We caught up with rising artist SERENA to find out some more about her effortlessly cool new single ‘Lipstick On a Glass’ and its empowering appeal
Having grown up in Italy but now settled in London, independent singer, songwriter and producer SERENA is an artist with a unique flavour to her indie pop sound that bursts with charisma and personality, crafting reflective, often camp, and always self-aware releases that have highlighted her signature appeal and style over the last few years.
The latest of these enticing offerings is ‘Lipstick On a Glass’, a track that encapsulates the artist’s unique flair and the effortless fun of her creative and one of a kind songwriting. The track is a cocktail of her influences, melding the off-kilter beats of Massive Attack and the bombast and weirdness of Bjork to create something that feels entirely her own, encasing a story of empowerment and reflection with more than a hint of knowing irony. As a result, ‘Lipstick On a Glass’ is one of our favourite and most memorable new releases of recent times, with a slick verse in the artist’s native Italian thrown in to make it feel a little bit more unique and doused in the artist’s distinctive allure. We had a chat with SERENA to find out a little more about her stunning new single and how it came to life.
Hey! We love your new single ‘Lipstick On a Glass’, what more can you tell us about it?
‘Lipstick On a Glass”, is a self-reflective anthem about self-love.
The lyrics convey an important warning to the listener: it’s fun to change yourself with the aid of make-up, but at the end of the day we shouldn’t change ourselves hoping to be liked by others.
I love all things make-up, especially the feeling that a bold shade of lipstick gives me when I put it on, but that is a transitory emotion, the love and respect I have for myself has the be what stays all day and every day.
No make-remover can wipe that feeling away 😉
What was the process like putting it together?
The song was born as an exercise when I first got my electronic launchpad Ableton Push. I was very eager to try it out, so I loaded a few samples already made, tweaked the tempo and the key and the early beat was created!
The lyrics came secondarily, to match the music, I did not think it through too much. And, sometimes, those are the best type of lyrics.
However the bridge in Italian came afterwards, I wrote it a few months ago, with the new arrangement, as I wanted to pay homage to my native language, which turned out to be quite suitable for the “sassy internal monologue” that I am delivering.
I never wrote the song with the intent of releasing it one day, but after testing it on stage, as a filler in my live set, I encountered nothing but positive reactions from the audience, which made me reconsider the track in a new light.
What were your biggest influences when creating the track?
‘Lipstick on a Glass’ in particular is a blend of Massive Attack type of beat, a band I learnt to appreciate after moving to the UK and discovering the trip-hop scene; old school Bjork arrangements, and a vocal delivery à la Gwen Stefani.
I first discovered Gwen Stefani when she released her solo album L.A.M.B., but when I started researching her music and found “No Doubts” my mind was blown by their unique crossover of genres, while still managing to remain pop and easy to access. I remember stumbling across a live performance of “Ex-girlfriend”, during a YouTube rabbit hole, and the energy on stage was something out of my ordinary back then.
There is a really cool and empowering edge to the track, do you feel that this comes naturally to you when writing?
Well, when one is cool, of course writing cool songs comes naturally.. JK!
I actually never looked at it that way, I am really glad to hear that that is how my music is perceived.
When I write, I have one rule: to be honest. To be brutally, vulnerably honest.
When I am in one stage performing, I feel like I can be 100% myself with no judgements, and that is the most beautiful feeling in the world. Therefore the music I perform has to respect that too.
Maybe that is where the empowerment factor comes from. Being your unapologetic true self.
What else do you have planned for the near future?
On the 30th of June (today!), I’ll be releasing the official music video for the track and I am working on a collaboration with another UK-based artist to release a remix of Lipstick On a Glass, to be out by the end of July!
I have other songs that are ready to see the light, out from the demo graveyard of my PC, but they represent a different chapter of my life and I didn’t want to associate them with “Lipstick on a Glass” so colourful and upbeat!
Have I piqued your curiosity yet? there’s only one way to find out, stay tuned!