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

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Sunderland songbird Faye Fantarrow is flying high from her recent Alan Hull songwriter award win, and her new release, the satisfyingly titled Boom, is guaranteed to establish Faye’s presence within the North East’s flourishing music scene even further.

Having found her songwriting feet as part of We Make Culture’s Young Musician’s Project, Faye’s star has long been on the rise. Gaining recognition for her songwriting talents is surely only the start of the plaudits soon to come.

Faye acknowledges the presence of her hometown within her writing. “You can’t live in Sunderland and walk through the town centre and not see all of the deprivation and the huge difference between Newcastle and Sunderland.” The social issues facing her city continue to inspire Faye’s music; “it sort of gives you a perspective of what real issues are when you’re writing.”

Describing her writing style as aware and observational, she’s determined that her music contributes to a bigger conversation, and be a dialogue for change. “I’ve been given opportunities to write songs for things like People’s Powerhouse, where they will talk about social issues, and if I’ve been given a platform why wouldn’t I use it to explain what’s happening in Sunderland and cities that are like it.”

I felt really helpless, and the only way I could think to register all that was to write a song

Faye’s views on songwriting are refreshing, songs about “getting the girl and having all the money” have a certain appeal, but her own approach is far more down to earth and socially focused. “You’ve got to talk about the other issues. I think that’s what growing up in Sunderland has done for me.”

With a strong sense of self, Faye’s greatest inspirations come from local circles. “I massively admire bigfatbig, I love what they are doing for the female scene… The Sunderland music scene in particular is a heavily male indie band-dominated scene, and that was very intimidating to try and penetrate.”

Her commanding way with words extends to the new single and embodies Faye as an artist; raw and unapologetic. “I wrote Boom in the first lockdown. At a time when you’d think everyone would come together, it just polarised people. It got to the point when you didn’t feel you were doing enough, you were trying to read up on things, sign petitions. I felt really helpless, and the only way I could think to register all that was to write a song.”

After the release of Boom Faye’s eyes are firmly set on a future EP; her hopes high for some live shows on the horizon. “Right now, the dream is just to be playing a tiny intimate gig somewhere, so hopefully that can happen soon.”

Faye Fantarrow releases Boom on 12th March

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