We are extremely lucky at Razberry Juice to have the chance to feature another great artist, Serena Kern is a Swiss/Indian singer songwriter, who after moving to London with plans for a career in the law, and in fact after completing her law degree, she realised that her true ambition lay in music, and so the law books were thrown out, and Serena has shown what a considerable talent she is, building a fan base from across the world, drawn to her interesting and unique sound, and as soon as we came across her music we wanted to know more, and so we sat down for a chat!
Can we start by asking you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what after a successful career in the law has made you decide that music is the way you want to go?
"I grew up in a small and very beautiful town in the mountains of southern India. I had decided to pursue a career in law and about 6 years ago I moved to the big city of London where I read law at the London School of Economics.
I have always loved singing and music, but it wasn’t until I came to London that I began to perform at gigs and after a while I started writing my own songs. The first song I wrote ,”Thrown Away”, was very well received when I finally sang it live (although I must admit I was a bit nervous about doing so at the time). I went on to record “Thrown Away”, just for fun really, and again the track was really well received. I guess it was ultimately the satisfaction that I was finally able to produce my own sounds, and the confidence that the reception of the tracks gave me, that spurred me on to write and record more tracks.
I have never believed in giving up anything you love to do and I have developed my music alongside my legal career. People are often surprised at the combination of lawyer and singer. I suppose law is a demanding career but it actually overlaps with singing in so many ways. I really learned to come out of my “shell” as a lawyer and my legal career has helped me grow as a singer".
We have of course been listening to your music here at Razberry Manor, and are loving it! It’s original and relaxing, can you tell us how you would describe your sound please?
"My sound reflects my background. My Swiss father, who now captains oil ships, sailed all over the world and was an avid collector of music tapes. Every time he came home he had something new and as a child I had the benefit of being exposed to all these new sounds. Apart from that, just being in India and absorbing the diverse tunes from all around has definitely also influenced my music.
My first album was entitled “Sui Generis” meaning “one of a kind” because I think that best describes my sound".
However original an artist’s sound might be, there will invariably be musical influences – so who influences Serena Kern?
"Growing up, my favourites were Shania Twain and Celine Dion. As a child you tend to just absorb everything and I was so blessed to have a huge variety of sounds to experience and which now feed into my own music (even if sometimes unconsciously)".
Song-writing is such a personal thing to each musician – so we are interested to know how you all go about writing your music?
"I am a very emotional person which can sometimes be a disadvantage but when it comes to my song writing it is definitely an advantage. Some of my best songs have been written when I have been in the worst of moods"!
You have had a recent EP release, can you tell us a little more about this?
"The EP “My Promise” consists of three songs very dear to my heart. All of them are love songs I wrote while at different points on the ‘sine wave of love’, so to speak. “Why I Cry” is a sorrowful song about longing to be with the one you love and so the video has a sort of cold/winter feel to it. “My Promise”, on the other hand, is more upbeat. A song that is hopeful and was shot in the countryside on a warm summer’s day to reflect this. It’s about the hope that with a steadfast heart we can get through anything. “Better to Have Loved” was written after I lost someone dear to me and is about yet another dimension on the journey of love".
The internet has managed to worm its way into absolutely everything we do, and this includes in a massive way, the way we find and buy music, as artists do you think the internet has been your friend or your foe?
"I think the internet is a great tool and allows artists to do what only a chosen few could do before. What is great about the internet is that because it is so easily accessible and has such potential in terms of its ability to get your music out there, it not only acts as a portal where people can show case and share ideas but also actually encourages people to create new music.
I have had to work at my IT skills to some extent but another great thing about the internet is that it is quite easy to use. As an artist with a diverse background and therefore fan base, the internet is the easiest and most efficient way of communicating with all my fans no matter where they are based. The other great thing about internet communication is also that it is global and instantaneous allowing me to keep in touch with people in real time".
Success is measured by everyone differently, so I was am very interested to know how you measure success? Stadium tours? Big name record deal? Simon Cowell or just being able to play the music you write and so clearly love?
"A combination of all if I am to be honest. At the end of the day we all want to play the music we write and love but it is nice to be appreciated and recognised"!
Finally, my favourite question, – if we were all sat down in five years’ time with cuppa and a few custard creams (my interview I get to choose the biscuits!!), where do you hope that Serena Kern will be?
"I am always pushing myself and am probably my biggest critic. I think if I am content with what I have achieved in 5 years’ time I will have done well".
We always end every interview with a few ‘just for funs’ – so here are yours?
If you could record a song with absolutely anybody – living or dead, who would it be? "Neil Diamond, because of his rich deep voice and I think the combination of our voices would sound good".
What was the first music you ever bought? – "I bought one of Enrique Iglesias’ first English albums".
Do you sing in the shower? And if so what? – "Yes, I often come up with new tunes in the shower"!
And finally…. Popcorn – sweet or salted? – "Salted with chilli powder (Indian Style)".
Interested in finding out more about Serena and her music? Then follow these links…..