be brave and reach for joy.”

The cover of Lena Fayre's last EP, Is There Only One?, features an Instagram of a woman who is not the 19-year-old L.A. native. As it turns out, it's a photo of the woman Fayre's one-time lover left her for, inspiring the five-song collection filled with absorbing, electro ballads in the name of love lost, confusion, and rediscovery.

Fayre's lush vocals coupled with dark, metallic production is a leap forward from the orchestral-centric songs released a few years ago, like "Belong to You." Since then, Fayre has remerged as an artist unafraid to confront the stab of heartbreak and transform it into airtight electro-pop. "The songs of Is There Only One? reflect my state of mind as I processed, questioned, and eventually found peace with such a visceral experience with rejection," she said about her record. 

Fayre is currently working on a follow-up, but took some time out of her day to answer some questions about creativity, fantasies, and her love of Hayao Miyazaki.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Soft bitch.

How did your career get started?
I always wanted to be a singer. There’s a lot of opportunity when you grow up in Los Angeles. I met a few people when I was younger who introduced me to the music world. Things sort of just fell into my lap from there, and I remained open and hopeful.

Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?
Accomplished, established, and self-assured. Most of all I hope I can surprise myself, and create something even more beautiful or fun every time I add to my discography.

What’s your next project?
I’m working on a new record. I had the opportunity to collaborate with new friends from Britain and Germany this summer. As of late, I’ve been spending more time cultivating some other interests and projects aside from music. I’ve found my creative aspirations all feed back into each other somehow.

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
I’ve gotten to make music and visuals with people I love and care for. I’ve shared with them in that, created something permanent. It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done.

What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
I love Hayao Miyazaki so much. His mind must be such a fantastic place. Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite movie! He’s gotta keep tidy though!

What is your favorite driving music?
The album Dreamin’ Wild by Donnie and Joe Emerson.

Whose career would you most like to emulate?
I admire the longevity, fluidity, musicianship, and breadth of Bjork’s career. It’s incredible to take in the life of an artist; from The Sugarcubes to Vulnicura. I hope to grow up through my music like it seems she has.

If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
I’d liked to have been around for the '60s and '70s, when the music that was popular or cool was also revolutionary. Today’s pop music isn’t necessarily “good” music. It didn’t always used to be like that.

What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
I love taking a day to myself. Make sun tea and listen to music while I get my apartment back to a livable state. It restores my psyche.

How do you wind down before bed?
A cup of scaldingly hot tea and a bubble bath while I watch one of my favorite movies. That’s when I’m feeling lux. Usually I just overthink my way into sleep.

When are you most relaxed?
When L.A. is cold and overcast, and I have nothing to do but whatever makes me happy.

What kind of person were you in high school?
I was a version of the person I am now, just with fewer tools to be an actual person.

Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I’ve learned how to really love and take care of myself. Self-love will revolutionize your life!

Do you have any phobias?
Throwing up.

What’s a serious side of you that people are unlikely to know about? Either in terms of interests, hobbies, or personality?
I feel like in an alternate universe I’ve opened my own flower shop in a small European town and I have too many kids. I fantasize about that a lot.

What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I’d love to start gardening. That seems like a lovely way to spend your time. 

How do you hope to grow as a creative person?

If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life what might it be?
Be brave and reach for joy.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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