Farahri is a singer, songwriter and performer, starting to make serious headway in her home country, Canada. Despite her hectic schedule, she kindly agreed to complete an incredibly in depth interview with Essential Pop, telling us about what she’s been doing, her musical influences, what her GPop movement is all about.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?
Essentially I would classify my music as pop, however you will notice that I also mesh different genres and cultural influences in my songs. The genres I cover include: hip hop, r&b, dancehall, reggae, hindi pop, alternative, rock, dance and electro. The cultural influences include: Caribbean, European, Latin, African, Indian and American.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Award-winning, versatile, passionate, singer/songwriter and fashion icon Farahri, is an explosion of international talent not to be missed!
Q: What is your musical background?
I never had any formal musical training, except for a couple of years of piano lessons when I was a kid. I loved singing and performing from a very young age and that led to me singing in community choirs and school choirs mostly. In high school and university, I participated in several coffee houses, variety shows, and talent shows as well which really developed my love for performing. My love for a diverse range of music and cultural influences definitely came from growing up in a multi-cultural city, and being surrounded by multiple ethnicities. I am of east Indian descent, my parents are born in east Africa, I had friends from all over the world and I just ended up loving all different types and styles of music. In my choirs we also learned to sing in several different languages which has led me to being able to sing in: English, French, Hindi, Swahili, Arabic, Spanish and Jamaican Patois. I guess it doesn’t hurt that I also love learning languages :-).
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was absolutely amazing. The year started off with a renewal of my AMA Swiss watch endorsement in January, winning ‘Most Promising Artist’ at the prestigious Anokhi Gala and Awards show and being featured in the Sexy and Successful issue of the Anokhi magazine. Then, in the summer I was invited to perform at the biggest reggae festival in the world hapenning in Montego Bay, Jamaica – Reggae Sumfest. This was such a crazy event! I was featured on International Night 2 alongside Usher, Shaggy, Beanie Man and more extremely talented superstars. It was a surreal experience. Then we came back and shot the video for my latest single – “Favorite Day”! The year ended off with an amazing New Years Eve show in Montreal at Time Supper Club.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
There are so many people its hard to list them all! Mariah Carey, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lata Mangeshkar, Adnan Sami, AR Rahman, Guns n Roses, Dave Matthews Band, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and the list goes on………
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Michael Jackson for the legacy he left us all, and the standards in music we must all strive to achieve for ourselves -- from his top quality hits, to his positive messages, to his unwavering work ethic and undeniable talent. Beyonce is also another artist whom I admire and respect, also for her overall talent and work ethic. Alicia Keys for her soul, Wyclef Jean and Alicia for their humanitarian efforts, Will.I.Am for his creativity and ability to start new music trends, 50 cent for his business skills and Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj for not being afraid to be who they are and bend the fashion rules. And to be honest, I respect and admire all other artists who are just doing their thing. It’s not an easy industry to penetrate or survive in, so anyone who is still hanging in there is someone who has my respect.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I would love to tour and/or collaborate with Usher, Will.I.Am., Wyclef, Nicki Minaj because they are all versatile creative artists like me!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Everything from Guns n Roses, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, classical instrumental tracks, Usher, Lady Gaga, a variety of hindi Bollywood songs and of course Farahri :-).
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
It depends on a couple of things. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a song and just write it, without music and then take it to a producer to create music around it, or search for an instrumental that it fits. Other times, I’ll have an instrumental and write to it depending on how the beat makes me feel and what ideas it gives me. Once the track is written, I usually demo it at home and then take it to the studio. From there, we create it into a masterpiece! I get inspiration from different places too and at very random moments, which is why it’s important for me to have my phone to jot something down quickly or record a melody or idea that pops into my head. Sometimes I like to take a couple of days away from home and go somewhere to focus on writing solely. If I get a chance, I love writing by the water, its so calming and peaceful and I find I’m able to focus fully.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Tough question. In the pop world I think both are equally as important. The lyrics can be great, but if the melody isn’t in the pocket, it might not reach as far as you would want and visa versa. I think it’s important to have a good balance where lyrics and melody compliment each other.
Q: Where are you based?
