BYRN

We were absolutely floored when we first heard BYRN’s “Electrify”. It’s seductive, yet stands off at a distance just enough to raise the tension. With the release of “You Had it Right,” a song that we found out has been two years in the works and veers in a different direction from the previous release, we were able to get in touch with BYRN via email to ask her some questions.

So this is a question we like to lead with for everyone… what’s the origin story behind Byrn?

I wish I could say there was a really cool story behind this, but honestly, after a lot of brainstorming, this was the name that stuck out to me the most.  I’ve been writing music for a long time and BYRN (pronounced BURN) seemed to encompass everything I had been trying to say over the years. The word ‘burn’ means “To give off heat, light. To be on fire.”  I loved this definition because it can be twisted in either direction.  It can give you a sense of power, or of pain, which is where my writing always tends to take me: right into an ambivalent mess.

For an outsider, what’s it like navigating the New York scene, especially in the electronic leaning field, a scene that isn’t as well publicized in New York?

For one thing, it has definitely taken longer than I thought to get to the point I’m at now, but I’m really enjoying the learning process. Being from Iowa originally, New York City was always this beacon of hope with a world of opportunities. In many cases, it has been exactly that. I found so many producers who were willing to work, and I found myself getting lost in how easy it was to connect with them and make things happen.  Then it was chaos navigating through the options to find the right people to work with.

As far as the New York music scene goes, I think you just have to have a very clear view of what you want and where you can fit in. I have met a lot of artists and musicians in the electronic genre who do very well in NYC, but it is a lot of work.

“Electrify” has a deep sensuality to it while “You Had it Right” seems to possess a more lingering heartbreak. Would you consider these companion pieces (yin-yang style) or are these just where the songwriting took you?

I actually wrote “You Had it Right” over two years ago. Back then I was still trying to figure out love and what it meant to me.  Most of my writing touched on heartbreak, even though I never understood it. I went through a lot of trial and error with relationships.

“Electrify” I wrote much more recently. This song is more playful and light, which could reflect my current state, I suppose.  I never know where my subconscious will take me.

I like the idea of the two songs being a sort of Yin-Yang to each other. I obviously did not set out to make them that way, but I think it’s a cool interpretation.

With two lyrically different tracks, what’s the process for writing like? Personal experience? Observational?

As far as my writing goes, I never try to write. I let it come to me in whatever manner it needs to, and then I refine it until I’m satisfied.  It’s like a puzzle.  I always learn something new about myself.

I am also very visual. I think in images or even in movies sometimes. Every song I write comes with a strong world in my head that helps create a specific feeling for the song.

One thing that stands out immensely on both tracks is the precision of the production. It just has razor edge accuracy to it that’s captivating. How involved with that side are you? I know Danny McBride seems to produce, so just curious if you’re in there as well.

As far as the production goes, Danny McBride is a great friend and a talented human being!  I have been working with him for a few years now, and we just have great musical chemistry. We create a space in the studio that is open, creative and fun.  I come in with the song, a few chords and the feel I want to create, and we each add our input to get an amazing product.  He is extremely skilled at what he does.  I trust him as a producer, as a musician, and as a true artist.

Your music in general has a very strong aesthetic feel, the sort of feel that usually translates well into a visual medium. Is that something you’ve thought about? Do you have strong ideas about how you’d like your music to be represented visually?

As I mentioned before, I am very visual. I always have a specific image in my head while writing each song, but they are mainly for me to use while writing lyrics or performing.

I really want the visual representation of my music to bring people in close, on a real and intimate level, to the point where they feel involved. I also like to leave my music up to the listener’s interpretation, have them live with it in their own world and feel connected to it, so I would love that feeling to be brought into the visual realm as well.

There is a music video for “Electrify” in the works, and I am so excited about how it’s all coming together. I think people will either get a real sense of what the song is trying to say, or they will just be even more confused, but either way, everyone is in for a treat!

How do you see yourself growing as an artist from here? What’s next for BYRN?

I can only keep growing and learning and I will never stop challenging myself as an artist. I love writing and collaborating, so I will hopefully be doing a lot more of that in the future.

My EP Dreams Are Easy will be coming out this summer, along with a few other collaborations and cool, new things. So needless to say, I am excited!!

We can’t wait for the EP to drop later this year. In the meantime, immerse yourself into “You Had it Right.”