On the Record: Italian indie-pop sensation Damien McFly discusses his latest single, inspiration & career highlights.

Damien McFly is the Padova artist who borrows from earlier eras and modern sounds to create his own unique style, using their contrasts to his advantage and producing songs that emulate his flawless flair. Today, Damien sits down with Unrecorded to talk everything from his mystical new single ‘Underneath My Skin’ to musical inspirations and career highlights.

Hey, Damien, thanks for chatting with us, tell us, how’re you feeling at this very moment?

I’m pretty good, I’ve finally reached some kind of stability emotionally and physically. Things in Italy are slowly going back to normal (or at least that’s what I’m trying to think) and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For those who may not know you, tell us a bit about Damien McFly and his sound.

Damien is an artist in constant evolution and constant research when it comes to choosing a sound. If you asked me this question 3 years ago I’d have said that I was an indie folk artist but at the moment I think the most simple definition of my sound would be “indie pop”. I like catchy melodies in the chorus but I love to have a more dark and indie vibe in the verses. I like mixing acoustic and electronic elements, big percussion and 808 sounds. I also play a bit of piano, guitar and drums so I always try not to focus too much just on one instrument.

Who or what has inspired you recently?

I fell in love with an artist named SYML in 2020 and the way he writes amazing melodies with a very nostalgic and melancholic vibe is just amazing. I’m trying to listen to a lot of modern music, from hip hop to EDM and indie rock and I think my mind is just mixing all these elements constantly.

Being in a lockdown has definitely been an important part of last year and I took some time to gather all the memories I had from the tours and all the people I’ve met in the last 7 years. Sometimes you need a picture or a video to remember the feelings of a particular moment and having a lot of free time ended up being good for this purpose.

‘Underneath My Skin’ has some very personal lyrics in it, do you find it easy to bare your soul in your music?

It doesn’t happen every day but yes, it’s a process that I need to have from time to time. I need to go deep inside myself and analyze my feelings, my fears and mistakes. Underneath my skin have very simple and direct lyrics. It’s a pure declaration of what was going on in my mind at the time, straight forward with nothing to hide.

Damien McFly

The track has some really unique instrumentation and production, what was the inspiration behind that?

The song was originally very acoustic, it was meant to be sung at the end of each show with the crowd singing ‘Underneath My Skin’ with me. It’s some kind of Mantra that I wanted people to remember after my shows. I love having different versions of each song so when I was pre-producing the song with my friend Luca Lago we really took it to a more ethereal and electronic world so what people will hear in a live show would be completely different from the record.This year my producer Alex Marton added that amazing drop giving the song a more dreamy vibe that it was missing in the previous versions.

What was a particular highlight of creating this track?

In October 2018 me and Luca rented a house close to Lake Garda to get some inspiration and finish some songs. I remember singing the song while he was processing my vocals in real time with a reverb pedal. I was not sure about it at first but the more we were jamming on the song the more I felt like I was getting rid of my old sound and moving towards a new dimension as an artist.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of music?

I really enjoy photography and film-making, I help other people creating video clips cause I love to imagine movie scenes in my head. I’m a nature lover and spending time in the mountains or going for a nice bike ride with my friends, I know it might sound lame but It’s something I stopped doing because of all the travelling and touring but I’m really enjoying it at the moment, it helps clearing my mind and my spirit.

Lastly, What can fans look forward to from you next?

They can definitely expect a lot of new music of course. I’m preparing a new live show with new musicians and with a whole different sound. I need changings from time to time and I’m really excited about the ones that are coming this year. I’d talk about tours as well but I just keep my fingers crossed hoping that live music will come back stronger than ever.

Listen to Damien McFly – Underneath My Skin


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