Q: “re: invite to the moon” is a gorgeous dreampop song perfect for those late summer nights. How did this track come together and what was the inspiration behind it?
FAERIE: Thank you so much! I really wanted to experiment with dreampop after working on more of a synthpop EP. I found VelviV on a freelance website and immediately loved his work. I explained my vision for this song, which was to create a hopeless romantic track perfect for easy listening, and he went to work right away.
Inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks when I first heard VelviV’s demo for “re: invite to the moon” (RITM). The first thing that came out of my mouth was the melody and lyrics, “Why don’t you come before the world ends? I have an open space in my bed.” It was my reaction to all that was happening in the world. My anxiety got the best of me, and all I could think of at the time was holding onto my loved ones and just flying away. VelviV was able to capture that exact feeling and translate it into the music.
I found Charles Sublette for backing vocals and reached out to my friend Nathaniel Keiichi Castillo for mixing/mastering to add dynamics and complete the track. For the lyric video, I was searching YouTube for a video editor and found Camila Espinosa’s beautiful work! I value collaboration and supporting emerging artists, so having these talented creatives on this project was a must.
Q: What was it like working with VelviV on “re: invite to the moon”?
FAERIE: Working with VelviV was out of this world! He’s such a talented musician and composer. There are some downsides to working virtually, like not meeting in person to have a proper songwriting session, but VelviV was still able to take all my notes, add some of his magic, and bring my vision to life. I couldn’t think of a better person for this project.
Q: From where do you draw inspiration?
FAERIE: VelviV and I listened to artists like The Marías, Men I Trust, and Japanese Breakfast to get in the overall mood for RITM. We really wanted to capture that “watching the stars on a late summer night” and “sitting alone with my thoughts” feeling, and that’s when the modulation in the chorus was born. It’s my favorite part of the song because it makes you feel like you’re lifting off. VelviV did a perfect job with RITM, and I am obsessed with how it came out.
Q: What is the key to your sound and your aesthetic?
FAERIE: I love, love dressing up and it’s influenced the way I approach music in such a big way. I’ve started collecting vintage 60’s and 70’s pieces and I’ve been trying to add a bit of a modern twist to it. I think of my music in the same way. RITM included some bits and pieces that were a nod to a shimmering 70’s dream. I’ve always wanted to experiment with these types of sounds so I’m glad I was able to with this track.
Q: As an indie artist, what are you doing in terms of promotion and marketing in order to differentiate yourself from others?
FAERIE: It might sound a bit cliché, but I honestly think one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from others is by being yourself. Everyone has their own unique story to tell. I try to convey that in my own music and in my promotion and marketing. Faerie is filled with stories that are beyond this life. I think that it all comes down to how I want to present it. Now, it’s my job to add my supernatural spin to it and publish it for the world to see. To me, it all looks like a really long film in my head!
Q: Your musical background is very impressive! Did you always know that you wanted a career in music? If so, what sparked your drive to sing and write lyrics?
FAERIE: I think if you ask any of my friends or family, they’d say that I was always trying to be some type of performer. As a kid, I would write stories, perform them, sing karaoke, and even record short skits on my camcorder. It’s super embarrassing to look back on, but I think doing those things really sparked my interest in entertainment!
Music has always been a part of my life, and I have to thank my parents for that. I was singing Disney songs as a kid and was so enchanted by their storytelling. I tried to write music like that, which led to me learning guitar and piano independently. My parents signed me up for voice lessons, and my teacher encouraged me to keep practicing songwriting. I started poorly recording demos on my phone. Still, it helped me prepare for when I finally could afford to pay for Logic Pro X. Studying songwriting in college pushed me to take my music more seriously because I realized what I capable of doing in terms of production and storytelling.
Q: You performed at Carnegie Hall for The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York. How did that opportunity come about and what was the experience like?
FAERIE: Yes, I did! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have to thank my voice teacher, Bituin Escarcha, for landing me the gig in 2013. She has performed at Carnegie Hall multiple times and gave me the confidence to perform at such a prestigious venue. I met so many other talented performers. Being surrounded by such influential people inspired me to keep dreaming big and work hard to achieve those dreams. It was a night I’ll never forget!
Q: Do you keep your persona Faerie separate from Christine Lam?
FAERIE: At first, I thought I could keep Faerie separate from my private life. In some ways, I’m able to, but I learned that it’s all intertwined. Faerie represents an exaggerated version of myself, someone who can do things I wouldn’t even dream of trying as Christine. She keeps me on my feet and encourages me to think outside of the box. But even with that, I pour many of my own personal experiences and thoughts into Faerie, so it becomes hard to compartmentalize these two personalities. It’s honestly a fun trip when I start thinking about this, haha!
Q: What’s coming up next for you?
FAERIE: This is a great question because I’m still figuring this out myself, haha. I have a couple of projects in the works. I’m working on something that could potentially open a new chapter in my music, which is scary but exciting! I’m doing more collaborations with great indie artists, too. I work as a vocalist and lyricist for other musicians, so I’ve been occupying myself with that. Long story short, you can definitely expect more from me soon!
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant