October 4, 2022
Words by: Arthur Cross
As a project you have been playing solo for numerous years live however only now have you, with ‘Marigold’, released your first single. Why does it finally feel like the right time for you to put music out?
My name an artist is Holysseus Fly and I have been going by that name for a few years now, yes! I have been wanting to put out music as a solo artist forever but I have lacked confidence and not been sure of my identity as a solo artist until recently. Now is the perfect time as I have been developing this new EP for the past 18 months and it’s ready, I know what I want to say and I know how I want to say it.
You’ve mentioned that a large part of this song is about your battle with PTSD following your journey recovering from cancer and its effects on your creative forces. Could you tell us some more about how they interrelate and what part of this story you are looking to tell in this track?
Marigold flowers are for my family and I, a symbol of hope. I used them to write the song in March 2021 when I was struggling with PTSD following cancer scans I was having. Marigold describes how my relationship with my creativity and my cancer journey are so entwined, I was fearful of calls from the hospital and that I had lost my creativity. Marigold is about how I needed to realise the truth that I was alive and well – and if I picked up the phone and leant my ear to my creativity – I would realise that it was alive and well too. It had never left, it was just asleep.
Outside of Holysseus Fly you are also a key member of Ismael Ensemble. Why was it important for you to have a musical expression and output outside of this group in the form of this solo project?
Being a solo artist alongside Ishmael Ensemble is an important part of my musical development. There is a flow of creativity with the Ishmael-ers and my solo work, one energising the other. It just works for me.
The dragon become a potent symbol for you in this journey too, now you have explored another, the Marigold. What is the significance of this flower and why do you think humans are so drawn to choosing symbols to help them in life?
I truly believe that without vision we perish and that is even more important when we have huge battles to face.
‘Marigold’ marks the placement of the first stepping stone in a larger release of an EP coming next year. With the aim of not giving away too much, if you were going to describe the larger EP as a walk through changing climates and environments, what would they look and feel like and where do you end up?
It is a journey of hope. Facing adversity, battle and the toll it takes to overcome. You begin as a seedling planted in the soil, then you get thrust into the ocean with currents and opposing tides. You land into a final overcoming and realisation of your own power and a higher universal power.
Finally, where can we catch you playing live next and how do you imagine the live instrumentation working and developing over the coming year or so?
I have just sold out my first solo headline show in London on the 6th Oct at Servant Jazz Quarters! I’m so excited! There are currently still tickets left for my Bristol show 11th October at Crofters Rights, HANAH an amazing Saffron Record’s signing is opening. You gotta come and get a ticket because they may sell out! Don’t sleep on this!
Tickets for Holyssesus Fly’s debut headline show at Crofter’s Rights are here.
Her exclusive Factory Studios Spotify playlist is available to listen to here.