Sunday Lane is not your typical singer/songwriter who left Middle America for the City of Angels. A classically trained pianist, she writes articulate lyrics about social injustices in our society, young love, and growing up. Her soulful approach to songwriting expresses the depth of her musicianship.
“I am most in my element when my hands are on the keys,” says the 20-year-old Tulsa native. After receiving tons of critical acclaim in her home state, Sunday Lane decided to pursue the only career path that made sense… music. She is currently attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Sunday has been playing some of the most sought after venues in Los Angeles and winning over new fans nationwide.
Her debut EP, Bring Me Sunshine, displays her ability to write accessible and relatable songs with catchy unforgettable phrases. With a new music video for her song “Won’t Go Back Down” and her EP available on iTunes, sunshine is definitely in Sunday Lane’s future.
H i Sunday, what a treat to discover you! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. . .. Tell us a little about your upbringing and your early influences?
I was raised in Tulsa, OK. My parents were pretty strict when my siblings and I were younger and we weren’t allowed to listen to secular music, but I remember one time when my mom was gone my dad let us listen to Queen, and I thought it was the best thing ever. 70s rock like Boston, Three Dog Night, and Queen definitely still influence me. I just love how dynamic songs were back then. Another huge influence on me was Elton John. My dad gave me his greatest hits cd when I was 11, and I wore that thing out! Elton is the man. Great voice, great melodies, great lyrics.
You have probably the coolest name in the business, how did that come to be?
Ha ha thanks! I was actually born on a Wednesday. I love when people assume I was born on a Sunday because it’s just like “yep! I popped out and they had no idea what to name me so they panicked and were like, ‘aah! Well, what day is it!?’” ha ha the real story is they wanted to name me after something that made them happy so they chose Sunday, and Lane is a family name.
As I sat at my computer preparing questions to ask you, I was listening to your tunes on My Space, and never tired of them. Your voice exudes authenticity, authority, but juxtaposed with a certain vulnerability. Did you have to work to find that, or is it natural to you?
Well, thank you! I’d have to say both. It’s natural when I’m at the piano by myself just writing, and I have to work to translate it into my recordings and performances.
I was taken by the conviction in your lyrics that must come from a certain inner strength. ‘Never been so scared. Never been so content’ Tell us about Sunday Lane as a person and how that translates to your songwriting.
Me as a person? Hmm. I’ve been told I’m deep and think too much. I suppose those are both true. I’m also incredibly sarcastic and tend to worry a bit more than I should. I try to be kind to everyone and strive to be a good listener. People often speak too much- but I’m comfortable with silence.
There seems such ease in the word choice, flow, and cadence in your lyrics – is songwriting easy for you?
I’d say it comes naturally rather than saying it’s easy. I can write a song quickly, but a lot more goes into my songs than just the writing process. For me, writing comes from a really deep, vulnerable place.
There is a clear poetic feel, and wisdom to your writing, has there been a person or an event that inspired such introspection?
I’m constantly being inspired by my friends and family. From what I know of love I’ve had it and from what I know of heartbreak, I’ve had that too! I think my “best” songs come from some of my saddest moments. I tend to drown in my sorrows and writing an honest song is like coming up for a breath of air.
Won’t Go Back Down is wonderful – well crafted and such a sticky hook, a master class in contemporary songwriting. Give us a little workshop on how you wrote that song?
I wrote that song at a very rough patch in my life. I was terrified of the future. I wrote, “I’ve never been so scared, never been so content” because I was afraid to move on from someone I truly loved and convinced all my future held was cloudy skies and pain. But in the midst of all my fear I managed to find peace. I took a step back and admitted I was not in control and in that moment I was content not knowing what my future held. “Won’t Go Back Down” is a very special song to me because it reminds me that fearing the future is just a waste of time. There is no reason to fear.
You are a wonderfully skillful storyteller, “Heavy Heart and Heavy Hands’ is a great example – handling a difficult subject with such grace. How does a song come to you? What makes you sit down and write?
That particular song was inspired by a international justice movement meeting that I was asked to play at. The theme was social justice and they asked me to play originals or covers that stuck to the theme. I am not a huge fan of playing covers, and I remember being ashamed that out of all my original material none of my songs touched on the issue. “Heavy Heart, Heavy Hands” just flowed out. I literally wrote it in under 5 minutes. It was like that song was inside me just waiting to be unleashed! It’s funny because it’s one of my favorite songs but it almost didn’t make the EP. I remember my older brother asked me to play him some new songs right before I was headed to the studio and for some reason I played him that song and he was like, “oh my gosh, you have to do that one too. You have to. ” So, thanks Max! :) But on the whole there’s not really something that makes me sit down and write. Writing is what I love to do. Life is what keeps me from always writing!
Your soft rock arrangements are economic, crisp, and clean interpretations of your songs that suit your voice and style perfectly. But I could just as well hear your voice, and songs in country arrangements, or even you solo, with a guitar and/or a piano. How did you decide on this genre/style?
The songs just kinda shaped themselves out that way. I’d say this EP has a slight pop/rock feel. I wanted the songs to be catchy and comfortable. I suppose I played it a little safe.
Will we hear different approaches in the future?
Yes! I’d love to go more of a folk/soul route. Sounds kinda weird huh? – But trust me, it’ll work!
We have no doubt. The Musicians on your EP are fantastic, please introduce them.
I’d love to! Zach Annette played drums, organ, produced, and engineered the project. Joe Kane played all the guitar parts as well as bass. I actually went to high school with both of them and was so honored to work with them. They’re super talented and humble guys. They both definitely have very bright futures ahead of them.
You recently did your first video, in Oklahoma, there was a clear intent it seems to have you appear down home and likable. Worked for Dave and I – your lyrics certainly seem to be personal reflections – how much of your real life experience do you put into your songs?
I’d say my songs are 92% real and 8% dramatized – ha ha. The chorus of Reckless One, for instance, came almost verbatim from a text message I sent. I’m no Taylor Swift so don’t expect any name droppings, but I’m pretty sure the people who the songs are written about know that the songs are referring to them.
Where does Sunday Lane go from here? What do you envision for yourself as an Artist in the years ahead?
Well, I would like to record a full length album and go on a college tour within 2011. I’m from the Midwest and I can definitely see myself moving back that way. From the little I know about this music business, it’s a lot of simply being prepared for big things to happen, staying proactive by playing shows and writing, and staying positive!
Dave and I are delighted to have met you – count us amongst your fans. Is there a new CD on the horizon?
Yes :) I will definitely let you know!
Sunday Lane’s EP “Bring Me Sunshine”
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