Serena Kern InterviewBy day Serena Kern is a legal eagle but at night she is a singer. The 25-year-old, who grew up in India, combines her career at a top law firm with song writing and performing. Serena has the brains for this challenge having won an award for getting the best international GCSE grades in India with all A*s. The London School of Economics graduate also has the voice and her album 'I Lied', which is out this month, showcases her soulful pop sound.
The great thing about India is that there is so much diversity in terms of musical sounds...In an interview with Entouraaj, Serena revealed the title track is a love song inspired by her separation from loved ones when she moved to London. “The title track of the EP is called 'I Lied'. The lyrics of the song are an expression of the emotional rollercoaster I have experienced when my loved ones have been away from home. “The title denotes the lie that you tell yourself and the one you love, that you will be okay without them when in fact you know the pain you must endure when they are away.” She added: “I have tried to capture, through the music and lyrics, all the feelings that a simple phone call can conjure - the joy of hearing the other person’s voice and the pain when the call finally ends. “The 'I Lied' video uses the quintessential story of a soldier having to leave his wife when he goes on duty to demonstrate the emotional roller-coaster of separation. “My grandfather was in the army and my father is a ship captain, so this story is one which I have experience of at home.” Serena began writing songs while at university in the capital and performed at cafés and open-mic events. The law graduate said juggling two careers is challenging but they complement each other. “As a corporate lawyer no day is the same and every day presents its own challenges and requires you to come up with new ideas and solutions. “As a consequence you get to be quite creative. This is an aspect I enjoy with my music; being able to create new and unique sounds and it can often be quite a challenge to do so successfully.” She added: “I think both complement each other and have encouraged me to explore different aspects of my creativity and personality. “I think that having the two has enabled me to be more rounded which ultimately as a positive impact on the quality of my output as both a singer and a lawyer.” Serena’s musical inspiration as a child came from her father‘s travels as a Swiss sea captain. “My father has a collection of music from all over the world. “He brought home samples from various countries he travelled to and listening to the songs I often heard instruments and sounds I had never heard before. “I think experiencing that kind of variety is eye opening and encouraged me to explore with sound and genres.”
...there is sometimes a tendency for your voice to get lost in the crowd ...The album contains emotionally-charged ballads with a blend of Indian and Western instruments. She said: “'Save Me From Me' is a song which expresses the frustration I have sometimes experienced where I have felt I am pushing myself too hard. “I wrote this while at university, I think I had exams on and so was in a bit of a stressful situation!” Serena also touches on her childhood in southern India in track 'Lullaby' based on a Tamil lullaby that her mother sang to her. She added: “The story for the 'Lullaby' video is of a girl visiting her childhood home and reminiscing about the past. “My Dad had some very old film footage of me as a baby and toddler which we incorporated into the video. It was a lot of fun, and quite a task, just going through the old footage to try and find stuff we could use.” Having worked in India and London, Serena said she has drawn upon her Indian-Swiss background to make her sound more unique. “London is a city bustling with musicians from all over the world. “As a result there is no dearth of events and venues to frequent in order to get new ideas and meet other musicians. “The problem with this of course is that there is sometimes a tendency for your voice to get lost in the crowd and it is sometimes a struggle to stand out. “I think this has really pushed me to draw on my background, which I think is quite unique, to try and make my music stand out.” She added: “The great thing about India is that there is so much diversity in terms of musical sounds and so much to choose from in terms of ideas and this has definitely aided my development and growth as an artist.”
‘I Lied’ is out on April 28th. For more information please visit www.serenakern.com