Tell us about your music, and how you’re a little bit different to traditional Christian artists.
I’ve been doing a lot of remixes, and producing more behind the scenes, since about 2012. And I slowly evolved into feeling more of a calling to do original music. I started tinkering with what it would sound like if Neon Feather did original stuff rather than producing. It’s been a little bit weird because I’m typically not the singer on my own songs. But I really enjoy that because it lets me collaborate with a variety of different singers and lets me dabble in different styles, depending on who I’m working with. That’s really one of my favourite parts, music is just that collaborative spirit. I love being able to do totally different things when you put two artists together.
How did the name Neon Feather come about? What does it mean?
It came about in a pretty unglorious way. I was entering a remix contest 6 years ago, maybe more, and it was a friend of mine who was hosting the contest. I didn’t want him to know it was me. So the day before I entered, I was like ‘I need to come up with another alias’. My brother and I were brainstorming and we came up with Neon Feather.
I had no idea it would stick for this long but there was definitely some thought behind it. The idea is that it represents the two dichotomies of my aesthetic.
The ‘Neon’ represents my electronic energy, hype, and having a good time. And the ‘Feather’ side is a little bit more of my desire for organic, acoustic, emotional music. I feel like those two worlds always find themselves colliding in most of my tracks.
Who do you feel has had the biggest influence on your faith journey so far?
Ravi Zacharias, Timothy Keller, and Matt Leroy are three spiritual leaders who I have always connected with on a lot of levels, and whose sermons have been a rich fountain of wisdom and encouragement for me. On a personal level, my grandmother is a huge inspiration for doing life with the Lord by your side.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
I honestly don’t know. Music is all I’ve ever known professionally. I’ve never even been to a job interview in my life! I always say that I think I’d make a good astronaut if I had another lifetime, because I am pretty meticulous and nerdy, and I don’t mind chilling in the same place for an extended period of time! But in reality, I’d probably be a software developer or something.
Your single Long Way Home features David Dunn as the vocalist. How did that come about?
I had written the song Long Way Home with my friend Matt Hammitt from Sanctus Real. We were trying to figure out who should sing the song, which voice would really bring it across the finish line in the best way. One of the guys at Centricity had the idea ‘what would it sound like with David Dunn on it?’ So on one of my trips to Nashville, David and I got together and recorded a scratch demo to see how it would sound. He brought his own flavour to it and tweaked the melody a little bit. It just really clicked. It was awesome. It was great to meet him through that and he’s become a really good friend.
On days when your creativity doesn’t seem to be flowing, how do you find encouragement?
That’s still tough for me. I’m learning how important it is to give myself grace. The nature of creativity is transient, elusive, and very tied to my emotions. I can’t put pressure on myself to control the ebb and flow of inspiration, but I can be diligent to make myself available for it by cultivating a healthy schedule and staying sharp with my technical and musical abilities. There is certainly a time to give yourself a mental break and step away if nothing is working, but sometimes my favourite moments come when I power through and let the lack of inspiration free me up to fool around aimlessly.
Do you have any more songs coming our way that we can look out for?
I recently put out my second single City Lights, which I'm pumped about. And I've got a handful of other songs and collaborations I'm hoping to finish over the next few months.
Neon Feather spoke to Becs Millington on UCB 1’s Drive show. Tune in every weekday evening from 4pm on UCB 1. Listen online, on DAB, or via UCB Player.
Head over to neonfeathermusic.com to discover more about Neon Feather’s music.