We recently caught up with Wren before her headline show in Winchester, UK, to chat and take some photos.
Melodic Mag: Where does the name Wren come from?
Wren: Years back I needed to change my branding and name, I was playing at a venue and a Londoner, cockney lady, came over and said “We’ve nicknamed you Wren. Little bird big voice” and it stuck.
Tell us a little about yourself: Alongside music, we see you’re into motorbikes, fitness, and literally playing with fire
I’m a South Coast UK one Woman DIY-run solo musician with a simple mission, to empower the masses but mainly to unite people through kindness and authenticity. In my spare time I try to be as courageous as humanly possible, I’m just about to do my full motorbike license and finally go on some tours across Europe! I spend my weekends gigging and literally playing with fire for a job and hobby as well as being a contortionist for some agencies and nightclubs. In the week I try to keep it mellow, making sure I catch up on sleep, get some calisthenics in at the gym and zen out as much as possible alongside teaching pole fitness.
How would you describe your sound? We think there’s a little Billie Eilish and London Grammar in there, do you have any particular influences?
I definitely draw a lot of inspiration both lyrically and sonically from Billie Eilish, the fact that so many people resonate with her music gave me confidence I do fit in the pop culture of today. With the new music I’m drawn to artists such as Royal &The Serpent and The Nova Twins for their grit, alongside bands such as London Grammar and The xx for their atmospherics.
What are the key messages behind your lyrics and songs?
During the pandemic I really found my voice lyrically, I started to want to write a trilogy EP with generational subject matters that I felt needed to be spoken about. For example, my latest single “SKIN 2 SKIN”, questions the notion that tech and social media are damaging the youth of today along with human connection; pretty heavy stuff, I know. But my first EP really delved into who I am as an artist, I tried to be as honest and transparent as possible. Sending out the message that vulnerability is powerful.
You refer to your musicians on stage as a ‘collective’ rather than a band, what does that mean to you?
For me, my collective members are my family. They interchange and evolve over time, with them behind me on stage I become this lioness able to roar. I’m a solo artist, but it gets lonely up there without them nowadays and I feed off the energy we are able to bring to a show together.
What have been some of your highlights in music so far? Either shows or songs?
I’d say one of my wackiest highlights of my career so far has been playing two major UK festivals within the same day and then playing a private party to all the artists and Chris Evans himself that appeared on the bill for Car Fest South. Seeing Seasick Steve and Sophie Ellis Bexter wondering about eating chips in front of you playing was wild (laughs). It worked out to be a 36 hour day with the three performances which then lead onto taking a boat to France to go snowboarding in the mountains. Safe to say I was wiped out after!
What new music releases can we look forward to?
I’m planning to release the two remaining singles from the trilogy EP The Rabbit Hole Series – the first already released, “SKIN 2 SKIN”. As well as some remixes of the tracks and some features with various collaborations I’ve got lined up.
You have some amazing artwork tattoos. Do you have a particular artist you go to, and any special meaning behind any of the images you want to tell us about?
You can tell from one glance how much I love a good tattoo! I’ve always been enamoured by the concept of having someone’s artwork as well as telling your journey of life on your own skin. I’ve become very particular about who and what I like over the years. I predominantly use a tattoo artist from Bournemouth, UK, called Amy Billing. I love fine artwork, preferably single needle, as I’m only 5ft1 it’s important to keep it light so I avoid looking like a walking ink pad.
You’ve just started a podcast, “Behind the Shutters”, is that something you’ll be doing more of to get the Wren message out there?
Absolutely, as I’ve mentioned, I really want to start speaking up about the topics we usually discuss behind closed doors – hence the podcasts name “Behind the Shutters”. It’s a safe space to talk out the concepts of each track and EP series and really get into the subject matters with some unique guests. The idea is to release a podcast episode alongside each single release. It’s something I’ve been planning to do for years and I’m so proud for finally setting it all up and having the idea to come into fruition.
Do you like using social platforms, Instagram, TikTok etc as artistic expression, or is it just something you need to do now in the music industry?
Honestly…No! (laughs) it’s something I’ve had to learn to love about my job. The way I view Instagram and socials is a chance to be artistically expressive, hence I’m a perfectionist when it comes to how my grid looks! However saying this, I do find modern day consumerism really tricky for a musician in 2022 to keep up with. I’m finally on Tik Tok, but I’m staying as authentic to myself as possible, that’s always my goal with whatever I do. So far so good I’d say!