Happy Monday, readers!
Meet our newest Music Monday artist this week, Wren Black.
Born in 1991 as Shelby Balash, the Cleveland, Ohio raised singer/songwriter had a passion for performing that blossomed at a very young age. Wren was constantly looking for the stage, whether it be for acting, speaking, or of course, music. Growing up with 90’s alternative while pulling from an eclectic library of influences from other eras helped her create her unique pop-alternative sound.
Black’s first single, a ballad titled “Lie To Me,” was released in October 2016. An emotional song utilizing only piano and strings, Wren’s powerhouse voice perfectly contrasted with the intimacy the instruments provided. The raw emotion in her singing took the track to the next level, making it not only beautiful, but relatable to many as well.
For 2017, Black is hard in the studio working on music. She is currently in Poland shooting the music video for her latest song “Executioner.”
— Wren Black (@wrenblackmusic) February 25, 2017
Celeb Secrets caught up with Wren Black recently to chat about her music! In our interview, the singer/songwriter talked about her start in music, her artistic sound, and her debut single “Lie To Me.” In addition, Wren revealed her songwriting process and some secrets about herself — check out the full Q&A for more!
Keep up with Wren Black by following her on Twitter at @WrenBlackMusic.
Celeb Secrets: What inspired you to start singing and writing music?
Wren Black: “Music and writing were always outlets for me. Bad day? Write about it. Good day? Write about it. Really weird, unexplainable day? You get the idea! Some of my favorite artists got me through the darkest times of my life. So much so that I was inspired to create my own music as a means of catharsis. I only hope that one day my music will inspire others the same way that I was growing up.”
Celeb Secrets: How would you describe your artistic sound?
Wren Black: “This is a bit of a tough one, honestly. The simplest answer I can give is pop-alternative, however, it’s not that cut and dry. I never wanted the album to have one particular sound, so each song sounds a bit different than the last. One song might sound a bit dark and electronic like Depeche Mode while another sounds like a pop song you’d hear on a top forty station. That’s the fun, though! I feel like I can create anything without having to stay inside any particular genre.”
Celeb Secrets: Would you say that you draw inspiration from other artists? If so, who and why?
Wren Black: “Absolutely! I don’t think there’s an artist in the world who doesn’t draw at least some inspiration from their favorite musicians. The music I listened to molded me into the person I am today, so of course my songs were affected by it. There’s so many artist I could list as inspiration. Fiona Apple, Murder By Death, Queen, Alanis Morissette… But I have to say, the biggest inspiration to me will always be David Bowie. His genuine love and fearlessness in every aspect of what he did, his refusing to become comfortable in his craft, his celebration of the underdogs… That touches my heart and soul more than any other artist out there.”
Celeb Secrets: What types of things or experiences have influenced your songs and songwriting process?
Wren Black: “Everything. Every single experience in my life has brought me to write these songs. A culmination of what I’ve been through and where I hope to go from here. Whether it be a song about the love of my life, an abusive ex boyfriend, or my own struggle with bipolar disorder, nothing is off limits. While it’s cathartic to sing about the bad, it’s always so uplifting and wonderful to sing about the good as well. To find that balance in life and in my music is all I could ever hope for.”
Celeb Secrets: Do you see yourself experimenting with different musical styles in the future?
Wren Black: “I definitely want to continue to experiment with my sound as much as possible. I think it’s important that artists grow and change over time. You wouldn’t want your favorite band to keep releasing the same record over and over and over again, would you? Yeah, me neither haha! I can say that my new single, ‘Executioner’, is a VERY different sound than my first single, ‘Lie To Me’. It has an edgy, more alternative feel. Definitely a badass, feminine anthem, in my opinion, and it gets me excited to show the other side of my music!”
Celeb Secrets: How would you describe your debut single, “Lie to Me”?
Wren Black: “‘Lie To Me’ is a pretty haunting ballad, and while it may seem like a story of weakness, there’s actually a lot of strength in the song. It’s a tough conversation with yourself when you realize the relationship you’re in or the person you love isn’t good for you. It’s a hard thing to admit and move forward from.”
Celeb Secrets: When can we expect to see you touring?
Wren Black: “I’m not completely sure, honestly! I hope to start playing live shows this year, but as far as actually touring, that might be on hold for a bit longer.”
Celeb Secrets: Since we are Celeb Secrets, what are some secrets about you that you would like your fans to know?
Wren Black: “Well I like romantic, candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach… kidding! Let’s see, I played the drums for about six years when I was younger before inevitably choosing to go into theatre. I have 22 tattoos, some of which include a portrait of David Bowie, Tool lyrics from the song ‘Lateralus’, and a Charles Bukowski quote. Last but not least, my producer, Mike Krompass, discovered me after I drove Uber for him and his band in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s definitely an odd but amazing story. You never know what life will throw your way at any given moment, so be positive and ready for anything.”