‘MY WOUNDED HEART’: Award-Winning Artist The Woolfman Unpacks The Mesmeric New Single

We caught up with the Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and visual artist The Woolfman about his captivating new single ‘MY WOUNDED HEART’, the story behind it, and what’s next…

Hi, congratulations on the release of ‘MY WOUNDED HEART’! Marking the beginning of a new musical project, can you give us an insight into what to expect?

I believe it all starts with the song. A song can stand up to many different treatments, each shows a different aspect of the story and triggers a different part of the emotional universe. This song – My Wounded Heart contains many emotional colours. Thus I created:

The DEEP MIX – which has made a big impression at specialist club level with continuing club and radio plays worldwide. It is heavy, sparse and vocal-light. This is sparse, angry “oh no no” _ I can’t believe this has happened.

The CLUB MIX got to #10 in the Music Week Pop charts – a very different approach. The whole song is explored in both English and Spanish versions with a different feel and a different beat. This tells the story assertively with some feeling riding on the musical arrangement.

THE PIANO MIXES in English and Spanish – These were recorded spontaneously at the end of the main vocal session. One take and no rehearsal with no plan to release them. Yet these for me are the song in its own truth – undistilled. Here I find the feelings in large waves. For that very reason I decided to use minimum production and let the song stand and breathe on its own. It speaks, in its own space and leaves room for the listener to respond without being directed how to feel.

‘MY WOUNDED HEART’ is inspired by the Spanish classic ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas’. How did this idea originate?

Following a recent breakup, having suffered a lot of pain (2019) I did a gig. The support act was a woman singing Quizas Quizas Quizas. Her performance of one of my favourite songs left an impression. That night I woke at 3am and wrote the original lyrics to MWH in Spanish, as they emerged they connected to an existing tune I had written and performed as a piano piece.

In your own words, what is the meaning behind ‘MY WOUNDED HEART?’

Love is a universal human experience, yet we each know it in our own way based on the quality of our relationships and our history. This song is about “my kind of love” – the way I have experienced it. I did not realise this till I wrote the English version and came up with the title. The song is saying that when you have loved someone, even if you part, even if they die, the relationship never really ends. It leaves an imprint in your body and your soul (another great song!). I believe this to be true for every relationship in life, to some degree we carry an imprint throughout our lifetime. In Spanish the song is specific about not missing the pain of love.

Mi corazon esta perdido – my heart is lost Que no te quiero, nunca mas – because I no longer love you Hoy en dia, soy soltero – nowadays I am alone En la sombra de mis recuerdos – in the shadow of my memories

Y te digo, que te quiero – I still love you No te amo, nunca mas – I don’t love you (in my soul) Cuando pienso en ti, llorando – when I think of you crying

Grimas perdidas, nunca mas – no more lost tears Sin dolor, sin amor – without pain, without love En la sombra de mis recuerdos – in the shadow of my memories

La alma mia, esta tranquila – my soul is calm Pero te quiero todavia – but I still love you

Cada dia , hay tristeza – sadness every day En la sombra de mis recuerdos – in the shadow of my memories

Can you talk us through the creative process behind the single?

It all started some years ago with a tune which I played and performed in a “jazz” form as a piano solo. That night when I heard QQQ, I went to sleep – at 3am the MWH lyrics came to me in Spanish based on the existing (nameless) jazz tune and suddenly there was a complete song. Almost as if space in the universe had opened up and sent it to me. I performed it the next night with that same singer.

I sat on the song for some months. When I made the decision to record and release it I decided I wanted an English version. Spanish is an emotional language which does not necessarily translate well into English and literal translation can sound grandiose. Curiously – for this interview I typed out the literal translation of the Spanish for the first time.

At the time however, my thinking was different and I decided to write lyrics that stood up in English and conveyed a similar message. I came up with “My Wounded Heart” and decided the title would work for the Spanish and English versions

For me an exploration through the English lyrics became an extension of the theme, a further development of the idea and the realisation that however wounded we are, love leaves a permanent imprint – “my kind of love can never die”. This is an expression of my survival and my choice to always love in my own way”.

The word love can mean many things to many people at different stages of our lives and for me my expressions of love are well encapsulated in these two versions.

During the recording process, did you encounter any creative breakthroughs or challenges? How did you overcome these?

The biggest breakthrough came at the end of the vocal session, FC was about to leave and I suggested we quickly knock out piano versions for reference, for the future. Completely unrehearsed, we had never performed together live before we literally “knocked them out” in ten minutes.

Listening back over the next few days I realised that these – incredibly – were like treasure – the essence of the song both in the vocal performance and in my piano performance. You cannot put a click to these, I just followed her timings throughout. This is what gives the recordings a special quality. I also created two very different piano versions for the English and Spanish takes. We only did each once!

The biggest challenge was the creaks of the piano pedal and this took much longer to sort out post- recording than the actual performances. I took a lot of advice and in the end we had to do it “by hand” looking at the wave forms – ducking and diving and snipping.

The other creative breakthrough was my decision to sing on the Spanish version. This came about because FC missed a couple of lines and we had a deadline. As so often in the studio a problem becomes a creative opportunity. The juxtaposition of the voices represents a dialogue between the two who are now estranged.

To someone who’s never listened to you before, how would you describe your sound?

I would always say listen to the song, it comes from the heart. It is the sound of my own truth and humanity. The different versions offer different aspects. Each speaks in a slightly different way and to a different person. Each offers a different musical texture.

In 2021, you were awarded Best Song at Cannes Film Festival for your single ‘Make America Love Again.’ How has this experience shaped your career and do you hope to write for film in the future?

I find many music soundtracks can be repetitive and I believe that a good film merits a truly original soundtrack. That being said I believe that music is often overused in film, dictating emotion rather than leaving a space for the audience to fill with their own emotions and experiences.

I have one song waiting for a film – “Is This What England Is? – it is very much for this period in our history – especially since 2016 – and I hope to find the best opportunity for it.

Lastly, can you give us a glimpse into what’s next for The Woolfman?

The next release is almost complete “We Wish You”. There will be a package of mixes, feedback about the main track is “Talking Heads meets Primal Scream meets 90’s Garage” and “Psychedelic Furs meets Stereo MC’s”. I am happy with that feedback especially as I am the vocalist! The Spanish version of MWH has had incredible success in the Spanish-speaking world and I am working on a non-literal translation for a Spanish version of We Wish You.

My Wounded Heart - Original Live Piano - Spanish version

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