The Italian (London based) chamber-pop singer/songwriter Heren Wolf releases a compelling and emotional single titled, "Empire."
After his father's unfortunate passing, Heren Wolf found himself experiencing life with a little less glimmer and felt that creating a single surrounding life's fragility would create a moment of reflection and growth.
"Empire" takes the listener into cinematic depths through Heren Wolf's delicate crooning vocals and gentle instrumentation. "I create music to make sense of all the sorrow and trauma I experienced, and I deal with it every day."
A firm advocate for mental wellness, Heren Wolf infused this single with the realization that even the most extraordinary "Empire" is bound to fall at one point or another.
Taking a listen to the mesmerizing journey that is "Empire," Heren Wolf's sublime and soothing vocals grace our ears with pure precision and a natural delicacy. With ambient soundscapes drifting in the background alongside soft droning synths, the entire instrumentation merges into a tender atmosphere with help from melancholy piano chords.
Serene woodwind instrumentals make their cameos and create a heavenly sensation, inevitably giving listeners a chill up their spine. Last but very much not least, Heren Wolf's emotional lyricism pulls the listener in with relatable themes of facing devastation head-on and coming face-to-face with adversity.
Without a doubt, Heren Wolf's single "Empire" will pull you into the depths of his consciousness, while reminding you that healing has no time-frame.
Hello Heren Wolf, and welcome to BuzzMusic. How long was "Empire" in the making before its release? Seeing as it's such a personal and emotional song, did you have trouble being so vulnerable with your lyricism?
I started writing Empire in January 2018, but then it took me a long time to sit down with it and work on the production with Agon Branza. Originally, I didn’t think I was going to include it in my repertoire, I’ve only performed it twice and did not feel too excited about it. I thought that I was moving somewhere else with my lyricism and sound, but now I strongly believe that Empire embodies the perfect prelude to this new journey.
Being vulnerable with my lyrics has never been a problem. I have always been very open about my feelings and this has allowed me to weave deep connections with my interlocutors. Sometimes it’s scary because when we “take off the mask”, people see us for who we are, and they could reject or criticize us. However, the vulnerability has helped me to find people who can truly support, encourage, and validate me. People that are not afraid to enter the dark rooms of my consciousness and understand that compassion is a vital component of life.
Why did you choose to keep the instrumentation so minimal yet compelling? Do you feel that this approach helped reflect and compliment your lyrical message?
“Less is more” usually doesn’t work for me (lol). If I can be grand and majestic with my instrumentation, then I certainly will. However, it just didn’t feel right to go big with this song. The message is one of emptiness and numbness and the minimal arrangement helps echo it. Also, this is my first release after 2 years and the sonic identity that I am now expressing is quite different from the previous sonorities. So, I liked the idea of welcoming people back with a gentle embrace that would give them enough time to settle and slowly get comfortable in my new musical home.
Seeing as you’re known for transforming grief into grace through music, how did you initially realize that music was your favored emotional outlet?
Since I was a kid, my biggest aspiration was to become a professional dancer, so I spent many years working hard towards that goal. Unfortunately, some health problems stopped me from pursuing my dreams and that’s when music came into play. Music helped me to alchemize that trauma, aggravated by the death of my dad, into a resilient driving force. Music has the great ability to tap into the substrata of one’s consciousness, articulating emotions that couldn’t otherwise be articulated. Through music I have learned how to swim the dark waters of my grief without fear, finding a new place, and strength in the world.
How do you go about writing lyrics that not only fit your current emotions but resonate with listeners and their problems as well?
I believe that no matter how personal a story can be, there will always be some elements that will elevate it to a universal level. By performing songs about the death of my dad or the bipolar disorder of my mum, I was able to connect to many different people who had experienced something similar and felt heard and validated in my lyrics. We’re prone to believe that the experience of grief is isolating and lonely, but the reality is that we all grieve, somehow, and to know that there are people out there who empathize with how we feel, is incredibly healing and creates a strong sense of community.
What has been keeping you inspired this year?
This year has been particularly difficult. It’s been a year of collective trauma, during which we lost too many people because of Coronavirus. Others were killed by police brutality or drowned in the sea while trying to escape wars, poverty, or other threats. It’s been a terrifying time that’s left me completely uninspired and numb, but it has also reminded me that in spite of division and hate I must continue to exercise love and compassion and use music as a rebellious act of hope. During this worryingly fragile year, I was inspired by the resilience that humans are able to harness when everything seems to fall apart. This year, more than others has really shown us how interconnected we all are and how important it is to come together as a global community. Acts of solidarity can change the world and that for me is a great font of inspiration.