We had the good fortune of connecting with Fae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fae, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do my entire life; I honestly don’t even remember ever choosing it. Since I was very little, I’ve been writing songs and singing – I even convinced an elementary school teacher to let me and my best friend push desks together and stand on them to perform to the class. I’ve worked some normal jobs, but music is the only thing that has ever pulled at me so strongly and that I’ve ever really wanted to pursue. I feel like it can bring validation and identity to so many people and channel untapped emotions, and I want to be part of that so badly. I love thinking that someone out there might choose to be even 1% more of their authentic self because of something I’ve put out into the world, or that someone could feel less alone, or that someone can forget about their problems for even just 3 minutes. I think that most people pursuing creative careers just want to connect to as many people as possible and make the world that much more vibrant.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I think one of the things that I’m most proud of in terms of my music is that it helps people – especially women – feel more powerful. I always say that I write music for a younger version of myself. I’ve become someone who is so outspoken, straightforward, and no bullshit, and I just wish I had been this version of myself sooner, so it makes me so incredibly happy when I get messages from people telling me that my music makes them feel powerful. I’m also so happy to be part of a growing culture of Asian American musicians. Growing up, I felt like no one in pop music looked like me, and it’s so amazing to get to watch that change, and be a part of that shift. As far as where I am today professionally, I’m still very much getting there! While I’ve written music and sang my whole life, I’ve only released music as my own artist for under two years, and for me the hardest part was just getting started and accepting myself as a creative person, let alone an artist. I feel like imposter syndrome is something that needs to be talked about more – essentially the feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing and are going to be found out as a fraud at any moment. The thing that helped me overcome that is realizing that NOBODY knows what they’re doing, and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve learned to make mistakes out loud, and that moving forward is better than not moving at all. Don’t wait until you have something perfect to put out into the world – just start putting things out, and continue to get better, and continue to allow yourself to grow.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Okay so for some reason 90% of what comes to mind is food places since I really love eating SO, definitely would have to take them to Badmaash on Fairfax – it’s a super dope Indian fusion restaurant that plays old school hip hop and at some point I was meeting friends here for dinner so often that I was getting greeted with “welcome back” instead of “welcome”. I also love Ayce Gogi in Van Nuys for Korean BBQ, Coco Ichibanya in Koreatown for Japanese curry, and Millie’s Cafe in Silverlake has SO MANY eggs benedict options (I really love eggs benedict). As far as non-food things go, Little Tokyo is definitely a favorite area to walk around in (…and also they have really good food options), The Comedy Store is amazing since I love stand up comedy more than most people probably know, horseback riding in Griffith Park is always a good time, and since my best friend can match my energy, flying trapeze on the Santa Monica Pier is truly a 10/10 experience. OH, also Republic of Pie in North Hollywood has a Thanksgiving pie that is life changing and some of my favorite coffee.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
Honestly my parents deserve as much recognition as humanly possible. One of the most interesting things about becoming an adult is hearing about the different family dynamics that people grew up in, and I think it took me hearing about other people’s upbringings to realize just how fortunate I am to have mine. My parents never really pushed me towards anything that I didn’t want to do – they never tried to convince me to take a conventional path, there were no religious beliefs in my household, and they raised me to be fiercely independent and always be able to stand up for and rely on myself. One of the things that I also took away from my parents is the fact that you can live SO many lifetimes in the span of one life. My mom moved to the states from Japan when she was in her late 20’s and has had so many jobs and lives even before I was born, and I think growing up with that perspective makes you realize just how limitless life is, and that you don’t have to just “choose” one thing and stick with it. You can be so many things, and you have so much time to do it, and I feel so lucky that I was able to learn that so early on in life.
Paige Strabala Elisabeth O’Rourke Brianna Anguiano Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich