It gives me great pleasure to share my fifth interview in the Get to Know series with an artist whose music I consider to be meaningful and unique. I believe that every artist has a story and that we get to understand their music a whole lot better once we hear it!
I most recently published about his forthcoming single The Ballad of Life and Death and reviewed his previous single Let It Heal You. Get to Know the artist that is Feralman and what inspires him to create music, how he survived a brain tumour scare and more!
Please tell us the story behind your forthcoming single The Ballad of Life and Death.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and whilst waiting for the results, I was advised to expect one of two likely diagnosis outcomes a) I had an aggressive malignant tumour and could have only months left to live or b) a slow growing tumour that may be operable/treatable with a better outlook (although frankly, still an unpleasant option). During the weeks that followed whilst waiting for the (thankfully, benign) test results, I had reason to become quite contemplative. The entire first album is essentially a reflection of my life. “Ballad” came about as I considered the fine line between life and death and the huge gulf that separates them conceptually. I liked the idea of bridging that gulf somehow and this song, about life and death uniting in harmony, is the result.
Please share how you began your journey into music.
I’ve always played guitar, written lyrics/poems and stories and painted, albeit only to and for myself. Since the tumour and then the subsequent birth of my daughter, I have been incredibly productive. I can’t stop actually! and then people started sharing and listening and asking for more, so i decided to ‘put it out there’. I am so glad I did, I am thoroughly enjoying myself 🙂
Last year and continuing into this year, was a very difficult time for many within the music industry. How was your experience and what brought you through it?
To be honest, I’d already had some fairly testing times. Last year for me was a really positive year. I released music that I love, I secured a publishing deal for a series of children’s books, and we welcomed a daughter into the world. the pandemic actually enhanced my musical creativity as it forced me to work with people remotely on my music. I’ve had help from singers in Nashville, sound engineers in Venezuela and Miami and more recently working with Sefi Carmel in London.
Your songs seem to reflect on the meaning of life. If you don’t mind sharing, what experience drew you to this subject?
Yes they do. As mentioned above, the catalyst was the tumour. I had a tough 8 year window and I basically just needed to document. The sentiment remains in the second album but it is from a much more external perspective, rather than introverted and contemplative. It is about feeling inspired and positive, and enjoying life. It is about ‘seeing’ and being and trying to achieve. It is about the realisation and awareness of the magic and beauty in life. I want to scream this stuff so people hear it. Hopefully the songs portray that clearly whilst retaining at least a touch of subtlety.
I really enjoyed listening to and reviewing your single Let It Heal You. How did the concept for this song come about?
Thank you! This song is for all of those people who feel trapped in life. Who feel as though their potential is not being reached and they are undervalued, under appreciated, or worse, abused or belittled. It is about reaching deep inside yourself and pulling that inner strength that IS PRESENT IN EVERYONE to the surface and then just going for it, without fear. just go and ‘be’. It is a great feeling. You don’t need other peoples validation to do it. It doesn’t matter if people like or dislike what you are doing so long as you do and it is what you want. I love the metaphor of a caged and tethered dragon that then breaks free and the true majesty and power it possesses suddenly becomes clear. That can be true for all of us. To some extent, it is about awakening.
Every musician has their favourite artists. Who are your personal favourite musical influences, and how have they shaped you as an artist?
My favourite artists are Mark Knopfler, Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros, Neil Young, Paul Simon and then contemporaries such as Nick Mulvey, Ben Howard, Xavier Rudd, Andrew Bird. I’ve been influenced by so many though…in various genres.
What future projects can we expect from you?
“Let It Heal You” and “The Ballad of Life & Death” are the first two singles from the second album. I will be releasing a song every couple of months now until early next year and then the album will be released. I am seriously excited about this album (called “Allegories” because each song is a story/message told using metaphor). I really truly think I’ve put together a great album and I want the world to hear it. I’m so grateful to Sefi Carmel for helping me elevate the song to such a level and for all those who have helped me, there have been significant contributions from session singers, musicians, sound technicians and of course my live band. I am also working on the third album and I am toying with the idea of doing something totally against recommendation and releasing a single 45 minute song/piece/album (!) it’d be more like an opera I suppose, although an indie folk opera…we’ll see.
Thank you so much to Feralman for sharing his story behind the music. If you enjoy listening to Feralman’s music, be sure to follow him on all the popular social media platforms and stay tuned here for further details about his forthcoming releases!