Interview: Faye Fantarrow | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Following the success of her previous single Boom, Sunderland singer-songwriter Faye Fantarrow releases her second single of 2021 Kola Kiss. The track talks about breaking from societal norms and is a latin-tinged, folk-infused pop banger with a warm, retro sounding production.

We catch up with Faye to find out more about her and the latest single…

Briefly describe your musical style. Which artists has it been influenced by?
I would say my music style is an amalgamation of indie, indie-pop and alternative. I never really like to pinhole my music into one genre because I wouldn’t want to feel like I was restricting what I could write about and the direction my music could take. My music has massively been influenced by the likes of Tracy Chapman with her innate awareness of the world she is writing about, Brittney Howard – she’s just a dream – but also Leon Bridges and  Sam Fender.

What have you been doing over lockdown?
Honestly, this lockdown hasn’t been too bad! I’ve been keeping busy with writing music and working behind the scenes getting releases ready. I think what made this lockdown easier as well was the fact that the promises of freedom seemed more attainable; honestly just the thought of being able to play actual live gigs again kept me going- haha! Aside from music though, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching ‘Motherland’ and spending waaaaay too much money on Domino’s.

Tell us about your songwriting process.
My songwriting process is very natural, I never sit myself down and say ‘right Faye write a song’; I don’t feel like that works for me. I always tend to feel my most creative after hearing/ seeing something that has really had an effect on me in some way- I’m a very emotional writer so I feel that my best songs come out of an emotive response to something. It will always start with me just sitting on my bed with my guitar trying to find something that works, then the lyrics come . Some songs I can write in one sitting and then others can take a couple days; either way there is always a ridiculous amount of voice notes on my phone after every song!

What’s Kola Kiss about? How does it differ from your previous release?
Kola Kiss is essentially about encouraging the independence and overall confidence that I want to see more women holding. I wrote Kola last year when I was so so tired of seeing young girls feel like their self worth was measured by male attention and having a ‘man in their life’. It’s essentially an ‘up yours’ to the misogynistic ideal that women need men. I hope that Kola Kiss can be a song that anyone can relate to and feel empowered by- especially young girls! I also want Kola Kiss to be a huge thank you to the beautiful, strong women in my life that have taught me to be confident in my own skin and to also be aware of the power I hold as young women. I feel Kola Kiss is a lot more upbeat and almost blurs into lines of pop at some points but the main thing I wanted the song to centre around, as I always do, is the lyrics. This is something I feel Kola and BOOM have in common, despite their sound differing they are both held together by the message in the lyrics, a theme I want to continue throughout all my releases. 

What have you got planned for the near future?
I have some exciting things coming up! I’m playing my first gig since lockdown number three at Stockton’s NE Volume Music Bar on the 5th of June. I then have my first ever headline gig at Stockton’s KU Bar on the 17th of June. Following these I’m going to be playing my biggest gig to date where I will be opening the Lamplight Festival in Sunderland on the 7th of August! Aside from all the gigs that I CAN’T WAIT to play, I’ve also got plans to head into the studio to record my next release that should hopefully be ready to go in August! 

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