Through honest lyrics about mental health and personal struggles, Penny Bored, the solo project of Faith Alesia (they/them), combines captivating melodies with relatable topics to create an authentic discography. Alesia, a Dallas-based artist inspired by Maggie Lindemann, Hilary Duff, and Avril Lavigne, uses their nostalgic sound to create a secure space for listeners to emotionally connect. During the summer of 2020, Alesia rekindled their love for music and continues to spread the message that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
I recently had the chance to talk with pop-punk artist, Penny Bored, about the release of their newest single, “Karma”, songwriting, social media, and fashion.
Be sure to stream “Karma” on all streaming platforms today & watch the music video below!
Continue reading for the interview.
What inspired “Karma”? Was it an event, a person, or something else?
Karma is about a lot of things, but mainly a safe space for me to release some angry energy in a healthy way. I had so much anger built up over years of being mistreated by so many people and I finally needed to tell my side. Initially I never to intended to release the song (I’m always so positive and don’t like to share my anger with the world), but after showing it to my friends and producer we decided other people might need an anthem like this as well so we took it into the studio to workshop it into what it is today!
You’ve been releasing singles consistently over the last couple of years that truly define your style. Is there an EP or full length album we can look out for soon? If so, when can fans expect that?
There’s so much new music coming out this year. It’ll be a collection of music with each song having their own moment. We’re still finalizing a couple more details but I can’t wait to tell you more soon!
You have a distinct pop-punk sound that could be compared to early era Paramore or even Avril Lavigne. Who/what inspired your sound? Were either of these artists inspirations for you? Would you ever consider branching into other genres?
Paramore and Avril Lavigne definitely had a huge influence on the Penny Bored sound. Overall the early 2000s pop punk and MySpace bands defined my playlists growing up so naturally I gravitated towards that when writing. However, I’d love to try a more simplistic indie rock sound or maybe even venture into a pop era one day.
What does your writing process look like? Does it flow randomly throughout your day or do you find yourself having to sit down and devote time specifically to writing?
Throughout the day I’ll think of lyrics and keep them written down in my phone. Some nights I’ll strike inspiration to write a song, but usually a full song isn’t complete until there’s devoted studio time! I try not to sit on one idea for too long. I love to just write and release. Really trust my intuition ya know?
You recently had an Instagram Reel blow up about “Karma.” In the age of social media, do you find “the need to go viral” affecting your song writing and identity as an artist?
I used to chase going viral because in the past my videos have and everyone in the industry always talks about “that’s how you succeed.” It did nothing but damage how I view myself as an artist and writing. I feel like you can see a shift in Penny Bored over time. Parts of it feels inauthentic and I seem lost. And I think others began to notice that as well. I really try to just do my own thing these days and not put too much pressure on myself. Music should be fun!
What kind of music were you surrounded by growing up? Did you have any musical influences in your family?
Anything from Disney channel pop rock to discovering a new favorite emo band was my entire life during my pre teens and high school years. My favorites were The All-American Rejects, Hilary Duff and Taylor Swift. I grew up with my older siblings constantly blasting their rock music since the rest of my family favored country. I feel like I fall somewhere in between there most days! It’s no surprise if you catch me listening to No Doubt and then Shania Twain.
Are there any shows in the near future that fans can catch you at?
Our next show is April 15 at Andy’s in Denton, TX! After that we are taking a break to prepare for something huge!
Is there anything you want people to know about “Karma” or future projects?
I want people to feel understood and like they have a friend to lean on when they’re feeling down. I never want anyone to feel alone. Typically that’s how I feel when I’m writing these songs, but I know that’s not true. I want people to know that it does get better and that it’s okay if it takes years to move on from something. This music is timeless and everyone is welcome to carry it with them on their journey of healing.
Do you have any big goals for this year, anything you really want to accomplish?
This year I decided not to set any real goals for myself! The only thing I want to focus on is creating music that will help me heal. Last year was huge for Penny Bored, but I’m going to let the universe take control this year and give myself a break as much as I can.
Introspective questions aside, there has been a ton of amazing music put out this year and it’s only March. Do you have any favorite releases?
The new Paramore album has practically been all that I’ve listened to since it was released! It’s been so inspiring and therapeutic! Aside from that I’ve ventured back into my K-Pop phase and discovered new groups that I adore.
Finally, another fun one, do you have any inspirations fashion wise? A specific era? A Person? Do you have a favorite trend right now? I know there is a lot of Y2K influence in the fashion world right now. Is there anything you are glad is coming back? Anything you wish would be left in the past?
I’ve definitely been loving the y2k trends. I feel like I’m dressing how I always wanted to as a teenager. Lately I’ve been prioritizing comfort and trying some more “masculine” outfits. Layered necklaces, baggy band tees and chunky platforms always seem to make an appearance!