Tarek Musa started Spring King back in 2012 as a solo project which then evolved into a band. Now, Dead Nature looks like an exciting new chapter in his own “circle of life”. We asked him a few questions, and the producer and multi-instrumentalist artist from Liverpool guided us through the four tracks of his ‘Taking My Shadow’, the EP released only a few days ago.
How does it feel to re-start working on your own and channelling all your creativity to write lyrics and then craft new tunes?
“It feels great to be writing again! It will always be a part of me, the desire to write songs, perform all the parts and record/produce/mix them. I love working this way, the process allows me to jump from instrument to instrument quickly, and express exactly what’s in my head in a very direct way. It’s equally great collaborating with people, but Dead Nature is a place where I can go into myself musically and discover new things.”
You released your debut EP—under the moniker of Dead Nature—just a few days ago. Let’s dive into it and start with ‘Fire In Your Soul’, the last single and opening track. Well, what a banger to start with. What hides at the core of this song?
“Thank you very much! ‘Fire In Your Soul’ was written about a friend going through a tough time. There’s only so much you can be there for someone or say the right things, but I still had all these emotions that began to overspill onto the track. The title basically sums up the fact that the energy is in you, it’s there if you want to utilise it, although sometimes it can seem scary or challenging to get back to it.”
Then comes ‘In My Heart’. How difficult is it to leave something in the past, turn the page and start again with new ambitions?
“‘In My Heart’ is about saying enough is enough, realising when you are in a bad place and telling yourself you have to move on. It happens to all of us at varying points, and I’ve definitely felt that way so many times over my life that it felt relevant to write about it. It can be the most difficult thing to do in the world but you’ll never know until you’ve tried to break through that wall.”
Dead Nature is a place where I can go into myself musically and discover new things.
You also refer to Marcus Aurelius in ‘Pride (Wake Them Up)’, and I am intrigued to know what you learned about pride and its deceptiveness through his ‘Meditations’. Do you think these reflections might have an impact on one’s mental health?
“The book has always been an inspiration to me, and I felt that passage struck a chord with how I was feeling. Sometimes people can be so proud that we forget we may also be wrong. I think having pride is very important, but it’s also important to know when it’s your ego going on a ride. For me, learning to question things and trying to see them in new ways, has helped in breaking down situations for what they really are, and this can alleviate many mental pressures we place on ourselves.”
Finally, ‘Rookwood’. The last number sounds to me like the most intimate moment, some sort of confessions to… yourself. And you state “this house is dead nature”, at some point. Would you like to elaborate more on this?
“My upbringing was peppered with interesting moments, and there were times when I felt like my life at home was very still, as if time had stopped. ‘Dead Nature’ itself is a translation of ‘still life’ drawings and paintings, from ‘Nature Morte’. I used to feel that my life had moments of complete stillness, where nothing was moving at all and that’s where this song comes from.”
Sometimes people can be so proud that we forget we may also be wrong. I think having pride is very important, but it’s also important to know when it’s your ego going on a ride.
What’s next for Dead Nature? Will you be touring soon or are you going to split yourself between production and the writing of new material?
“I’m working from my studio daily with other bands, but I have also set time aside to work on more material which will come out later in the year. I love balancing between other people’s music and my own, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do that moving forward too!”