Local musician heals trauma with open and honest song-writing

Singer-songwriter Ffion Wren is healing her past by writing about topics people usually don’t talk about

Pictured walking down Womanby street is Ffion Wren, the local musician healing trauma through honest song-writing
Ffion Wren walking to The Moon on Womanby Street for a gig where she supported music artist Spencer Flay

“No one prepared me for life in my 20s”, sings acoustic pop singer-songwriter Ffion Wren. The 22-year-old artist from Caerphilly writes about topics people typically don’t like talking about, setting her apart from other up-and-coming artists. She independently released her first single, Life In My 20s, in October which draws on hardships she has faced such as loss and failure.

With her guitar case firmly by her side, Wren is aware that her approach to songwriting is far from mainstream. “In the charts it’s kind of just writing about sex and breakups”, she says.

Her first single discusses struggling to stay on your feet, feeling left behind, and your parents growing old before your eyes. “I wanted to write about stuff that people actually cared about because there’s things that everyone goes through at some point,” she says.  

Grieving relationships

Grief is a theme that plays a big role in her songwriting inspiration. Discussing the song books she has filled that have become part of her own form of therapy, she said: “I guess losing people is inevitable.” She lost both of her grandfathers, and has channeled this grief into art, writing songs about them and their life stories.

Losing one grandparent very suddenly and the other to dementia, she said: “I wrote a song about the experience of him being physically there, but not mentally knowing who I am.” She is willing to bare some of the most personal details of her life with the listeners. 

Listen to Ffion Wren discuss how music has become an outlet for her feelings here:

Grieving relationships also manifests in her lyrics. “My parents went through a divorce and from that, I started writing songs about it and that really helped me cope with what was happening when I was younger,” she said. Wren has been writing songs since the age of 12, revealing: “Some of them aren’t half-bad either, so maybe I will release them.”

Music for me has always been like a release

Musical inspirations

“For me, music has always been like a form of release”, says the singer-songwriter. Taking inspiration from the likes of Birdie and Adele, for Wren, “It’s always been my kind of therapy, if something’s happened at home, I write about it.” Her focus is to connect with her audience. She added, “Everyone has their traumas and things they have to go over, but no one talks about it through the form of music, or not mainstream music anyway.”

Music has been a lifelong passion for her, but the ability to pursue it was more of a recent epiphany. Playing instruments from the violin to drums since primary school, she entered a singer-songwriter competition in 2022 at the University of West England, where she studied business entrepreneurship, and won. 

Portrait of Ffion Wren against a colourful backdrop, the local musician healing trauma with honest songwriting
Ffion Wren smiles at the camera after the interview where she happily shared her personal insights on songwriting  

This experience helped Wren to realise how accessible the industry is. She is now an independent artist, putting her music on all major streaming platforms.

Learning as an independent artist

Wren’s first single, Life In My 20s, came out on 27 October 2023. It is the perfect example of how she uses first-hand experiences to connect with listeners. She takes inspiration from her parents ageing and trying to figure her way through the world. She said: “It’s not just me going through this, but hundreds of thousands of people doing exactly the same thing.”

The reception to her first release has been “incredible”, she says. So how does she celebrate? “By moving to Latvia for three months,” she laughs, where she will work with another singer-songwriter and experiment with genres and styles of writing. So look out for more new releases in 2024, she says.