Ferera Swan is a recording artist, songwriter, composer, pianist, violinist, and GRAMMY voting member of The Recording Academy.
Today, the Austin, Texas-based cinematic-pop artist is boldly emerging from a transformative time of reclamation with a series of elegantly-produced singles brimming with hard truths.
An adult child of closed adoption and outspoken advocate for adoptees, Ferera has been illuminating issues surrounding family separation with a focus on trauma, grief, shame, secrecy, and ethics. Changing her name to reflect a combination of her biological parents' last names, this empowering decision opened new doors to artistic and vocal freedom while acknowledging her painfully complex birth story.
A broadly resonant journey for those processing an often misunderstood legacy of grief, Ferera's story will inspire anyone who has ever fought to embrace their authentic selves.
One way to think of this new music era is as if Ferera Swan is a new artist 15 years in the making. To date, she has released two albums under previous artist names; written and arranged music for other artists in varying genres, and has worked as a session musician in a variety of contexts. Select career highlights include composing her instrumental piece, “Lighthouse,” for the film documentary Swim For The Reef that was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and recording vocals for various commercial jingles, including a national advertisement for Old Navy. Ferera has also been a featured guest performing live on radio and on television in the Austin, Texas region.
Writing her first song at age 10 after learning that she was adopted, Ferera poured her unanswered questions into music. At that tender age, she had already been playing piano for 7 years and violin for 4 years. Classically trained, she was a young virtuoso, and began writing pieces for piano at age 14. By age 17, she composed her first cinematic score titled, “Serenity.” The piece was premiered by four high school orchestras and piano after winning a district festival composition contest her senior year. Yet, despite the acclaim, Ferera never felt worthy enough to embrace her gifts as a virtuosic musician. Instead, she retreated into songwriting and singing, though her inherent talents would later serve her in writing, composing, orchestrating, arranging, and co-producing for herself and others.
The years of 2013 - 2021 are something of a time gap in Ferera’s artistic continuum. Though she did release a pair of singles in 2019, these years represent a defining time in her personal and professional life. During this period, Ferera began sharing her adoption journey using poignant memes and hashtags like #adopteevoices, her writing shared frequently across social media. It was a deeply healing era for Ferera as she discovered the adoptee community for the first time in her life, emboldened by publicly acknowledging their pain together. “I was discovering my voice, and the newfound freedom began to emerge from my music."
Co-produced with Jacob Hildebrand, “To Say Goodbye” delicately unfolds with sparkly ambience, chiming guitars, and sublime melodies. Here, she addresses the reality for many adoptees: no matter how fulfilling their home lives may be, there is a constant sense of loss and being unwanted by the one who brought you into the world. Adoptee grief is largely misunderstood by those outside of this life experience. “We grieve our mothers, families, our roots. I believe it’s in allowing ourselves to hold grief and gratitude simultaneously—the integration of both—where we can truly discover healing,” Ferera shares. Her lyrics come from a place of courage and self-awareness hard fought from years of navigating ambiguous loss.
"It’s easy to dismiss people’s pain, but it takes a kind of bravery to be curious. 'To Say Goodbye' is an invitation of empathy: May we have the courage to empathize with another’s grief that we may never understand; that in doing so, we may discover deep empathy for our own."
Bridging music and activism for adoptee rights, social change, and collective healing, Ferera has channeled her trauma into a creative and personal rebirth. “Some of our greatest gifts can be found in our deepest pain. Explore what hurts, and find yourself."