Half-Emirati singer talks life, music and love of food

If there is anything Abu Dhabi-based pop-songstress Fafa would want her listeners and followers to take away from her music,

is to create more self-love and awareness because according to the songwriter and mental health advocate, once a person truly loves oneself, then and only then can one open up to "deeper love with others."

How are you? How are you keeping up?

I'm doing pretty great thank you! I'm trying to keep busy doing things I love and making sure I stay active to have a healthy soul and body (smiles).

Please tell us a little something about yourself. Something Google doesn't know?

I don't know if I have made it known but I used to suffer from hypothyroidism and PCOS and it had a huge impact on my self-esteem and I also used to get sick frequently until going vegan.

How has your musical journey been so far?

I am so grateful for all the support and love I have in my life and I love that I can create music and share it with other people who also relate to it. Without support, I wouldn't have a journey to be on. When did you realize you can sing? I always loved singing, ever since I was a little kid. I would always sing along to Disney classics and pretend that I was a Disney princess. Not going to lie. I still do.

We noticed you're into cooking is that correct?

I LOVE FOOD SO MUCH, sometimes my experiments don't go as planned but sometimes it's beautiful.

I love food so much!

Outside of the music space, who are your inspirations?

I get inspired by my loved ones and the people I surround myself with. I am amazed by how strong and inherently beautiful these people are and I will forever be grateful to them.

You have an eclectic sense of fashion. Tell us about that.

I wear what I feel comfortable in. I used to get told that my fashion sense was very weird and not stylish at all, but the way I see it. I'm wearing the clothes so who cares!


The process of my first release is somewhat of a funny story. When I decided to finally take my music seriously, I was unemployed and the only thing I had to my name was a bachelor's degree but no one would hire me. At this point, it had been a year and a half. So I had asked my friend Rob to come over so we can finally work on some music. We had been telling ourselves we would do this for about 6 years at this point. A few years ago I sent Rob a thirty-second vocal stem of me singing the bridge of 'Runnin'' but the words were

"I am through with this, Im losing my mind. Thank you for all your lies, Im losing my mind",

I didn't feel that those lyrics were the vibe anymore so I changed it. So he opens this file 4 hours into us trying to create something from scratch. As soon as he played the track I started singing "Cant stop me from runnin'" I didn't think much of it because I was just singing what I was feeling at the time. Rob immediately stopped the track and just said "record" and that's how Runnin' was born. I couldn't have done this song without Rob, Mango Jam Studios (I had won a competition so Rob and I went to lay down the vocals with a sound engineer as the prize), and of course Andy Brookes and the Barcoe Studio.

If you met your music idol. What would you tell him/her?

Just that I don't know where I would be now if it wasn't for their music.

Is your mood influenced by what you wear? Or the other way around?

My mood does get influenced by what I wear so I always wear things that make me feel good.

Fafa's album cover

What would you advise aspiring artists: Those who are finding the strength to put out music?

My advice is to perform as much as you can at as many places as you can. Experience is key to becoming a well-rounded artist. Your music can be great to listen to but if you can't connect to your audience live, then it becomes a very unbalanced experience. Also, don't be afraid to mess up! No performance will go 100% your way 100% of the time and you have to be okay with that. The fun thing about doing what you love is that you are constantly learning, and if you think you've learned everything, think again ;)

Perform as much as you can at as many places as you can

Having been in the industry since she was 15, Fafa only started releasing music at age 22. She is no stranger to rejections and criticisms for her style, appearance, and singing but looks on the bright side. "I am honestly grateful for all the experiences because I wouldn't be the musician I am today without all that."

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HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring Emirati artists. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category on The musivv Awards (TMAs) annual recognition.

November 16, 2021

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