Within seconds of hearing her fluttering, heavenly voice, you are swiftly transported to a fantasy dreamland, and submerge into euphoria. Faerie is a freelance singer and songwriter living in NYC, who embarked on an extraordinary musical journey to get to her current destination – releasing her debut single, “Fever Dream”. But X doesn’t mark the spot there, this young talent has a whole map of future milestones laying ahead of her.
In this fantastic article, Faerie discusses the inspirations behind the pursuit of her career, performing at a TEDx talk, the colorful vibe and aesthetic around her alter ego, the production behind her new single, and her advice to up-and-coming freelance artists to keep working hard and believe in yourself.
Her vocals are her wings, to spread them is to sing, and with each sound of solace, Faerie flies.
THE BIRTH OF FAERIE
Behind the layers of fantasy and magic is a 23-year-old girl named Christine Lam, located in Staten Island, New York. Inspired by her father playing guitar at a young age, she decided to create her own YouTube channel in 2008, uploading cover songs, in which one gathered a lot of attention and positive feedback. Later on, Christine signed up for SoundCloud, and then found an online forum centered around songwriters exchanging lyrics and demos. This newfound community she discovered fueled her enthusiasm and passion for music, and so she skyrocketed down the path of singing and songwriting.
Eight years later, Christine needed to reinvent herself as a musician. She took the elements of dreaminess and enchantment burrowed inside of her, planted it into the grounds of her boldness, and out blossomed Faerie. This alter ego allowed her to be more expressive and confident and pushes her out of her comfort zone.
VISIONS AND VOICES
Christine is a freelance singer/songwriter, which essentially means she gets to network with other musicians and collaborate on new tracks. She didn’t always see freelancing as a career choice, however. Christine majored in Arts and Entertainment Industries Management and focused on the Music Business in college. Her perspective changed entirely when she joined an in-person songwriting class full of aspiring lyricists like her, and Christine describes it as the best decision she had ever made. She gained knowledge on music production softwares, producing her own music, and writing demos. Her professor then encouraged her to pursue this career, and so, she did.
Once Faerie emerged, Christine started to work with other indie musicians and producers. She would provide either recorded vocals, original lyrics, or both for the track. The most challenging part about freelancing according to Faerie is to make sure she is in tune with the producer’s vision for each track.
“I have to imagine myself in their shoes and make sure I convey the right emotions when recording or writing,” Christine describes. “It’s fun though, haha! I met so many talented and passionate people who I still keep in touch with and support today.”
Faerie, accompanied by another musician, Hannah Lauren, performed at TEDxChelseaPark, an independent TED Talk event. The organizer asked Christine to look for upbeat songs relating to the event’s theme, ‘Unconventional Journeys’. Hannah and Christine interpreted this as”highlighting the journey of the underdogs and emphasizing the fact that it’s cool to be different”.
She ended up singing “Team” by Lorde, which she thought to be the most fitting, perfect song for the event, as well as “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara and “Chained to the Rhythm” by Katy Perry. There, she met several speakers with inspirational and touching life stories. The TEDx event was a truly extraordinary experience, and pushed her to keep working to inspire others like she did in Chelsea Park.
Image provided by Joe Agyemang, @acexproject on Instagram
When midnight struck on Friday, April 17th, Faerie’s debut single was released on several platforms. “Fever Dream” was something that Christine had been aspiring towards for a while — the publishing of her first, fully mixed and produced song. The producer of the track is Jonathan Atkins, aka wavcat or Napalm Dreams, who Christine met through a freelancing website.
Atkins was based in Canada, and so Faerie exchanged her files via email. She wrote drafts of rough demos, and there was one that caught his eye – or ear, in this case. Once Atkins wrote the chords around the demo, and the first bars of the song were created, she reached an epiphany, realizing that this is the one, this was it.
Listening to the musical masterpiece that is “Fever Dream” is like you’re on a dance floor under a mirrored disco ball in the 70s’, getting lost in the rhythm and blinded by the spinning lights. During the time the lyrics of the song were being written, everything in the world seemed chaotic and senseless, like a ‘fever dream’.
“And so, I decided to use that as inspiration. I started writing the lyrics based off of my own experiences. I remember being in love and I felt like I was losing myself. I couldn’t sleep, I kept changing my hair color, and creating some fantasy in my head.”Christine Lam, on her debut single “Fever Dream”
Christine enlisted her highly skilled and creative friends to help amplify the aesthetic of Faerie’s “Fever Dream”. Hannah Lauren, who is also a singer/songwriter, helped to pick out color schemes and outfits and edit the cover post, and create the promos. Christine’s boyfriend, Brian Scagnelli, helped to refine the cover art and contributed his expertise in illustration. Isabella de la Rosa, one of Christine’s close friends, has a Media degree and worked on the videography. Christine is so grateful for her small team, and their ability to create her vision and translate it into different pieces.
NEW YORK, HARRY STYLES, RETRO & DREAMY
Christine is a very short and petite person. Rare flowers are sometimes hard to be noticed in a forest full of trees. Since middle school and high school, Christine has been dying her hair crazy colors and dressing in loud prints, her style making bold and flashy statements.
This retro, dreamy, whimsical, and artsy vibe that Faerie projects is displayed through her Instagram feed, her chic outfits, and cover art. She’s into features from the 60s’ and 70s’, as well as androgynous fashion. Her biggest influences include Harry Styles and Alexa Chung.
The vibrant, fast-paced city of Manhattan also weaves its way into both the aesthetic and music of Faerie. Whenever Christine thinks about New York or walks around the streets, a fusion of spontaneity, exhilaration, and euphoria fills her, and translates into her music. She started out by using folk and alternative music as inspiration, such as Fleetwood Mac, Paramore, Lorde, and the Civil Wars. Now, she is influenced by indie and bedroom pop sounds, like Maggie Rogers, Bleachers, SHAED, and Harry Styles.
Faerie also enjoys covering other popular music, her personal favorites being a Taylor Swift medley, “God is a woman” by Ariana Grande, “Supercut” by Lorde, “Time Machine” by Willow, and “Wild” by Troye Sivan. You can check out her covers on YouTube, Instagram, or SoundCloud.
Christine expresses her gratitude towards her friends and family that support her musical endeavors. Her parents were skeptical about her career path at first, but her passion proved her perseverance, and now they have her back, 100%. She encourages other performers in the same situation to not give up. Her advice towards young, aspiring singers and songwriters is to dream big, but be patient. If you keep working hard, your dreams will pay off one day. It took time, effort, and life changing opportunities for Faerie to land where she is, but it was most definitely worth it.
Listen to Faerie’s debut single, “Fever Dream”, on SoundCloud, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer, out now!