Feren Isles Releases Contemporary Synthpop Album “Facing Uncertainty”

Feren Isles is a multi-talented musician, composer, and producer from Montreal.

By using his baritone voice and introspective lyrics, Feren Isles brings his music to life. Ace of Base, Darkchild, and Stockhausen are just a few of the artists that have influenced this nostalgic new wave reimagining. Bright infectious choruses laced with sorrow, quick flashing percussion, and sincere lyrical explorations of modern alienation are all well-balanced here.

They earned a master’s degree in music theory from McGill University, where they specialised in electronic and experimental music. synthpop, Europop, with a touch of the ’80s and ’90s.

For Feren Isles, a Montreal-based synthpop artist, the release of their first album, “Facing Uncertainty,” marks a return to form after a period of self-discovery and recovery from mental and physical exhaustion.

What is your real and official showbiz name?
My artist name is Feren Isles, which is an anagram of my real name (Les Friesen). Besides writing original music, I also enjoy making remixes of pop songs, so I like to think of the anagram as a “remix” of my name.

It’s also a nod to the Faroe Islands, a magical place that I visited in 2018 where I experienced an epiphany of sorts, that I needed to start pursuing a creative life.

How long have you been making music and what attracted you to it?
I was raised in a Mennonite (a religious order with historical ties to the reformation movement in the Netherlands and Germany, who are pacifist and traditionally farmers) community in rural Canada, where music played quite an important role.

I grew up singing hymns and playing the piano in church. I didn’t really have a choice regarding learning piano, but at some point, I started to make my own arrangements of pop songs as well as write my own songs, and it became a form of self-expression rather than an obligation.

What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
When I was 11 years old I got some of the kids on my street to form a band with me, and we recorded songs on a cassette recorder using a tiny Casio keyboard and some plastic percussion instruments.

Most of the songs were about random subjects such as vegetables or outer space. I still have the tape and I’m really happy to have that relic from my childhood!

Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Throughout my life, I’ve always been inspired by singer-songwriters who aren’t afraid to express their deepest emotions authentically. Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette are two of my biggest inspirations in this way.

I think there is something very radical and powerfully vulnerable in turning one’s past trauma into something creative and artistic, that can in turn help others process their own experiences and emotions.

What are your friend’s and parents’ thoughts on your career in singing?
Everyone is very supportive for the most part. My parents chose careers that provided stability, and I think that is something that all parents wish for their kids, so I’m sure my shift to a career in music must have made them a little nervous.

That being said, I think everyone in my life just wants me to pursue what genuinely makes me happy and they are supportive of my artistic endeavours.

Feren Isles Releases Contemporary Synthpop Album “Facing Uncertainty”
Feren Isles Releases Contemporary Synthpop Album “Facing Uncertainty”

What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
Social media has changed the game so much, and I’m not sure what place there is for artists these days who are more shy or reclusive.

When I look at the artists that get attention online nowadays, they are often very extroverted and colourful characters. In this kind of environment, I am really not sure where a ponderous introvert like myself fits in.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Everything has changed so quickly – In the 2000s, artists could blow up overnight from blog hype or through MySpace.

Then it was going viral on YouTube, and now it’s TikTok. What’s frightening to me is that everyone is at the mercy of these algorithms to push out their content, which forces artists to focus on making content rather than focusing on the music itself.

If your content isn’t good or your social media numbers are bad, people will assume your music is not worthy of their time. It can really have a negative impact on musicians’ mental health and make them question the value of their work.

This is the exact subject of the song “Wipe My Memory Clean” from my album, and I think it’s something we should all be talking about.

Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
If you feel like you have something to say and that you were meant to create something, just do it and put it out there. You never know what opportunities it could lead to or what impact it will have, even if you never become a superstar.

Don’t let the fear of failure or of leaving your comfort zone stop you from expressing yourself–in fact, you will experience more repercussions in the long run if you suppress your creativity. I think the regret of not trying is worse than the sting of failure.

What is your current project about?
My album “Facing Uncertainty” is a deeply personal collection of songs submerged in themes of anxiety, repression, self-discovery and intrinsic self-worth. I had always dreamed of making a pop album but had pursued more “practical” career paths in my young adulthood, which ultimately led to me having a complete emotional and physical burnout.

The burnout forced me to embrace a more creative path, despite the uncertainty and risks involved. I committed to writing a song a week for 6 months as I healed from burnout, and this album comes from those writing sessions.

What does this song album mean to you?
Regardless of how the album is received by the public or how much reach or recognition I get, I’m so proud that I finally followed through with fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams. I feel relieved that I will no longer have to wonder “what if?” or regret not giving it an earnest shot.

What are your hobbies?
I love travelling and exploring new parts of the world. I love spending time in nature, especially hiking and swimming. I also enjoy gardening, fermenting foods, making Kombucha and all sorts of DIY projects.

What do you do aside from this profession?
I currently work part-time as an events coordinator for a music and technology research centre.

What is one message you would give to your fans?
Don’t’ wait to honour your personal dreams and goals. Life is too short to not show up as 100% your authentic self.

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Website | Instagram

MrrrDaisy is the Owner of Music Arena Gh.  As a graphic designer, blogger and social media expert, he is a confident and creative designer who is self-motivated, self-sufficient and comes to you with a strong background in both print and digital media. He currently lives and studies Digital Media at Nottingham College, United Kingdom.

Latest articles

Related articles