Serena Sun is a songwriter, independent artist, and music producer from Vancouver, Canada, and she started taking piano lessons at the age of 5, writing songs when she was in middle school, and producing songs in high school. “Music has felt like a natural way for me to process and express my emotions from a young age,” Serena tells CelebMix at the top of our chat about her new single. “I absolutely love sharing my life experiences through writing and making my music.”
This song has, in a sense, been incubating for many years within Serena. She has wanted to write about her experience with sexual assault ever since she started intentionally developing her songwriting skills a few years ago.
I’m so happy that it [Body] developed into what it is now, and is out for the world to enjoy! — Serena Sun
“I definitely see a lot of growth, not only in my songwriting but also in myself as an individual,” Serena reflects on the new song. “I’m really proud of the development I’ve worked through over the last few years and hope to continue this trend going forward.”
Serena is the type of person that has always known that she is usually an open book when it comes to getting to know people one on one, but sharing some of her deepest thoughts and worries through her music showed her that she is also willing to share the not-so-glamorous sides of herself with the world. In fact, you could say she actually likes being vulnerable with others.
‘Body’ talks about Serena’s experience with sexual assault, which occurred during her freshman year in university. As Serena plains: “At the time, I didn’t have the emotional capacity to address the situation head on, and instead of confronting my perpetrator, I shared what I was going through with some of my close friends. I think that was the right call for me back then, but now that I’m older, I definitely have more fire and anger towards the situation and the act in general.”
‘Body’ represents Serena’s defiance against individuals who take advantage of others and systems that allow for this to happen without punishment.
The finished product of this song is exactly what Serena was hoping for it to become. The production matches the lyrics so well; it has a sort of anger that you can feel, but it’s also meant to be light-hearted in a sense that those who sing it will feel empowered to confront their perpetrators if they wish to.
“This song is special because it feels like it came into existence really easily–this doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it feels amazing,” Serena says. “I was on a writing trip in New York when my dad sent me an article about some rallies against sexual assault going on at a university here in Canada. This article just really upset me because it reminded me of my own experience, which happened years ago, and I just thought: “Really? This is STILL happening?” I had a free morning, so I took out my recording equipment and wrote the bare bones of ‘Body’ on the spot.”
From there, Serena took the song to her collaborator and friend, Tiger Darrow, and they co-wrote and co-produced the track to be what it is now.
I think ‘Body’ differs from the rest of the music I’ve released because it explores an experience I went through many years ago, whereas most of my songs are still very much personal stories, but they tend to reflect experiences I’ve had more recently. — Serena Sun
With this song, Serena hopes listeners who have been through similar experiences feel empowered by listening to ‘Body.’
“For me, being a victim of sexual assault made me feel powerless when it first happened; now, I feel more powerful than ever and I want to help others take on that stance because it feels amazing,” Serena continues. “For those who haven’t had an experience with SA, I hope they listen and gain a better understanding of what it feels like to go through it and also not be afraid to stand up against it. In today’s society, chances are, you know someone who’s experienced SA firsthand, and my hope is that by bringing more awareness to the topic, we can all do our part to reduce the likelihood of it occurring going forward.”
This new song comes off the release of Serena’s 5-track debut album, which will address a mix of traumatic and self-reflective topics that feel good to listen to. So, stay tuned for more.