Growing up playing the violin and piano, Wren Wilder developed her love and passion for music. This Native to Northern NJ, singer/ songwriter continues to grow both musically and instrumentally. Wilder uses music as a means of communicating and “a tool to tell stories”. Wren is a triple threat and not only has an incredible jazz voice but also has a major in music production which is acquired at the Hartt Schools of Dance, Music, and Theatre. “Don’t Belong Here” is one of the tracks featured in Wilder’s recent album debut, released last month. First Flight was heavily inspired by artists such as; Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell, and Regina Spektor. Wren is no doubt an excellent addition to the indie-folk scene with a unique perspective on life and a pleasurable way of expressing these thoughts.
Photo credit: Jessie Pariseau
Her music aims to create an intimate and authentic storyline that is full of nostalgia and playfulness. Wilder has such a soulful and powerful voice that so beautifully fits against the whimsical background featured in “Don’t Belong Here”. She has a gift of evoking emotions of insecurity while at the same time putting the mind at ease with her calming and gentle voice, paired with a catchy and relatable chorus. I love how she redirects our attention from sadness towards the light and a happier ending.
Listen to "Don't Belong Here" here.
Photo credit: Eva Toorenent
Hi Wren and welcome to BuzzMusic! Congratulations on the release of your first album. How does it feel to have your music out for the world to hear?
Thank you so much! Having my album, First Flight, released and streaming is honestly something I still can't fully believe. It's this incredible feeling of being proud and fulfilled. As a bonus, I had the opportunity to work with a group of talented creatives who each taught and inspired me in a profound way. I experienced that working with the right people had strengthened my ideas and brought them to life.
Is there a central theme to this album or story you are aiming to tell?
First Flight is a representation of stories from my life. Some belong to me and others are borrowed from friends, but they all hold the same principle. It's really hard growing up... and sometimes we can make it easier on ourselves. It's about finding your voice, using it, and learning to move through life without holding back. "Over It" represents the regressive, child-like relationship with our parents; "The Leaving Game" is about trying to date in the millennial age of technology; and "To Forgive You" suggests making amends with that person from your childhood as you embark into adulthood. We form anger, pain, and disappointment at such a young age and then we carry it into our adult world. It is not necessary and sometimes we need to just feel it in order to let go. I don't believe in who we should be. I believe in who we are born to be.
What was the inspiration behind “Don’t Belong Here”? I had just hit the peak of my career goals and suddenly I realized, "Why don't I feel complete?" and "There is something missing". What I realized is that I didn't belong in just one job or position; I also belonged somewhere else: making music. Don't Belong Here was my "problem-child" making this record and was rewritten almost 6 times. This track was so difficult for me because it was a manifestation of my journey to becoming a recording artist. Even after a lifetime of creating music, I had never fully permitted myself to invest my time, energy and finances into my music. On this record, I had to let all of that go and move forward without self-judgment and that was a process. I think we all are surrounded by opinions that instruct us how to operate, how careers should work, how the timeline of your life should pan out, and what all the rules are for everything. The one thing we don't learn from these voices is that It is possible to be more than one version of yourself.
Currently building an image for yourself in the indie-folk scene, do you see yourself expanding towards other genres. Why or why not? Honestly, I have no idea. I am heavily influenced by so many different genres. When my friends go through playlists on my phone, there are like, "So... do you want to listen to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Tom Waits, Outkast, Sublime, or Ella Fitzgerald?" haha! I have been dabbling in various genres throughout the years. I was a jazz vocals major, released electronic music, and now I'm writing on the ukulele. I like to think that no matter the genre, you can turn on my music and know Wren Wilder's at the mic.
Thanks for chatting with us at BuzzMusic. What does the future for Wren Wilder look like? Thanks for having me. I've been so excited about this interview with you all. I'm currently working on a music video for "Worth the Cold" which will release this Valentine's Day, 2020. I'll be announcing dates for my first tour soon and my ukulele, "Fiona", & I are working diligently on releasing new music!