Ambassador Profile: Artist & Musician Ted Feighan / Monster Rally
Meet Ted Feighan—visual artist, music maker and JuneShine ambassador.
Ted is the mastermind behind Monster Rally, a musical project brought to life through sampled-based tropical jams. When it comes to sounds, Ted creates from his collection of vinyl records, layering his deep love for hip-hop, exotica, tropicalia, and soul.
Ted is a true maker. If he's not repurposing tracks from wax, he's sifting through book stacks, scissors in his hands—crafting stunning, exotic paper collages. Full sensory stoke for ears and eyes alike...
We recently sat down with Ted to rap about the intersection of these majestic mediums and how he applied them to make the art for our new Ice Tea Lemonade.
Ted! Let’s take it back. What came first in your life... Making music or making art?
Music came first, but was quickly followed by visual art. Almost as soon as I started learning to play music, I was making and releasing my own songs and I needed artwork to go along with it. Also, at that time there were a lot of house and garage shows happening and I always liked to make the flyers. We had a legendary show at my Mom’s house freshman year of highschool called “Tedapalooza”. I still meet people in Cleveland who say they remember being at Tedapalooza.
Zooming on this specific ITL visual artwork...Tell us about the inspiration / headspace behind this creation…
I had been drinking JuneShine for about a year before I was asked to make the artwork for ITL and to me, it always has a tropical feel. I tried to imagine what the “farm” where the ingredients for ITL were grown and to me, it looked like what I call the “Lemonade Jungle”.
What was your favorite part about pulling this one together?
Imagining what it would look like on the finished can. I’ve designed a lot of products, but this my first can, which was something I always wanted to do. It was pretty surreal when I first saw them, and even more so seeing everyone posting them on IG. My favorite part is when I’m pouring one and one of my daughters says “that’s Dada’s artwork”.
You made the piece. Beamed it our way. We wrapped the can. Sent a few your way. What was that first sip of Iced Tea Lemonade like? It was awesome! I’m a big Iced Tea Lemonade fan and it’s spot on. I’m proud to have my work on the can.
Being a creative aint always easy——or maybe it is! What do you love most about living in a creative space to make a living? How do you try to overcome any creators’s or maker’s block if / when it arises?
Ha, it can be and it can definitely not be. What I love most is having the freedom to make things. I would be doing it anyway, but having my job depend on it can be scary, but also is very relieving because I don’t have to justify taking time to create.
The only way I usually overcome creator’s block is just by making more and more things. With artwork, I’ll usually just keep cutting and cutting things up until I’m feeling inspired. With music, when I’m struggling, I just keep making songs, even if they aren’t very good. Sometimes you need to make a bunch of whack songs to produce a handful of great ones.
Sampling. You’re sampling vinyl to make your music and you’re sampling sounds to make your art. What is it that you love so much about picking, choosing, paying homage and reapplying / repurposing?
I think it’s the sense of search and discovery. A huge part of the process is digging around for records and books in various locations. So much of it is so coincidental too. For example, I recently moved studios and rearranged my records. I just grabbed one of the first ones I saw afterward and that’s what I ended up sampling for “Submersible”, if I hadn’t moved, or grabbed that particular stack of vinyl to put there I would have ended up with a completely different song. I also love thinking that all of my future records and artwork are just sitting out there somewhere in a different format waiting for me to discover them.
“Submersible” is such a jam. How that track come to be?
I’ve been so inspired by the ocean and ocean life, particularly the deep ocean. It’s truly amazing and a bit of a mind-blower. I wanted to create some music that would reference that, or be suitable to be played alongside some of those visuals, or even in the submersible itself.
Let’s talk extracurriculars. When you’re not making music or pulling together vibrant visuals, what do you like to fill your days with?
My family mostly, I have 3 year old twin girls and they are my world. Exploring the various beautiful outdoor Cleveland spots. And, of course working on Valley Cruise Press.
Last record you listened to you really loved?
I’ve been revisiting the MF DOOM Special Herbs series lately. It was so inspiring to me at the beginning of the Monster Rally project and it’s been refreshing to get back to that.
Let’s put something out into the universe. Musically or visually, anyone you’d be especially excited to collaborate with?
I want to make some Nikes!
What’s your favorite part about being a JuneShine ambassador / affiliated with the brand / crew? JuneShine is always doing interesting stuff and I think that’s inspiring. They’re trying to be the best they can, not just as a beverage company but creatively, visually and everything.
How do you try to weave sustainability into your world? Ie… Is there anything you do to try and lessen your impact on the planet?
Absolutely. For one, all of my artwork and music is made out repurposing pre existing materials. I support brands that are sustainably focused whenever I can. My company, Valley Cruise is moving more and more to sustainable products, by eliminating any plastic in our products and cutting out products that we used to offer that are wasteful. But most importantly, I’m trying to educate my kids about respecting the environment and nature world.
Without giving away any top secret plans, what things are you looking forward to as this world starts to open back up?
Shows. I don’t really play many shows to begin with, but they were always my place to connect with people about the music and I’ve been really missing that. Also, just travel in general. I can’t wait to get back to California.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Stop worrying so much about the future.
For more audio / visual vibrancy, follow @tedfeighan on the 'gram.
Shop the JuneShine x Monster Rally collaborative merch capsule HERE.
ITL x Ted Studio photos by @ThisLovelyLight