Faouzia opens up about the secrets behind her art & music.
From writing her first song at just 6 years old to inspiring a global audience of listeners, it’s no question that music is a driving force in Faouzia‘s life. Inspired by the language and sound of her Moroccan heritage and the pop sounds that surrounded her Canadian upbringing, songwriter and vocalist Faouzia brings new meaning and new light into what it means to use your voice.
The 20-year-old artist has the kind of voice that draws people in to listen and makes them want to stay until the end. Her latest single, “Minefields,” which she collaborated on with John Legend, showcased her talent for blending the energizing power of piano ballads with the excitement of pop melody and lyricism. Filmed at dusk and surrounded by water, open fields, and hypnotizing skies, the song’s show-stopping music video elegantly mimics Faouzia’s vocal message — one that wrestles with the idea that love is always worth the risk.
In between writing new songs and a video shoot, Faouzia spoke with EUPHORIA. to discuss her secrets behind singing and songwriting, the music that inspires her, and what it was really like working with John Legend on the set of their brand new music video for “Minefields.”
How did you get involved in singing and performing? What motivates you to pursue it as your career? Have you always had the idea that music is your calling?
I have always had a love for music ever since I could remember. I grew up playing the piano, guitar, and violin and would sing 24/7. It was always my dream to do music but I never had the intention of fully pursuing it until that’s what I found myself doing. One thing led to another and I found myself doing what I love as my career.
What is your earliest musical memory?
One of my earliest musical memories was writing my first song when I was 6 years old. My mom still has the paper I wrote it on. The song was about embracing yourself, no matter your differences.
How did writing “Minefields” come about?
The song was sent to me as a demo and I absolutely fell in love with it. After making it my own, it was originally supposed to be a track with just me on it. We got to talking about who would fit as a duet and John Legend’s name came up. It seemed so out of reach at the time, but the next week we got the song back with his voice on it and everyone fell in love with the song even more.
What was it like working with John Legend on the song?
John is extremely talented and kind. Working with him has been a pleasure and an honor. When we got his vocals back, they were perfect! Everything seemed to fall into place so easily.
What is the visual message you wanted to tell through the “Minefields” music video?
I wanted to show the hurdles that one overcomes to be close to the ones they love in this video. Showing the journey that it takes to escape that isolation.
You’re fluent in several languages! You’ve even released songs in Arabic. As someone who is so proud of her heritage, is it important to you to be able to sing in different languages?
It is very important to be able to sing in different languages because I love tapping into different parts of my upbringing/roots. I grew up listening to French, Arabic, and English music, so they all shaped me in some way. When singing in French, I usually sing ballads. I think it’s because the language is so sweet and sounds very emotional. Arabic feels very powerful to me so I’m drawn to singing about more powerful topics.
A lot of your previous music comes through in powerful piano ballads, but you also have a talent for blending that classic piano sound with the best of today’s pop elements. Is there a reason you blend the two?
I have a love for pop music in general but also a soft spot for pop ballads. I would say my sound varies depending on whether I’m singing pop ballads or just pop music in general. There is always a touch of Middle Eastern vibes because of the trills I do and the way that I sing.
Who are a few artists that inspire you or that we might hear influenced in future Faouzia music?
Artists that inspired me growing up are Sia, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, and Rihanna.
As a songwriter, where do you turn to when you’re in search of inspiration?
If I’m not pulling inspiration from my personal experiences, I get inspiration from those around me or from concepts that I find very interesting.
Since releasing one of your first singles, for example, “My Heart’s Grave,” your music has evolved and changed. Your audience has grown, as well, as your music has gained more and more attention on apps like TikTok. How would you say you’ve changed as an artist since 2017 to now.
I think I have grown so much as not only an artist but a songwriter as well. I grew up writing music alone at home and now I’ve been able to expand and meet other artists/songwriters and collaborate with them too. Being able to pull inspiration from others and learn new skills has helped me mature as an artist.
Can you tell us what we can expect from your upcoming music or what your plans for the near future look like?
I would say to expect the unexpected! Every track has a world of its own.
You have fans who adore you and your music all over the world! If you could tell them anything about following their dreams, what would it be?
I would tell them that it takes a lot of hard work but if it’s what they love, then it’s worth it. Nothing in life is going to be easy so you might as well dedicate it to doing something you love and are passionate about.