The Folklore Friends Promo: Priscilla Hernandez

Welcome to our fourth feature of The Folklore Friends Promo: spreading the word about lovely projects from other members of the Folklore community from Twitter and elsewhere! This week, we would like to introduce you to Priscilla Hernández: a singer, songwriter and fantasy illustrator who weaves folklore, magic and fairy tales into her craft!

Photo of Priscilla dressed as a dryad or forest fairy, with ferns and moss weaved into a crown on her head.
Photo credit: Priscilla Hernández.

Priscilla Hernández is not your average musician. Originally from La Palma (in the Canary Islands), she is currently based in northern Spain where she can often be found communing with nature or looking after her tamed pet chickens. Passionate about fantasy and whimsy from a tender age, Priscilla’s life and career path were marked by two defining moments early in her childhood: receiving her first book of fairy tales at two years old, and a toy piano at four. With these simple gifts, her multi-talented creativity was allowed to bloom. Being very shy as a child, she felt the need to hide these gifts for some time, living in an imaginary world filled with stories, visuals and music — but eventually, the music took over.

Using creativity and nature as a sort of self-therapy, Priscilla also revealed to us that many of her songs and illustrations have been inspired by a long battle with insomnia and sleep paralysis hallucinations, personified in songs such as Nightmare, Facing the Dream, Ancient Shadow or The Underliving. A careful listener may indeed perceive the particular sense of fear in some of her creations, as Priscilla often blurs the boundaries between sleep and awareness, to learn how to ‘befriend’ her nightmares and make amends with her conditions.

Other recurrent themes in Priscilla’s art and music include nature, fairies — as well as ghosts. As beings who are often perceived as lost, Priscilla tells us that singing about haunted houses allows her to express strong emotions such as sorrow and longing, but also the desolation and abandonment that comes from feeling you have been forgotten by the world. Weaving such a broad spectrum of feelings into her art — from joy to sadness and sometimes, even anger — it is no wonder then that listening to Priscilla’s music allows one to travel through the full range of human experience, with all its added oddities and peculiarities.

Wishing to celebrate this myriad of experiences was what led Priscilla to release her first album titled Ancient Shadows in 2006 — thus sparking a string of notable achievements such as: winning Best Independent New Age Album at the IMAs, being featured in over 200 international magazines (like Faerie Magazine), collaborating with artists from all over the world (for instance, the Greek group Daemonia Nymphe), and even meeting her favourite illustrator, Brian Froud, at a Faerieworlds Festival! But don’t think that this has made Priscilla calmly rest on her laurels, as the singer-songwriter continues to work hard on her craft, seen by her capability to play up to 15 different instruments, like the piano and tin whistle — which she did, in her second album in 2011, The Underliving.

Having been compared to vocalists such as Enya and Tori Amos, Priscilla is also keen on reinterpreting songs from renowned artists, like this amazing cover from Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, released on YouTube following Bush’s renewed popularity through the Netflix show Stranger Things in 2022.

Regarding superstition, Priscilla told us that she is not all that superstitious, but she loves the folklore and origins of human beliefs and rituals. For instance, the symbol of her record label called Yidneth (a graphic novel she wrote and illustrated in her teens) has admittedly been inspired by mythic depictions of a nature goddess, with arms outstretched as if reaching from the deep earth. Additionally, Priscilla has also been known to leave a few ‘Easter Eggs’ in her videos such as easy-to-miss images of her late pet ratties, which she affectionately called fufunchis — which to us, may work as a sort of good-luck charm in case you can spot them all, right?

Photo of Priscilla with arms outstretched, emerging from the woods amidst a glorious sunset.
Photo credit: Priscilla Hernández.

“Our hopes and fears have a common root that has been shaped a million times into different tales,
but there is always some ‘truth’ to stories. They can teach a child a warning, or that kindness will be rewarded. And even if the world is more difficult than that, and they say ‘life is no fairytale’ — in many ways, I think it is.”

– Priscilla Hernández

As for what the future’s got in store… Although many of her recent tunes have been individual pieces released on digital platforms — like the original song Om Vrish Elle and the nordic lullaby adaptation Nuku Nuku Nurmilintu — Priscilla promises to be focused on the creation of a longer project titled Fear No More, where she hopes to continue exploring her relationship to dreams and nightmares.

If you would like to keep up-to-date on the development of this exciting new album, check out Priscilla Hernández’s website here, or follow her on one of your favourite social media platforms — which we have linked in the buttons below.

On behalf of Priscilla Hernández, thank you for reading!