Check out our interview with singer-songwriter Red Farrow who just released his E.P. Communion, featuring 5 tracks, including the single “sleeping alone.” The project was funded by Ontario Arts Council and is available on all streaming services now.
Communion is a set of 5 songs written in collaboration with four other artists and inspired by their stories of refuge and growth while growing up. A journey of cinematic soundscapes and heart-thumping dance tracks that will release and free your inner-child. The EP explores, lyrically and sonically, themes of religious upbringing, queer identity, heartbreak, and coming of age through a collision of vibrant synths, electronic themes, and nostalgic vocals.
Follow Red Farrow @redfarrowmusic
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Red Farrow. I have been self – producing my own music for about five years now. I grew up on a small farm outside London Ontario, and went to school in Ottawa and Seoul Korea. It was there that I first fell in love with dance music, and began considering a career in production. I worked for a short while as a flight attendant, and I craved a more creative output so when I saw my guitar teacher producing music, I immediately fell in love. I spend most of my time discovering new music, studying production and traveling. Each of these things contribute to my experience, taste, and influence.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Crying on Dance-floor
How did you get started in the music industry?
I technically started producing music about five years ago when my guitar teacher showed me a production session on Logic, but I have always loved being musically involved. I never thought about the possibility of writting and producing music until about 25 and then I couldn’t stop. I enrolled in school at the Harris Institute in Toronto and put out my first song shortly after finishing the program. I then released another 10 singles, and I started working in composition and producing for other artists.
Congrats on the release of Communion. What is this EP about?
I grew up in a very religious environment, and, although I no longer associate myself with religion, most of my early introductions to music came from the church. I see a lot of my taste is still shaped by my early influences of harmony and layering. I wanted to make a collaborative EP that explored identity and release through dance music. I also wanted to work with a few talented and queer musicians that could also relate to these themes. This album, in many ways, it’s about finding refuge in world outside of the communities we grew up in.
Describe your sound in 3 words.
Dance Indie Pop
Who are your biggest influences?
There are a lot of other artists that influence my work,. When it comes to lyrics, one of my biggest influence is Florence and the machine. I love the way that she writes about simple moments in the most heartbreaking and poetic way. When it comes to production, I am often influenced by artists like M83, RÜFÜS DU SOL, ODESZA, and Giorgio Moroder.
Do you play any instruments?
Piano is the instrument that I am most fluent in, but I usually think of the computer as my instrument, as it is the primary tool I used to write most of my music. My digital audio workstation, Ableton, is an extension of my creative ideas.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of making music is definitely when you see a genuine connection with the listener. I am the most touched when I see someone connect my music to their personal experiences. I like to see music as a tool of empathy. At the end of the day, musicians are still service providers, members of society, and the music may come from us, but it is not for us. When I see people genuinely connect to my music I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
What book should every musical artist read?
I spend a good amount of my time trying to improve my music by learning, reading, and practicing. A good answer to this would be the book, ‘Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry’ by Donald S. Passman. it is a great book to give you a an understanding of the last glamorous parts about the music business. ‘The Artist’s away’ is another great book about cultivating your creativity, especially if you are feeling blocked.
What are the greatest lessons you learned so far in your journey?
One of the biggest, and most surprising, lessons I have learned in music recently, is to have a clear goal of what you are trying to work towards. If you don’t know yet what that is, but then it is a good idea to pay attention to the direction you are headed in. I also have learned that there are two dichotomous sides of a career in the arts. You need to have the skills but also the connections. These skills involve sacrificing a certain amount of social participation to work on your craft, but then you also have to spend time making genuine and strong connections to build your career. Learning to balance these two versions of yourself will provide for the best environment for music creation and the most opportunity.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would probably tell my younger self that you don’t need to be the best performer, singer, or dancer to have a career in music. Creativity and storytelling are the most important aspect, in my opinion, of songwriting, and you should never tell yourself that you should settle for a more realistic goal. For a long time I thought Music wasn’t for me, I was a very shy kid, and it took me until I was 25 to have the confidence to pursue music professionally. It is also never too late to start.
How would your best friend describe you?
This really depends which best friend you ask, but I think across-the-board I will be described as a bit of a storm. I mean this in the good and bad send of the word. I am a bit of a mess at times, tackling too many projects and always 10 minutes late for everything, but I also charge full force at everything that I love.
What’s next for Red Farrow in 2023?
I have another EP in the works, a more dance-driven album that I am writing with Dex Donoe. This will be a continuation of the track no tears that we released last year. I have also started writing some songs for a full length EP that will be released (hopefully) in 2024.
How would you explain your fashion style?
After living in Korea, for a while, I feel like the amazing fashion there had really rubbed off on me. I also love everything I wear to be baggy and comfortable. I feel like my style is a lot like my music, a little bit of everything.
What is your own definition of happiness?
As cheesy as it sounds, I really do believe that happiness is gratitude. I don’t see happiness as something I strive for. Times can be tough and I deal with a lot of anxiety but happiness is something easily accessible and attainable if I look at all the wonderful things in my life. I am happy when I think about the fact that I get to work on music every day, that I have great friends, that I live in a beautiful city, and that I have my health.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to be in a room with Florence and the Machine when she is writing music, I would love to pick her brain about her creative process and how she put herself into her heart. I would also love to just grab a drink with her and hang out! I think that everything she makes is brilliant.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I am very introverted, at my core, and my dream holiday would be to get a small house in Japan or Korea during cherry blossom season by myself, and write for days.
Do you support any charity?
I work with a queer youth big brother program through the school I went to.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
When I lived in Korea, I had to have a karaoke song ready at all times, and it was usually ‘Sexy Back’ by Justin Timberlake my belting song in the car though it’s definitely ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’.
What do you think of Social Media?
A lot of people, my age, have something to say about social media, and a particular discomfort with using it. At the end of the day, it is the new normal. Technology comes and changes the platform through which we consume music and promote ourselves. I used to have a really hard time using it myself, but if we release the ego, and except that it is. at it’s essence, a creative platform, then we can use it despite our hesitance.
Where we can follow you?
My handle on all socials’ @redfarrowmusic
Book: The Alchemist
Quote: We must welcome the end of the beginning of all things, for knowing that nothing last forever, allows us to fall in love with a beautiful moments and people that take our breath away.
Movie: Cloud Atlas
Tv Series: The Handmade’s Tale
Favorite Food: Ceviche
Travel Destination: Seoul
Sports Team: Go Sports!