Singer-Songwriter Lena Daniels is back with her second single, “Easy To Forget”. Written by Rian Woolf and herself, the song tells a captivating story of love gone wrong–with one person feeling forgotten as the other moves on.
Recently, I spoke with Lena Daniels & her co-writer, Rian Woolf, about the song, its accompanying music video and more.
Kyla Pearson: You released your latest track, “Easy To Forget” this April. Written by you & Rian Woolf, the song sings of the relatable feeling of being forgotten as people move on with their lives (in this case, romantically). Can you share with us a bit more about the songwriting and production process behind the song?
Rian Woolf: As the writer, this was one of those songs that was just waiting to come out. I sat down and started writing in the morning and after a few drafts the song was complete by nightfall. I wanted to tap into the “awkward” and the “sensitive” of the situation which is relatable to anyone listening but needed it to flow and feel right. I was very happy with the final product. After Lena worked her magic, the song came to life and turned out exactly as I’d hoped.
Regarding the production process, we followed the same path as we did with “God Took You Home”; Lena’s first song release. Starting with a grant application and acceptance, song choice and studio time– you try and craft your way through it while sticking to your vision.
Kyla Pearson: On a related note, what is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is currently in a situation that makes them feel like they are forgettable?
Lena Daniels: Abandonment, rejection and infidelity are sensitive issues relatable to all, I would say to someone struggling that they are not alone! They need to know there is a way out. It’s as easy as you make it. Pack a bag and move on, you’re worth it.
Kyla Pearson: “Easy To Forget” is also your second release since your debut single, “God Take You Home”, released in 2021. How would you say your music has evolved in the 2 years since? How have you grown as both a songwriter and artist?
Lena Daniels: Time has indeed improved the quality of songs I’ve been able to create. The confidence you gain becomes comforting and allows you to just focus on the vision and your goal. I’ve learned that goals are everything and you need to keep pushing and challenging yourself.
I joined with Cooper Studios and Global Country Music which both maintain a large local presence in the Country music community. Both outfits are empowering and have supported my journey sincerely! I’m also a part of the IAM Collective Downtown Farmers Market and the Four Winds Indigenous Showcase that, again, both create an incredible atmosphere to showcase my music with amazing people and a wonderful community in the Edmonton and Calgary area.
Experience is so important and I only hope that I have lots of time left to continue to grow and produce good music, as well as share the stage with so many incredibly talented musicians.
Kyla Pearson: On May 12th, you released your music video for the song, which was made in collaboration with/shot by Andrew TopDawg Smith. Can you tell us a bit about your creative vision behind the video?
Lena Daniels: Rian and I spent a lot of time back and forth regarding our goals and vision in regard to our first video. We were both very specific and excited about the short story we wanted to tell. Everything from choosing the creative team behind the scenes including makeup artist Keisha Cardinal, photographer Sheri Johnston and hair stylist & barber Cassie Ledoux (aka C1thebarber, a part of the Four Winds team).
I loved the fact that I incorporated two very different styles of fashion. One is a total country scene which shows that side of me. Wearing a buttoned-up shirt with bell-bottom jeans and my cowgirl boots. Then the other scene was with all Indigenous clothing– earrings, hair, makeup and mukluks. Not to mention Rian Woolf’s Nannie’s coat that was passed down to me!
We also had an incredible all-Indigenous cast: Tyson Martell, Bre Inkpen and myself. It’s important to me if I’m able, to incorporate fellow Indigenous artists and talent in my journey, as they’ve been the backbone of my support. Sometimes a helping hand can make a huge difference in someone’s life– believe me, I know.
I had played the song over and over in my head and imagined myself at certain parts shouting from a bridge or at the top of a hill. I felt like this scene would portray the most emotion. I also imagined singing parts of my song in a Nashville bar, which in the end is why I chose the Naked Cyber Cafe. It was the perfect place for the scene, which we were offered to film at by Bob. He has been running the cafe for over 23 years and offering a safe place for artists to express themselves free of charge. Thankfully, we had the honour of being able to shoot in the Kingsway Garden Mall. Ending with a small bar scene that leads up to the conclusion, which was all filmed in our house.
When meeting Andrew, he immediately was on board with the direction we were going and honestly, the final product was exactly what we envisioned! I ultimately left it in his hands and was very pleased with the outcome. I can’t wait to work with him again one day.
Kyla Pearson: It's also your debut music video. What was it like working on set for the first time? What have you learned through this experience that you’ll take with you into the next one?
Lena Daniels: Andrew Smith, Rian Woolf and myself had the best time with the cast and couldn’t be more grateful for their contributions. It was so exciting to do each part of the video over and over and then see the final product. I literally want to cry. The excitement and feeling of my music coming to life brought me so much joy.
Andrew made the whole experience something that I will never forget and I would recommend him anyday to anyone trying to truly capture their vision!
Having fun in the process is truly the best advice I can offer. Funding is always an issue; look for rates inside your financial range. Have a clear vision and don’t rush it.
Kyla Pearson: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year?
Lena Daniels: I really want to see this new song reach a broader audience and be enjoyed by anyone listening. The feedback is most rewarding, good or bad. But I think my biggest goal would be a Country Music of Alberta Nomination or to reach number 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown. Either way, I am so grateful for how the song came together.
Kyla Pearson: Do you have any upcoming shows where fans can hear you play “Easy To Forget” live?
Lena Daniels: I have a couple of shows coming up! Here are a few:
Indigenous Awareness Week – Vendor Marker – Garrison Military Base May 23rd, 3:00 PM
Four Winds Calgary – June 14th (address and times TBD)
5th Annual Alberta Metis Nation Fest – June 24th
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, do you have anything you'd like to mention?
Lena Daniels & Rian Woolf: We’d like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for funding my single and we are extremely grateful!
Daniels, Lena. Woolf, Rian. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, May 3, 2023.
Unknown. “Featured: singer-songwriter Lena Daniels.”. Photo courtesy of Lena Daniels. Accessed May 15 2023.
Unknown. “Featured: official cover art for Lena Daniels latest single, “Easy To Forget”.”. Photo courtesy of Lena Daniels. Accessed May 15 2023.