Daveit Ferris & 365 Sparks

Daveit Ferris doesn’t do things by halves.

Musician, songwriter, singer, poet, producer, graphic designer, web designer, videographer, entrepreneur… he’s a busy man.

Daveit first arrived on the music scene back in 2004 as founding member and lead singer of ‘The Mascara Story’ who, in 2005 were named Kerrang! magazine’s ‘Unsigned Band of the Year’. Their first, and only single ‘This is not a bruise’ reached an impressive number 10 on the BBC UK Rock Chart, with the video for the single also being aired on Kerrang! TV.

Daveit has been no stranger to hard work and dedication. In 2008, he produced and released nearly 100 songs within the first year of going solo. He has since had eight books of poetry published, and has been working on two novels in between times which he hopes to have published by 2016.

In late 2011, Daveit created the popular Northern Ireland music website chordblossom.com, which he dedicated a lot of energy to and ran it’s day to day operations before having to ‘cut it free’ in order to have the time to truly commit to 365 Sparks.

But it was in October 2013 after a near death experience that his latest project ‘365 Sparks’ was truly born. Daveit had developed Supraglottitis, which is basically when the epiglottis at the base of the throat swells into a ball and blocks the airwaves completely. As Daveit lay in his hospital bed recovering, he realised that all of the many hundreds of creative projects that he had worked on wouldn’t have seen the light of day had he died.

At first he thought of releasing one song or EP per week, but then he remembered that he had previously purchased the domain name 365sparks.com, just a few weeks prior to the incident with the intention of doing something consecutively every day for a year. After that, everything just fell into place.
We caught up with Daveit to find out more about ’365 Sparks’.

On average how long would you say you have spent on each song, from the initial conception to the moment it goes live on your site?
Well, I guess it’s important to remember that these songs were recorded in 2014 but are being released in 2015. Last year there were songs that literally took from 6am until 10pm to write and record and there were songs that were written and recorded by 10am. I was always ready to work all day but some songs just happened faster than others. It was always my plan to Mix and Master each song on the day of their release in 2015 so that I’d be able to effectively approach each with a fresh set of ears and almost be a ‘first time’ listener for the first time. Daily in 2015 is still quite time-consuming with the mix/master component mainly but also all the other things;
handwritten lyric scans, the daily webpage, video, the artwork, graphics and 1000 other small things that have to happen to keep it ticking over.

What’s been the overall reaction to your project?
It’s been really positive and that’s filled me full of confidence that I’ll bring forward. The idea itself was always going to challenge a few folks perceptions about music and the release frequency; but I think most people have been enjoying getting a daily dose of sound. With the modern day attention span in mind; I’m pretty happy to see the same faces coming back day after day to listen to the new songs as well as seeing some new faces ‘binge listen’ to like 50 tracks in a row! Pretty amazing.

How would you describe yourself? musician, producer, designer... all of the above?
Honestly, the word I tend to use these days is simply ‘creative’ - and I hope that doesn’t sound too arrogant. There are other creative roles that I’ve been developing slowly behind the scenes, so if I keep tacking on roles to ‘Musician / Songwriter / Producer’… it’s just going to look daft! If it involves coming up with something from thin air; then I’m totally into it and I’ll try it as a way of expressing myself further. Music is obviously my strong suit and my main love, but I have an interest in all things relating to creativity.

We all like to put a label on music, if pushed, what would you classify your own musical style as?
I’m a little stumped with this one because this music isn’t a coherent collection of songs at all. There’s really blaring and screaming rock/metal but there are also very gentle acoustic moments. I’ve always been equally split down the middle with adoring upbeat rock like Greenday and more low-key stuff like Ryan Adams - so I think my style falls somewhere in the middle. I’m hooked on strong vocal melodies and I think that’s probably the strong part about my songwriting. When I bring this music live, as a band, it’ll be the rockier components for sure.

If you had to pick one song so far that has given you most enjoyment to create, which would it be?
Probably ‘Be My Radiator’ - there was just something magic that happened on that day and I wish I knew the formula because I’d repeat it! It was a completely beautiful blur from the moment I came up with that title in the morning until I was having my first listen to the finished song in the late evening. There was absolutely no second-guessing and everything just trucked along at a frantic pace. The song I ended up with completely encapsulates the kind of sound I want to bring forward; upbeat, to the point and full of huge vocal hooks.

It’s a true project of dedication and passion, and also very time consuming... any regrets on committing to one song every day?
Definitely not! I knew from the get-go that it’d be horribly stressful and that I’d frequently long for the sound of silence, but I wanted to do something on a grand scale and I saw this as the absolute pinnacle to attempt. I wanted to ensure I gave myself no room to slack and I wanted to ensure I was writing every single day - so a ‘song a week’ wouldn’t have challenged me enough. This might sound corny, but I honestly can’t imagine doing anything better with my time than writing and recording music.

Have you any idea when you’re planning to take the project on the road?
Perhaps this will show my over-optimism with my work.. But I had hoped to be rehearsing by mid-year. However, that’s definitely not going to be possible now as there’s just so much more daily work than I’d imagined. 365 Sparks is definitely a two year commitment when I assumed it’d be a 1.5 year commitment. So whilst I’m a little held back in that regard, I never wanted to rush the live aspect either. It’s so vital for me to find the right people to help me bring this music live because I won’t be stepping on a stage until I feel there’s something special happening.

If 2015 has brought 365Sparks... what can we expect next from Daveit Ferris?
365 Sparks really has cemented my adoration of writing and recording music, so I’m going to relentlessly pursue getting into those two fields [writing songs for other artists and also recording musicians in my home studio]. I actually have been working with a Finland-based label whose two current acts will be releasing singles in the summer that I wrote. Personally, 2016 will see the release of my 9th and 10th poetry books and my first novel. I have a crazy idea that I’m kind-of looking into, but it’s reliant on a few things coming over before I can talk about it - you’ll be the first to know!

You can check out Daveit’s 365 Sparks at www.365sparks.com

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