Interview: Fyvie

Dec 10 2019

Fyvie is not your ordinary, run of the mill, kind of artist. Real name Howard James Fyvie, this South Africa based artist has released his new album 'Late Nights in Heaven' and is on a mission to entertain whilst letting the world know that God is different to what they think. Read on to find his unique insight into the Gospel.

For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?

Unless you are my mom (or God), the chances are that you haven’t yet heard of me, but hey - no hard feelings. The world is a big place. I’m Howard, my surname is Fyvie, which is what I’m using as my musical alias. By day I produce video and film, which is something I’ve been doing for the last 15 years: from directing a zombie feature film, to making videos with Lil Wayne on YouTube, to animated shows with Cartoon Network - film has been my first love. But by night - a close second is music. Friends know me as someone who has dabbled with music for decades. You can find me on any day humming, singing or writing a cheesy pop song. And I’m not joking there. It’s scary how naturally ‘cringe-worthy pop music’ flows out of me. So I thought, hey, let me try take that a bit more seriously.

Tell us about your new album 'Late Nights in Heaven' and what the inspiration behind it was?

Late Nights in Heaven is the result of God unblocking creative wells in me in the year 2019. We’ve all got wells of Creativity tucked away inside us, but for some reasons or others, they can get blocked with ego, with fear, with pride, with procrastination. For me, it was a sense of self-preservation. I didn’t really think my music was good enough, and so therefore it’s simpler not to produce any. But - through the help of my wife - who told me to just swallow my pride and actually put myself out there - I was able to ‘get over myself’ and sit down in front of my beat-up Toneport KB37 keyboard (which was literally gathering dust from 2009). I started writing songs - but most importantly - I started FINISHING songs. As soon as one was done, another came. 9 months later, I had em done and dusted, and was too impatient to keep waiting, so I released!

Which is your favorite track on the album and why?

At the moment, it’s “I was the one”. It’s a track which tells the story of Creation from the perspective of God himself. Like how excited he was to ‘show us around earth’. I think the idea of showing God’s delight and literal excitement in his creation - in the process of making us - is something that I find speaks to me. You and I, God was excited when he made us. But then the song continues and God’s heart breaks and … give it a listen.

What message would you like people to take from your music?

God is different to what we all think.
For Christians, God is much bigger, much more in control, and much more otherworldly compared to a lot of our doctrines. ie - He can do whatever he wants. He won’t be boxed in. He doesn’t have to explain. He’s God. It’s like trying to explain algebra to an earthworm. Our minds wont ever comprehend.

For those who are yet to Bow the knee, I want them to see that Christ is different too. He’s gracious. He’s worthy. He’s to be feared and to be loved. And he invites them in. Desperately.

How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?

This album is the kind of album you put on when you’re lying in bed, you’ve got half an hour to relax and dream about all kinds of things. You pop on your earphones and you get lost in an atmospheric journey through space and time. It’s meditative. It’s a slow burn. It’s got that nostalgia, that NASA vibe, that gentle-rain effect. There’s also one or two tracks that will wake you up, but for the most part, it’s about calming you down with the Holy Spirit. I didn’t make short songs either. They’re intentionally LONG. Like, some are 7 minutes long. That’s because they’re made for train-rides through the mist.

Inspirations for this album are Coldplay’s Ghost Stories haunting melodies, John Mayer’s Room for Squares’ musical phrases, CS Lewis’ brain, Owl City’s atmosphere, Ravi Zacharias’ answers on culture, Joel Houston’s grand stories in his songs, and Kung Fury’s synth.

If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?

King David. I’d be like, “Dude, were you bipolar? Yes or no”

How would you define success in your career as an artist?

The ability to not let people’s opinions on what I create effect who God says I am.

What is your favorite album of all time?

Queen: Greatest Hits I, II & III.

You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?

Special Star by Mango groove. No matter how sad you are, you put that thing on, and in 5 minutes, you’re on some table dancing your heart out with a stranger.

What does the next year hold for you?

I’d be amped to try a Musical Comedy-Standup special. Kinda like Bo Burnham’s Make Happy. But something that connects the audience to Jesus and laughter and music, without them even knowing it, and then at the end, they’re like, “Oh… Ok… I see what he did there. What must I do to be saved?”
I sometimes think of myself like an evangelist, but instead of with a pulpit, I’ve got a microphone and a stage.

And maybe a couple of bodyguards.

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