Posted On 14 Jun 2017
Who is Fay Gauthier? She is a creative: a wondrously mercurial, smart, multi-talented musical artist, actress and writer.
Categorizing her sound as “pop with flavors of Jazz, Blues and spoken word,” Fay says she is continually influenced by what she listens to. Inspired by everything from Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles to old jazz and American composition, Fay returns from her hiatus more confident in her sound than ever before. “I’m more comfortable with the idea that my music doesn’t necessarily fit into a very specific niche or genre.”
Her upcoming single “Be What You Are” was inspired by words from a casting director years ago. Fay hopes it will encourage her listeners to be true to themselves. “You’ve got to learn to be able to shake off rejection without letting it kill your spirit… not everybody is going to “get” you. But I’ve reached the point where I’m okay with that because I’m happy doing my thing for no other reason than it’s my thing. And it’s taken a while to get there.”
Much like the single, Fay’s upcoming full-length album “Firehead” follows the theme of her journey to embrace what makes her different. “Growing up with red hair is something that definitely makes you stand out. You get teased a ton when you’re a kid with red hair. And then you reach a certain point where it’s fun to be different. So again, the title is about embracing that.”
“Firehead” is set for release in 2017 and contains tracks written at many phases of Fay’s life, cataloging her journey to self-acceptance. “No More Lyin’” is the first song Fay wrote as an adult, which she appreciates because “I’ve lived with it for so long.” Heartfelt tracks like “Goodbye”, inspired by the death of her long-time pet and “Living in A Daydream”, an ode to her childhood, follow the theme to perfectly depict Fay’s journey to where she is now as an artist and person.
Simply put, Fay hopes to enter this phase of her life focused on making a living writing, creating and performing. “In my ideal future, I’ll be actively creating art that brings together my music, writing and acting. The key thing is staying creatively active. As long as I can do that I’m happy.”
Learn more about Fay in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How is 2017 treating you?
Thank you for your interest! Two words for sure: magical and serendipitous. I had the good fortune to work with a wonderfully talented group of people to turn words and symbols on a page into music. Hard to beat that. As for 2017, I’m enjoying putting together the album artwork and planning the release, but I wish I could slow the year down just a bit. I feel like I went to sleep in January and woke up in May.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? 🙂
I’m working from home today, and yes, there actually is music in the background, but it’s not music I would normally be listening to. We’re having our roof fixed and the workers are listening to Norteño music on a small radio 🙂 You gotta love an accordion!
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
I always loved to sing. And I had an ear for music and harmonies from an early age. But I also wanted to act. So when I was a kid, I would say that I wanted to be a “performer”. In my mind that covered both interests. My earliest musical memory is singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at a nursing home with my father when I was three or four. As for doing anything else, I’m still acting and writing, but it’s safe to say I can’t see myself doing anything that doesn’t involve creative work.
I’ve read that you are now getting back into music after a hiatus so I’m curious how the time away from it all affected you musically? Did you sing or write songs at all while you stepped away from the limelight? How do you think you are a different musician today because of the break?
I did take a hiatus from recording and performing music, but I continued to write songs. And I got back to taking voice lessons –this time with a classical approach—working on pieces by Gabriel Fauré and Mozart, for example, which took me totally out of my comfort zone. I think I’m a different musician today mainly because I’m at a totally different point in my life.
Since my last CD, I got married and well, I don’t want to say that I got old per se, but I certainly got older! Perhaps the biggest change that comes with that is that I’m focused on enjoying the space I’m in right now, instead of some elusive space I’m striving to get to.
What was it like putting together your upcoming album, “Firehead”? Did anything surprise you about the process? How long did it take to complete it?
I actually didn’t start out thinking I was making an album. I was just happy to be recording songs again. And after recording a few, with the guidance of my production team, the conversation and focus shifted away from individual songs to making an album. I think the surprise was realizing how much I missed making music. When I write songs, I’m sort of in a self-imposed vacuum. But once I start the actual recording and putting the arrangement together and brainstorming with my producers, there’s a whole different level of excitement that comes with that that I had forgotten. It’s so incredibly satisfying to see a song materialize into what you hear blasting back at you from the booth when you’re collaborating with talented people whose ear you trust. It was a little over a year in the making.
What was the inspiration for your upcoming single, “Be What You Are”? Do you have plans to make videos for all of the songs on your album?
Soon after I moved to Los Angeles, I took an on camera acting class with a Casting Director. While emphasizing the need to be truthful in terms of how we approach character, she said “Be what you are people.” Her words stuck, and inspired the song. As for videos, I’ve got some ideas cooking and have talked to some interested collaborators, but we haven’t started anything concrete yet.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Oh my, that’s a long list, and I’m always finding new artists that inspire. But some of my absolute living favorites include Fiona Apple, David Byrne, Regina Spektor and Beck. I admire how unique they are and how they explore and bend genres. And, just last year I discovered Laura Mvula’s album Sing to the Moon. It’s so lush and beautiful it blows me away. I’d absolutely love to work with any of them.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
Whether it’s joy, or sentimentality, or just a desire to get up and dance, I hope my music makes people feel something. If I can reach through the distractions of modern living with a song that resonates with someone, somehow, I’ll feel like I’ve contributed something positive, because with connection comes empathy, and I feel like we need more of that these days.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Um…I love cilantro. I think male rompers are silly. (But if you’re a man, wearing rompers while reading this interview, I’m sure you’re rocking it.) And, in the spirit of connecting, drop by my Facebook musician page—faygauthier/@faygauthiermusician and say hello.