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by Kitty Robson

Meet the Moroccan-Canadian singer on her way to superstardom...

At just 21-years-old, Faouzia has ticked off some serious bucket list items. Making a hit song with John Legend and Charlie Puth, performing at the CHANEL Cruise show, speaking three languages, selling out the Roxy in LA, signing a deal with Atlantic Records, and all the while studying for a degree in Engineering at the University of Manitoba – she’s a polymathic Gen-Z queen and she’s not going to be slowing down anytime soon.

Born in Casablanca in 2000, Faouzia moved to Canada as a child but brought Morocco with her in every way. Writing her first song at the age of 6 (in French nonetheless), she started taking piano, violin, and guitar lessons until she was making her own music from her bedroom in Winnepeg. Fast forward to 2022, and Faouzia’s collaborative single ‘Minefields’ with John Legend garnered over 60 million views on YouTube since it debuted last year, and her latest solo track ‘Puppet’ has teased a darker, yet still playful, side to the boundary-breaking star. We caught up with Faouzia to hear all about her journey so far, and to find out where it’s taking her to next…

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with music?

I can’t remember the exact moment I fell in love with music. It seems like it’s been my entire life and it probably has been. Ever since I started having permanent memories, music has been a part of them so I assume that I was in love with it before then as well.

How do your Moroccan roots inspire what you create?

My Moroccan roots play a role in the way I sing and how I view music. Since I grew up listening to so many genres of music, it’s inspired me to want to sing and write music of all different genres and to keep exploring different worlds.

What was your upbringing in Canada like, were you surrounded by music and culture growing up?

I got to experience two different cultures growing up in Canada. Whenever I was at home, I experienced Moroccan culture to the max. I spoke Arabic and French at home, at Moroccan food, and wore traditional Moroccan attire. I was surrounded by Canadian culture at school and got to experience a bit of that as well.

Who or what have been the greatest influences on your sound?

I grew up listening to too many artists to count, but it’s a wide range of artists from French, Arabic, and Western Pop artists.

How do you feel your sound has evolved since you started out making music?

I’m not afraid to take more risks and explore with what I’m doing. I like to try and think outside the box more and have more fun with what I do.

Tell me about making ‘Minefields’ with John Legend, what was that collaborative process like?

I recorded Minefields almost 2 years ago and once the song was done, we sent it to John and asked if he wanted to be on the track. Once he heard the song, he really loved it and sent back his vocals a week later. It was truly magical hearing his voice on the song for the first time and almost unbelievable. It took a while for it to sink in and for me to process the fact that someone I grew up listening to was part of a project I was really excited about.

I love your latest track ‘Puppet’, it’s empowering and playful at the same time – what does the song mean to you?

The song is a reminder to myself and to anyone who needs it to never dim their light for anyone or anything in this world. I’ve had many people try to shape me into something I’m not or try to bring me down or try to make me feel ashamed for who I am and it’s only made me fight harder to stay true to myself.

What are the five albums you feel have shaped you?

Fire Within – Birdy
Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Racine Carée – Stromae
Good Girl Gone Bad – Rihanna

What’s next for you?

I want to focus on not only creating music I love, but creating visuals and world around it that I can look back on and be proud of. So hopefully this year, I will be doing just that.

Sophie Andreassen at Thompson Hollywood
Vincent Smith
Paul Blanch
John Lunsford
photography assistance
Robin Sessions
styling assistance
NZinga Watts-Harper and Devontae Goodwin
Tyler James
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