Dwayne Ferris

 

Memories of Dad' is one of the most moving tributes to ancestry we've ever heard - a eulogy of great power and a classic piece of country music, too.
 

A haunting threnody limned with twinkling string accents and syrupy blue notes off the harp, 'Memories of Dad' flows straight from the heart of Dwayne Ferris to the listener, bringing with it an almost tangible freight of loving sentiments and wistful regrets. The central refrain 'What's meant to be will be, no matter where,' is almost Shakespearean in its profundity and gives shape to the wan lamentations of the artist, but it is the sterling qualities of the man departed that make the song so ultimately moving. By the time of its concluding measures the sun has set on Father's tale, and the bereaved are left to console themselves with the notion that a great song was liberated by its despairs. Independent reporter Alexis Adams recently caught up with the talented bard to talk about his experiences growing up in a musical household, his love of the personal performance, and his hopes and expectations for the coming months.

ALEXIS: Let's just get this out in the open - What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
DWAYNE: In my personal opinion the craziest thing that has happened to me is winning the Akademia Music Award for my song. While I thought ‘Memories Of Dad’ was pretty good I also knew there were a lot of exceptionally talented musicians who also submitted songs. I've never won anything before, so this came as a big surprise to me.

ALEXIS: Your song ‘Memories Of Dad' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
DWAYNE: It was a very humbling experience, but it felt good to know that people were hearing my music. I don’t usually listen to my own music so when I first heard it played on radio I thought, ‘Hey, that is a nice song.’ It was hard to believe that people in other countries could hear it as well.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
DWAYNE: I would have to say my dad was my inspiration and I wanted to honor him.

ALEXIS: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
DWAYNE: Again, it would be my dad. I wrote ‘Memories Of Dad’ when he died, but I never sang it in public until just recently.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
DWAYNE: I am definitely down-to-earth and a serious songwriter. I write from the heart and have to feel the song when I sing it.

 

ALEXIS: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
DWAYNE: Well, I am an independent singer and songwriter so I don’t really have a team. I would have to say my fans are my team and they believe in my music and encourage me to write. One dedicated fan in particular loves my music and promotes it for enjoyment.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
DWAYNE: My dad was very musical and did a lot of Wilf Carter. His side of the family is quite musical in general.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
DWAYNE: To me, knowing that my music has touched someone in the audience is the most rewarding part. I write songs that people can relate to, and whether there is one person in the audience or one hundred it doesn’t matter to me because I always try to give my best. The most challenging part is finding the time to work on my music.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
DWAYNE: Funny you should ask that because it would be Randy Travis. I was surprised that the Akademia compared me to Randy Travis and felt complimented. Of course, my dad was the other role model.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
DWAYNE: There are two totally different ones that come to mind. I played at the Creekview Restaurant in Gagetown to entertain family and friends and I got to play a lot of songs that I don’t normally perform so I gave it my best and everyone enjoyed it. The most memorable was on June twelth playing at the Fredericton Convention Centre to the Federated Women’s Institute of Canada convention. Ladies and some of their husbands from all across Canada attended, and they were wonderful. They really seemed to enjoy the old country songs that I love to sing and I felt honored to play for them.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
DWAYNE: My advice would be to not become discouraged and keep singing and writing for the love of the music. With so many talented artists out there you can’t expect to become famous overnight. You should respect other musicians, and networking is important because you could learn something from them.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
DWAYNE: I plan on continuing to write songs and there are a few new singles in the works, plus I am polishing up some older ones that I never released. I don’t usually discuss a song idea until I am satisfied that it is ready and I expect to be releasing new ones by the fall of 2015. Just recently I have started putting video to some of my songs.

ALEXIS: Thanks so much for talking with us, Dwayne. You are a wise and talented artist and we expect that your career will make a major stride forward in the coming year.

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