Felicia Farerre | Celebrating One Year of ‘Epic Women’

Felicia Farerre is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and producer with over four decades of musical experience. In 2013, she became the proud recipient of the Best Female Vocalist award by Trailer Music News, and has continued to create high-quality music within the trailer market. Inspired by her musical passions and determination for equality, she created the ‘Epic Women’ project in collaboration with Elbroar.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the ‘Epic Women - The Shero's Journey’ album and International Women’s Day, we sat down with Felicia to talk about the process of creating the album, the challenges she has faced in her career and the mentors that have inspired her.

Congratulations on the one-year anniversary of 'Epic Women - The Shero's Journey'! Reflecting on the album, what did you enjoy the most about working on the project?

Thank you! The creative process of composing my tracks for the album and the opportunity of working with my daughter, Axis, and my partner and husband, Phil Rey Gibbons, on my track ‘Bridge Between Suns’ were highlight moments for me. I also enjoyed managing the overall project and the reward of seeing it to fruition.

Can you tell me the story behind ‘Epic Women’? What inspired you to create the album?
Looking at the overarching picture of my career experience, and observing the experiences of other women in the epic music and soundtrack gave me the impetus to create the ‘Epic Women’ album. I wanted to create a project that would honour women in music and also, benefit a women's charity. My overall aim was to create a group that would elevate awareness about women in music, and to be a part of the growing number of teams across systems, that are working to create lasting change for women facing the challenges of inequality. Changing systemic and structural issues takes a great deal of work, by a lot of people, for a long time before a tipping point happens. I felt it was important to do what I could do within my reach of influence to contribute toward that tipping point for positive change.

Can you talk me through the album and tell me more about the female composers who have also been part of this project?
‘The Shero's Journey’ is a wonderful musical adventure consisting of twelve powerful epic, cinematic and emotive tracks. ‘The Shero's Journey’ is conceptually a new twist on the well- known structure of the hero's journey. In this case, the story is conveyed from the female perspective. The concept itself provided a solid template for the composers to work from and created a natural cohesiveness for the album as a whole.

The album was created by ten female composers (Zefora Alderman, Aeralie Brighton, Lydia Davies, Emanate Music/Donna Gibbons, Sophy Purnell, Celica Soldream, The Rogue Pianist/Kimberly Starkey, Jennifer Thomas, Iris Wallner, and myself), and three featured female vocalists (Axis, Julie Elven, and Alexa Ray). I wrote to each of these women and invited them to participate in the Epic Women project and album. Each of the female composers and vocalists is talented in their own right. Together, however, the group and subsequent album became more than the sum of its parts.

If you feel comfortable to share, can you talk through some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career?
The biggest hurdle for me as a female artist in music has been the conditioned belief that I had to do business a certain way. I unconsciously allowed myself to be pushed around, used, and under-valued for a very long time. When I woke up to the part I was playing in all of that, the game changed. The hardest truth to face as a female artist in music is that the only way change happens is to say no to the old way of being and doing. We feed the problem when we say yes to jobs that do not honour our gifts. It is empowering to hold ourselves accountable for the choices we make. If we want real change as female musicians, we must be willing to be the change.

Is there a female creator or mentor who has inspired or influenced you in your line of work? Can you tell me more about them?
I have been inspired along the way by several creators and have had the good fortune to be mentored by my parents, who were both musicians. When I think about other creators who have inspired me, two rise to the top of the list alongside my parents. The first is Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés who is an American writer and Jungian Psychoanalyst. She is also an amazing vocalist! When I read her words or am lulled by her stories via her audiobooks, there is a song in my heart and my soul is dancing. Dr. Estés came from humble beginnings. She worked very hard to put herself through school and to build her reputation and dreams. She has written wonderful books that have helped me and so many others. I respect and honour her for making her career, first and foremost, about service to others.

Loreena McKennitt is another creator who has inspired me. She is truly gifted; an excellent musician. I am a female artist from her era and I appreciate artists that do the hard work of mastering their craft. I had the honour of meeting Loreena years ago in San Francisco. I admire the business she has built, the high standards she holds for herself and her brand, and the lovely people she surrounds herself with that support her and her business.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
Honour yourself and your gifts, and surround yourself with people who will honour you. Trust your heart and follow it forward. Bravely be the change you wish to see in the world and do it from a place of love and grace.

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