Born to Brazilian parents and raised in Paris, singer/songwriter/producer Yndi Ferreira weaves sonic cinematics under the moniker Dream Koala. Without ever receiving a formal music education, Yndi is nonetheless a talented multi-instrumentalist, having taught himself to play guitar, drums, piano, synth, bass and to sing by ear, all beginning at the young age of 14-years-old.
Over the years, Yndi has developed a signature sound for Dream Koala by blending his tranquil guitar melodies and atmospheric lyricism with electronic beats. The result is a poignant production reminiscent of a siren’s song reverberating against an underwater heartbeat. So powerful was his music, emcees as far away as Chicago sampled the young Parisian’s instrumentals, including Mick Jenkins on the song “Healer.” Dream Koala released his latest EP in December 2015, entitled Exodus, a three-song exploration of man’s spiritual relationship with machines and synthetic reality.
MD: Thank you for taking the time to bring us up to speed with you. First and foremost, congrats on hitting 40K likes on Facebook. How has your relationship with your fans grown since you first started making music?
Dream Koala: Today, artists have the tools to build a strong and direct relationship with their fans, so I think it is important to use them. I’m so grateful toward my fans. They send me beautiful messages everyday. I try to answer to their comments and to advise them when they send their work. It is the least I can do because they’re the ones that truly support me and permit me to live from my art.
MD: The response to your latest release has been super positive. I’m certainly digging it a lot. Can you speak on the creative process for this one?
Dream Koala: It is always difficult to describe the creative process because it is almost unconscious and abstract.
The writing of ‘Exodus’ was natural; the first thing that came to my mind was the lyrics: ‘Modern sleep through time and space / Computed dreams into my brain’ from ‘Dimension Sleeper’. I was reading about trans-humanist thinkers, technological progress, the border between man and machine, the natural and the artificial. I don’t identify myself in today’s western societies - in the cult of material and technological progress - I don’t understand my time. Through art I can transform this feeling of unwellness into something positive and beneficial.
MD: Last month you tweeted, “this is an anthem to a new era and an ode to Mother Earth.” How do you want your fans to feel when they hear this record?
Dream Koala: What I call ‘the new era’ is what will come after the present era, after the reign of materialism that is leading us to social and ecological catastrophes. I believe in a new era of spirituality and elevation. Everything I do is toward that new era. This mentality - I celebrate life in all its form and I invite everyone that hears me to celebrate this with me. Art has the ability to live through time and reach your soul. All I want is to use it to spread this universal message.
MD: Your music is a sonic adventure. If I were to limit you to 5 words, how would you describe it?
Dream Koala: Difficult to do simply, but if I had to describe my music in 5 words, I’d say: Honest, deep, cosmic, awakening and human.
MD: I want you to know that I still get goosebumps when I watch the video you put out for Earth this summer. Your songs are very atmospheric and spacey so I love how you bring all of those sounds to life. What was it like putting that concept together?
Dream Koala: Thank you very much! I always work with my friends at Fabulous 3D (Albin Merle and Adrien Peze) on my visuals. They totally understand my universe and know how to translate it visually. For the ‘Earth’ video, I wrote a rough draft scenario with a few basic drawings and they took it to another level by adding their own personality and talent.
MD: Where do you feel your music would sync best to screen?
Dream Koala: Besides music, I’ve always been a cinema enthusiast. When I was a child I wanted to make cartoons, then I wanted to be a director and create an animation studio. Music and films are two fundamentally different art forms but they can be really linked. I’d love to work with directors like Werner Herzog or Terrence Malick because they try to capture nature and life in its purest form. They create movies that talk to your subconscious in an intimate way. But of course, the child in me will always love heroic-fantasy and science fiction blockbusters like Star Trek or The Lord of The Rings. Hopefully, such collaborations will occur this year!
MD: You put out some great music this year for free. What does it mean to be an independent artist in today’s music biz?
Dream Koala: I think that being independent today means freedom. I own my music and I’m free to choose who I want to work with, how I want to promote it, what I want to write, and when I want to release it. It is not the easiest way, but I think that as long as you can do it yourself, then you should do it.
MD: I look forward to seeing your success continue to grow. I’m really excited about the momentum you have moving with you right now. This is going to be a great year!
Dream Koala: Thank you so much for your kind words and your support. I also have a good feeling about 2016. I wish you a great year too.