Music is in Serenity’s blood

Potchefstroom Herald recently had a chat with new and upcoming local pop-artist Serenity on her passion for music new music video, her rise in the music industry and her future plans:

1.   You have an excellent voice Serenity, and I think it really stands out in your new video for “We Will Unite.” How did you get into the music industry and why did you choose music. In other words where did everything begin for you? 

Thank you so much! It’s so nice and reassuring to get feedback from people other than my parents haha… kidding. To be honest I feel like music chose me. I fell in love with music at a very early age and at first it was just an escape and a sort of creative outlet, almost a hobby, and then it slowly became the most important thing in my life. My parents say I was singing before I could talk and my gran has a few anecdotes about me standing on chairs and belting out “I believe I can fly.” But my earliest memory of deciding that I wanted to be a singer was when I was about 5 and a Britney Spears music video was on the tv and I was just like, “I’m going to do that. I’m going to be a singer.” Ten years later my parents urged me to audition for COPA and I think that is really where my journey started.

2. Your new single “We Will Unite” focuses on the theme of solidarity, love and unity and I believe it speaks to the heart of South Africans. How did you go about writing the lyrics and what specific events/happenings inspired you the most?

Absolutely. It definitely was my intention to reach the heart of everyone that hears the song. I was inspired by a few things, one of them being the massive amount of negativity on social media surrounding the whole #BlackMonday thing. Also just the headlines that I would see everyday and the whole Brexit situation and the shootings and bombings in Paris and the Syrian refugee crisis. I could go on forever. The day I sat down and wrote the very first rough version of the song was also the day of my great-grandmother’s funeral and emotions were high and I was feeling sad and frustrated and I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought that hatred and negativity was senseless so I sat down at my keyboard in my bedroom and I wrote the first verse. I played it for my dad and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “you have to finish this song.” So two days later I finished it and the rest is history.

3.  I understand you are currently working on your debut EP “Undiscovered.” Can we expect the same songs such as “We Will Unite” lyrically? What themes and topics can listeners expect?

Yes that’s correct. We Will Unite was actually something that I wrote well after I started working on Undiscovered and I felt that it was a more urgent message so I released it first. On Undiscovered you’ll hear a different side to me musically and you’ll hear a mix of the personalities that have been involved in the project from day one. When I decided I wanted to record an EP I wasn’t really sure what my sound was or who I was as an artist and Undiscovered is pretty much the process of trying new things and figuring out who I am and what my sound is. The themes you can expect on the EP are more along the lines of self discovery, a little bit of restlessness, some relationshipy stuff and an overall young/light sound.

4. What are your biggest aspirations with the new EP? Certain goals you want to achieve personally or professionally with its eventual release. 

My biggest aspiration with this EP was learning the ropes of writing music, composition and production from the bottom up and being in studio and playing around with sound. I feel I have learned so much already and I’ve been writing material on the side for an album that will come later. I feel like I’ve matured in my songwriting and grown into a new sound that I never would have found in myself if it weren’t for Undiscovered. I hope people enjoy the EP as much as I have enjoyed making it and I hope they follow my growth as I find my feet and figure all of this out by trial and error.

5. What would you say makes you stand out in the music industry. What gives you that edge?

I think the fact that I’ve always had a very good sense of where I want to go in my life and the fact that I’m not afraid to mess up a few times before I figure things out will help me to stand out from the crowd. I also think that being myself when it would be way cooler to be someone else gives me an edge in this industry because I’ve watched people I know turn into weird mutant robots the second the spotlight is on them… like they actually are camera ready at all times… you guys would just get a lot of double chin from me hahaha.

6. The music industry is a cut throat business. What would you say has been the biggest lessons you have learned so far? 

This is probably the most cliché answer ever but I have learned that it’s important to keep business JUST business. I get really emotionally invested and I have a hard time saying no to people I know personally which doesn’t help when I’m supposed to make important decisions that impact my life and my career. So not getting into business with friends without very clear agreements on paper and also I’ve learned not to settle on things that I don’t really like anymore because I’ll just regret it later. But c’est la vie… you live and you learn.

7. Who are your musical heroes or inspirations?

I have so many! I have to say Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera if I’m being 100% honest, (don’t judge me) I was slightly obsessed with them for different reasons. (Christina for her vocal abilities and Britney for her live shows) Then Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Jazmine Sullivan, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Ed Sheeran, Jilian Banks (BANKS), Foxes, Lorde, Dua Lipa, Etta James, Prince, Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion. I should also mention that as a young girl I was inspired by local talents: Mia Thomas and Danny K. Today I’m feeling inspired by Lorde and BANKS in particular and I’m sure if you were to ask me tomorrow I’d give you a hundred new names. I am in awe of anyone making music and creating, I think creativity is what inspires me the most.

8. Upcoming shows?

Haha stay tuned! If you follow me on my social media you’ll be the first to know about upcoming shows and about the release of my next single, Wanderlust. You’ll also be the first to hear the new songs I’ve been writing in their raw and unpolished state. My Instagram is @runawayren and my Facebook Page is www.facebook.com/runawayren. I love hearing from people so like my page and come say hi!

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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