We're really excited to be working with Omar Feliciano, the man behind The Phoenix Within. His musical journey is an inspiring one ... packed with drive, talent and an immeasurable passion for music.
How and when did you get started in music?
Since as far back as I can remember I have always been making some sort of noise, sound, jingle or rhyme but it wasn't until 2001 that a good High School friend of mine took the time to show me what he could on the guitar. After that it's as if someone gave me keys to a brand new car with a full tank of gas. All I did was learn to play more songs & go to shows then play some more and go see more bands.
I was trying to learn as much as I could on the guitar pre-YouTube "learn how to play" days. It wasn't long after that when I found myself writing original stuff and going back on journals and doodle pads I kept for years just digging for words or stories to tell along with what I was writing on my guitar.
How did you come up with the name, The Phoenix Within?
I have always been a cartoon, mythology, comic book sort of guy. So all that definitely had weight on the idea of what to name my project. My last year in college I had a do or die sort of attitude so much was going on. I was working a full-time job, doing research, getting horrific grades, among other things bills were also pilling up and on top of that no musical outlet to release some of that stress.
I had so much material in my head I couldn't concentrate on much.
So I left my cozy apartment in a somewhat descent part of Queens and moved into a real sketchy side of town where I rented a room in a basement of house that had no windows a stand up shower and constant flooding problems.
I quit my full time position and switched my work hours to those of a weekend part-timer, and used my deposit money to pay off most my bills. I moved on to doing everything I had envisioned to do school wise and life wise.
The months that followed after the move and changes I wrote my 2013 self titled album and I felt so grateful and accomplished. While I was living that very frugal lifestyle it allowed me to learn so much about myself.
I couldn't help but envision my self as that mythological bird in that desert enduring all that plus a funeral fire just to rise not reborn but renewed and the whole time that potential was within itself.
What’s the creative process like for you?
Ok so on a daily basis I keep something of a lyric journal/thought pad, i listen to every kind of music possible. I try to give everything at least one shot. If you go through my iPhone you'll hear Bollywood tunes, Spanish music, K-pop, reggae, soca, rap, hip hop, EDM, classical and rock if it sounds good I want to hear it over and over.
But when it's time to seriously write and unload the stuff in my head I usually don't play anything for days/weeks. No music, no TV, no computer, no iPhone apps and no instruments.
I get more sleep until the melodies come creeping out it starts slow like a drop from a leaky faucet then it just gushes out and before I know it I'm writing it all down.
Your single, Sharks, from the EP Natalie Rose, is starting to get some great impressions at retail. We absolutely love the video. Tell us what the song is about and how you came up with the treatment for the video.
When I wrote Sharks I envisioned a couple that had been fighting to get to each other. Answering each other's beck and call enduring, struggling against the odds and what others (I call them sharks) may have to say or do in order to keep them apart but realizing that in each other they will find happiness.
I guess in short you can say it's about hope and love in one another no matter who stands in the way.
The shooting and treatment for the music video was done in Philadelphia by expert videographer & producer by Chris Newhard. He's worked with and for Comedy Central, SIA, Train and American Authors. He's a talented down to earth visionary that just gets me. He is full of good advice and has offered his share of guidance along my trip with this project.
What’s next for The Phoenix Within? Are you recording? Planning on touring?
Funny you would ask! This week Friday I'm hitting the studio to unload a track off my brain and start the recording of our 2016 EP which will be titled Whispers.
Also from April 22nd to May 1st The Phoenix Within will be on tour with my friend Steve Nathan from Don't Believe In Ghosts.
I also recently entered the Vans Warped Tour contest in the hopes that I can obtain a slot and have the honor of performing at this years event.
Shameless Plug: What would you like our readers to know about you?
I feel like I'm been shameless enough throughout the article so I would like to take this opportunity to do one thing which is to thank everyone who's helped me along the way my recording bro's Lawrence Turco on drums, Kenny O'donohue on bass, the super talented producer Dave Dones for always helping me push myself and his unlimited patience and lastly but most important my family and friends from Queens for their never ending support.
See the latest video, "Sharks."