Ferras is the brand new self-titled EP from American singer-songwriter Ferras Alqaisi, professionally known as Ferras. Originally from Los Angeles, he released his debut album Aliens and Rainbows in 2008, featuring the well-known single Hollywood’s Not America. Since then, Ferras was the first to sign with Katy Perry’s new record label Metamorphosis Music and has penned his first release on the label via iTunes.
The EP contains five songs, including lead single and album opener Speak in Tongues. It kicks off setting an ethereal scene, before Ferras’ vocals appear through the fog. This one is a slow mover to begin with, but quickly gathers its feet and sets off. It’s a mix of electronica, pop and RnB, and is cleverly put together through the use of synthesizers and a whopping drum-beat that brings the climatic end required from the song.
The EP is a mixed bag of sorts. No Good In Goodnight seems to have been created using the rest of the EP’s off cuts, and is an almost underwhelming version of the previous tune. Champagne and King of Sabotage bring us back up to speed however. The former is another ambient number and features a huge chorus using experimental instrumentation. The production is tight, polished and lends itself to this track in particular. King of Sabotage is perhaps the ‘poppiest’ number on the EP. Its features more conventional pop songwriting and uses melodies that sound perhaps a little familiar. You wouldn’t be out of line thinking this could be one of Katy Perry’s own tunes.
The EP closes with the ballad Legends Never Die, which actually features Perry herself in a duet with our main man. It’s not your typical ballad; the use of electric piano is a welcome change, and the layers of vocals take centre stage in an otherwise sparse arrangement. It’s a modern take on what is a fairly recycled song genre and works very well.
And this is what perhaps describes Ferras’ EP the best. The focus on ambience that runs through each track is something we don’t often hear in the world of pop and its refreshing to say the least. The songwriting doesn’t always stick to the age-old pop methods. It’s more complex, stylish if you will. With a friend of Katy Perry’s stature, Ferras will no doubt be in line for a big future in the pop world and this new EP is a good base on which to build and develop his sound.