Feather, the moniker of Minnesota born Kyle Featherstone, grew up playing piano inspired by groups such as Coldplay, Jack’s Mannequin and Augustana. Fascinated by the blossoming electronic genre, he quickly left his touring band and began producing. A stranger to the scene, Feather gradually found a home exploring the emotional and more organic sides of the genre using his multi-instrumentalism to curate a stylistically diverse sound balanced between the worlds of anthemic future pop and euphoric EDM. DMCWORLD now checks in with the main man as he releases his debut single ‘Safe House’, a track that effortlessly highlights the producer’s budding studio prowess…
What aspects of your day-to-day surroundings do you find creatively inspire you?
I find myself becoming more and more inspired by nature. I have always loved animals, but recently I have gotten more into plants and landscapes. I love going outside and taking walks, but lately, I have added more and more plants to my home to try and bring more of that world outside as I have to spend a lot of time sitting at my desk. I love the feeling it gives me of being part of a bigger more magical world. Plants are pretty crazy and I think a lot of people forget how alive they are! I also just got a cat and she is amazing and she sits in a little bed on my desk, and it’s just a nice little reminder that we share this world with other creatures!
Can you tell us a little bit about your background with music and how you got where you are now?
I grew up taking piano lessons in early grade school! Eventually I grew a little tired of playing classical music and my friends were getting into rock music like Nirvana, ACDC and Green Day, etc. and we wanted to play in a band so I decided to learn guitar so we could all do that together. In later high school I got involved with theater and choir quite a bit and that provided me a whole new appreciation to other sides of music. In college I continued playing guitar, piano and singing in a few pop bands that toured the country. After I attended my first music festival I experienced electronic music and it completely changed my life. I went home, decided I wanted to learn how to produce so I could make my own songs and then quit my band, bought a MacBook and got to work. Now, my goal is to write and produce my own music that combines all of my previous musical experiences into a cohesive whole.
Your debut single ‘Safe House’ is very lyrically emotional — how did you decide on the overall tone of the track?
I remember being in the session writing the song, and I found a cool synth pad that we all vibed with. It had a dreamy longing feeling, so we paired a nice chord progression that helped capture the tone. After that, the song just seemed to fall right out and into place! 4.) What’s your favorite genre of dance music to listen to in your free time? I really love listening to dance music that is dreamy, emotional, anthemic, and worldly. It’s hard to narrow it down to a specific genre as it’s always getting more and more diverse, but a lot of melodic or future bass styled things like Illenium, Seven Lions, Gryffin, or Odesza. A lot of people don’t know this but I also have a soft spot for dark trap styled stuff like RL Grime or Memba! I’d like to work some of that into my music eventually!
As mentioned earlier, my primary instrument is piano – it’s probably my favorite. I can play guitar, and I played bass in a jazz band in high school so I supposed that counts too haha. I’m also ok at drums – I have an electronic kit that I use to program things sometimes!
Who’s your favorite musician of all time?
My favorite band is Coldplay. They’re just incredible and I love how they’ve grown with me as I’ve grown up. Their music and shows never disappoint, so they’re definitely in my top. In the electronic world, I would say Odesza is a personal favorite that has made a huge impact on my personal and creative life!
You released a couple of remixes before your debut single that garnered some solid streaming numbers. What initially drew you to the original tracks?
I like attempting remixes for songs or artists I am personally a fan of already. I listen to a huge variety of genres and music so it’s always fun for me to take a track that is drastically different from what I make, and try to make it into something else it would’ve never been.
What’s it like production-wise for you to create an original production versus remixing a track?
Great question. I think with remixes it is often guided by the accompanying vocal being the main focus, so that tends to be the starting point where I build the track around it. With original songs, I like to start with more random sounds or chords or beats and then find vocals that fit around that. Sort of a reverse direction!
What musical aspects of both pop and EDM do you find most appealing?
Pop and EDM have some really amazing vocals and top lines. They’re beautiful, simple, intelligent, powerful. I think that’s one of my favorite things for sure that other genres can sometimes lack. Additionally, lately modern production has gotten so cool and interesting in both pop and EDM that there’s always something new to hear. It fascinates me, and constantly gives me something to work on or learn.
Are there any upcoming projects in the works worth mentioning?
I have sooooo many ideas that I am constantly developing. I can’t say too much right now, but just know that there is much more to come. The past few years have been dedicated to focusing on learning how to produce and lay the groundwork for creating songs for the project, and now I finally feel that I’m starting to get to the point where things are at a level I’m proud of. I am constantly creating and always looking to see how I can push myself or grow my sound, and this is just the beginning!