Right now I’m based in Toronto, Canada.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Toronto is a fantastic city full of life, diversity, multi-culturalism, music, art and great, friendly people. It’s a city where most people are workaholics though but we also party hard! I grew up in Ottawa, which is quite a bit smaller than Toronto and a great place to settle down and have a family. Ottawa offers a lot of the same things as Toronto but on a smaller scale. In Toronto and the GTA (greater Toronto area) you have beaches, amusement parks, farm land, a plethora of cultural buildings, urban areas, suburban areas and so much more. I live being here and living downtown because you never feel alone.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We recently released the Favorite Day, dance/house beat version of the video and song, which we are in the process of promoting. I’m also working on a new single coming out soon called “Shake Your Body”.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
It’s a tie between the award and Reggae Sumfest!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I’m hoping to release a lot more music in 2011 and to continuously refine my music, making it better and better every day. I also hope to reach a broader fan base and keep them interested with great music, fashion, entertainment and my new movement called GPoP – the Global Pursuit of Positivity.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Q: What do you do to relax?
I go for a walk with my toy poodle, Lucky and get some bubble tea. The fresh air is very re-energizing. I also sing to relax, write and workout. It’s important to keep a balance otherwise you burn out really fast and are not as efficient and as productive as you could be.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I’d love to introduce my GPoP Movement to everyone. Here is the bio for GPoP.
GPoP is a thought provoking movement with the sole purpose of promoting positivity throughout the world. Farahri explains that GPoP is a multi-faceted movement that stems from a very basic concept – love for oneself. Farahri believes a lot of the problems in the world stem from the root cause of people not loving themselves, which yields and breeds negativity and destruction. From a young age, just like many others, Farahri struggled with image, self-confidence, her identity, and how to be happy in a world that is consciously and sub-consciously designed to make you feel inadequate. She was constantly plagued by questions as to why concepts such as racism even existed, why diversity was regarded as ‘weird and wrong’ versus being embraced as ‘interesting and unique’, why some people felt more superior than others and why a random group of people got to decide what ‘beautiful’ is. All her life she searched for answers to these questions and it all boiled down to how people felt about themselves and what they believed which dictated how they led their lives. Farahri wants to help solve the problem at the root of its cause and believes that by loving ourselves more, we will naturally proliferate positivity throughout humanity.
GPoP currently has seven major pillars:
- “I love myself, despite my faults and flaws because I am a unique creation with an important purpose in this universe.”
- “The purpose in life is to use your talents and abilities for the betterment of humanity.”
- “EMBRACING versus TOLERATING each other’s differences is the distinction between an open-mind and an open-heart.
- “Blurring the boundaries of artistic expression and amalgamating all types of cultural influences and different artistic styles”
- “Keep a balance between your MIND, BODY and SPIRIT to achieve optimal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.”
- “Cooperation versus Competition” – Fostering a more positive environment around you.
- “The Positivity Bubble” – being accountable for your thoughts, actions and reactions.
Just like Farahri, GPoP also embraces cultural influences from around the globe, including the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. GPoP is a growing vision and forum that many people identify with and appreciate. She hopes people will not be afraid to participate with their views, opinions and questions and above all hopes that the concepts will help.
“The root cause of all the problems in the world is a lack of love for oneself. Self-loathing, often subconscious, is the genetic equivalent to Cancer. It’s a small mutation/defect at first and then proliferates rapidly, creating a malignant tumor that invades adjacent tissue and cannot stop killing, suppressing or destroying everything around it. The worst part is, the faster and vaster it becomes, the harder it is to find the origin and stop it…sound familiar? The solution lies in treating the root cause and only you have control over that. Focus on treating, healing and loving yourself and your spirit first. One person at a time we CAN stop physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually annihilating our own race, the human race.” (Farahri 2010)
Editor’s Note: Farahri has the whole package to be a successful performer and recording artist. We hope to see her in the UK soon.
If you wish to learn more about or contact Farahri, please follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/farahri
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/farahrifarahri
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/farahri
web page link: http://www.farahri.com
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/farahri
Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/farahrivideos (all videos are available here)
Anything else: To contact Farahri, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Management/Booking info: email@example.com or 416-913-3962