US producer Phelian is swiftly becoming renowned for his ethereal soundscapes. Hailing from the birthplace of Jazz, the New Orleans native’s distinctive Ambient Future Garage sound sees powerful deep bass amalgamate with haunting melodies and soulful vocal allegories where melancholy and ecstasy elegantly coalesce.
The multi-instrumentalist has been featured on Apple Music’s ‘Pure Focus’ playlist and will soon be heard in upcoming German TV series ZETT. Organic success of tracks such as “Lost” currently at three million views on YouTube, “Do You Know” and “Withering Flower” are testament to Phelian’s flourishing appeal and global reach.
Last year saw the release of his ‘Luna’ EP and collaboration with Hamburg-based producer Ambyion entitled ‘Grey Unknown’. At the end of 2017, his music featured on compilation album ‘Soarsa’ and was soon followed by the release of the ‘Close’ EP with rising UK producer Bucky where the duo smashed the ball out of the sonic park and into the realm of old school Garage.
This year sees the independent producer release his first studio-length album ‘Quadrivium’. Named after the four classical arts of arithmetic, geometry, music and cosmology; the album is a visceral reflection of Phelian’s philosophical life-path. It is an exploration of introspection, tracks synchronously inspired by the past and projections of the producer’s aspirations for the future. ‘Quadrivium’ is a mature body of work, an emotive Electronic journey with a captivating narrative that stays true to Phelian’s signature sound. Layer upon layer, a listener journeys through magnificent cinematic soundscapes; atmospheric, soul-stirring compositions that catalyse inspiration, peace and mindfulness.
There is an incredible depth to Phelian’s music; a resonance that continues to permeate long after the track culminates. Such quality is rare in today’s content-saturated world, where ephemeral is the only permanence. Soothing, spiritual- Phelian creates music with meaning.
What inspired you to get involved in music?
Music has been a creative outlet for me since I was very young. I played instruments throughout my childhood. I just have a drive to create and expand on thoughts, emotions and ideas.
Who were your artistic influences when you were growing up?
I went through different stages. Very early on I would listen to what my parents had in their vinyl collection, which was everything from David Bowie to The Beatles to Muddy Waters. I remember playing with the HiFi system we used to have and I would play my parents’ records for hours. I really explored music from every aspect over the years- Folk, Blues, Classic Rock, Metal, Electronic, Jazz and everything in-between. There are aspects from all facets of the musical world that inspire me.
After a number of EP releases, ‘Quadrivium’ is your first studio-length album. What is the inspiration behind it?
I think ‘Quadrivium’ was written at a junction point in my life. Certain tracks were written recalling memories from my past and others were inspired by events that have not yet taken place. Named after the four classical arts of arithmetic, geometry, music and cosmology; the album is a reflection of my education and philosophical life-path.
Your music will be appearing in German TV series ZETT. How did that come about?
I received a message one day from the producers of the show. They really thought my music fit well for the series. From there we began a dialogue and now the series is in the post-production stage.
You have been in the Future Garage scene since 2015; where do you see it going?
I think there has been a revival of that older UK Garage sound that is slowly seeing a resurgence. It is always fascinating to see what styles of production slowly evolve and come into existence. I think the envelope will continue to be pushed. There are artists like Vacant, Sorrow, Direct, Aether and Pensees that have found their own style and have really played a big part in evolving the sound.
Which artists are on your radar?
Many of the Russian artists have caught my attention as of late. Menual, Gostes, Spaceouters, Sibewest, Pensees and Blut Own. Very distinct sound from that part of the world, the stuff these guys are making I think is just great.
If you had the power to create the musical artist, which artists from the past and present would you use as building blocks and why?
Prince for his musicality, Tool for their lyricism and polyrhythms and Michael Jackson for his stage presence.
What does music mean to you?
Music has a significant meaning in my life in many ways. It helped me to find the most important person in my life, it has helped me to re-establish footing during times in my life where I have stumbled. Music has put me in a position to meet new people and make new friends. I believe it is a universal language.
‘Quadrivium’ is out now and available here.
Reema Kumari Jadeja | Writer and Photographer