We caught up with rising artist Nolan Feeny to touch base on his new release, composition process, the current streaming landscape, and more. Keep reading to learn more.
Who am I? I don’t really know. I guess I’m just someone that wants to enjoy life and be a catalyst for others to do so as well, be it through engineering or music or whatever. I am definitely super passionate about music though, started playing cello and piano when I was about 4 or 5, and got more into making my own songs during college. I’ve always had abstract ideas in mind, some stuff on Soundcloud from a couple years ago, but only recently have they been more finalized and concrete. I recently graduated last May, now I’m staying for graduate school at University of Michigan.
MUSIC IN QUARANTINE:
I knew some big social ceremonies like commencement would be cancelled, and that gave me drive to want to do something in place of that, something else that could be symbolic for that transition of my life. I think having less social interaction has also enabled me to put more of my focus into making music and practicing. I just felt like I had more time during quarantine.
I think it always starts with inspiration from other artists for me. I really like Bon Iver’s vocals, and some Sufjan songs with a girl also singing the melody. Really nice texture that I wanted to recreate. With dreamers I was fiddling with the guitar one day and came up with 3 finger-picked chords that I liked, and instantly had a melody come to mind, so I recorded it on my phone. When I started actually recording it on my computer, I started imagining other fill sounds to make it come alive more, like little fairy dust piano, an additional echoed guitar, a shaker, other vocals. I think a lot of that is inspired by other artists. For me, all of the music I’ve made so far represents how I feel and who I am. I might experiment with taking a persona that isn’t me on future projects though.
I think to me it’s about relationships that end and leave an empty space — how that can lead to feeling alone but also becoming more comfortable with oneself, growth into the unknown, but can definitely mean different things to different people.
ON THE STREAMING LANDSCAPE:
I think for the most part streaming is a really good thing, everything is so accessible and shareable. I’m new and small as an artist so I don’t know all the details, and it can feel daunting at times but overall I think it’s promising. I’ve thought about buying advertising space on social media platforms, I might set aside some budget to do that. Maybe for the next album release. I think if I ever got in the studio or performed with any of my big inspirations, I would feel complete as a musician.
GIGS & UPDATES:
I have a virtual gig with Empty Mug Records coming up on March 26th. also working on another album that’s outside of the genre I’ve been in. I also have a very clear outline for a music video that I want to shoot, which hopefully I can do in the next month or so.
Make sure to stay tuned for more artist features soon, and check out Nolan Feeny on Instagram and on your preferred streaming service of choice.