X Factor, Identity and Songwriting With Felix
You may recognise Felix from his stint on the X Factor in 2018, since then he has been songwriting, self producing and taking the world by storm. We caught up with him about his release 'Dirty Habits', what he's learned along the way, and how he hopes the music industry changes.
What was the inspiration behind 'Dirty Habits' track?
This track started off the back of a breakup and me going back into the dating world and not really knowing what the hell I was doing, I was going on a lot of dates with different people and was just overwhelmed by it all, I make decisions that were out of character for me like not calling people back etc and I really did end up with some dirty habits! What was the recording process like?
For me because I do everything myself, initially it was fairly lonely but it is super productive when you’re the only one making decisions on the track. It was recorded in my studio in pieces, not just in one session. I was blessed to have James Attwood play guitar in the track and he is someone I have grown up with musically and trust 100%. This was a song where I produced and wrote the song at the same time so I recorded the demo at the same time. It was a really fun song to make because it’s super upbeat and quirky. I tried to put as much of my personality into it as possible.
What do you hope to do with your art?
For me as cliche as it sounds my music has always been about saying things that I’m not always great at communicating whether that be with family, friends and even with myself, and in some of my songs that are going to be coming out over the next year. I’m going to be really real with people, things that I’ve been struggling with and things that I have experienced for the first time. It’s crazy that you hear songs about heartbreak, you hear songs about struggling growing up etc but, you know until you experience those things firsthand the songs don’t really resonate with you and and this year has really challenged me from every angle whether it be physically, emotionally, big life changes, heartbreak and losing friends, there are so many things that I have really experienced on a crazy deep level compared to like previous years of my life.
You gathered a lot of attention from your time on the X Factor in 2018. What did you learn from the show?
So I definitely would like to start off by saying that I don’t regret that experience in any way, I think it’s a bit taboo in the industry, however internally it really pushed me to grow and not underestimate myself. I saw firsthand how the industry worked as well as being able to ask advice from leading performers artists you know in the industry. I saw firsthand how the industry worked as well as being able to ask advice from people I look up to. Having a vocal coach there really changed my whole outlook on the type of music I was making. Her name is Annabel Williams, She's amazing. She really helped me understand that I could do so much more with my voice, I was almost being safe because I was scared of making mistakes and since that experience I really pushed with my sound. You opened up about your transition on the show, which would have been so important for many transgender people watching. How does that make you feel?
The main purpose for me to be open about that, was to show people that there is nothing to be ashamed of and it almost doesn’t make up the whole of me. It is a part of who I am but, it isn’t who I am entirely. The feedback that I received from the community was amazing and I really appreciated all of the love and all of the stories, all of the honesty and everything that was shared with me; I feel very privileged to have gained the trust and support of a lot of strangers and I try to continue to push boundaries and challenge stereotypes and make it a more inclusive space.
You studied music at uni? Why was it important for you to go to uni? How has it benefited your career?
I did study a degree in songwriting at BIMM and for me it was important to be in an environment that encouraged me to develop my sound, develop my understanding of the industry in the business sense, as well as the practical sense. It definitely has and continues to positively impact my career as I find myself going back to certain assignments I handed in, certain conversations I had with lecturers and in some instances I have actually reached out to lecturers and asked for advice in certain situations when did that be a performance or a copyright situation and those are bonds with my peers and with my tutors that I intend to keep in my life forever. What does music mean to you?
That’s a question that I could answer with many cliches, but the immediate thing that comes to mind is have I ever gone a day without making music, or playing music I don’t think so. What qualities are you most proud of in yourself?
I am someone who has gone through and faced a lot of adversity in life, some of it by fault of my own and some of it just because of who I am but one thing that I definitely can stand by is that I’m very resilient and when I get knocked down, I always tend to find my way back. Also, throughout those periods of time I’ve never let those throngs harden me or change who I am as a person. I still am a dreamer, I still very much have my head in the clouds and I still get that feeling in my stomach when I feel something uplifting or I feel someone sharing joy or even sadness and I think being so emotionally open is a quality that I really really am proud of.
What is next for Felix?
For me after a long long break, I have taken a lot of pressure off myself when it comes to getting things right and that is in reference to everything both musically and personally. However, I have spent the last two years writing some of my favourite songs I’ve ever written. The next year or so of my life is going to be spent releasing and playing all of the songs live to people who have been supporting me for the longest time and the people that have and might their hearts and ears to my music over the next year so I’m very much excited.
How would you like the music industry to change for women and gender minorities?
This is such an easy question to answer, however it’s sad that it seems so difficult to achieve and I think if we worked together as a whole industry, I don’t see why it couldn’t work. I personally would love to see more inclusive spaces, more opportunities for people to perform and to express themselves freely and also for more major labels to be taking gender minority and female artists on without hesitation. I would also love to see bigger music brands, maybe streaming companies etc doing more to help balance this out. What advice would you give to gender minorities who want to enter the industry?
Start, as simple as it sounds, it's so easy to think of 100 reasons why not to enter the industry instead of just doing it, and I really think that the pros really do outweigh the cons. I think it’s sad as it sounds, be prepared for the negativity. I definitely would say always be yourself, because it’s you that has to be proud of what you create whether that be a song or a painting. If you love what you’re doing and creating, other people will be drawn in by it and will definitely respond to that in a positive way.
Stream Dirty Habits here: