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With her spellbinding voice, fierce intelligence, and larger-than-life talent, 21-year-old singer/songwriter Faouzia has an extraordinary charisma that’s equally matched by her ingenuity. Born in Morocco but raised in Canada, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist started crafting her own songs at the age of six, and soon dreamed up a hypnotic brand of pop informed by powerhouse divas like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga along with the Middle Eastern chanteuses she listened to throughout her childhood. On the heels of her 2020 single “Minefields,” with global superstar John Legend, Faouzia is now set to deliver her most magnetic work to date, realizing her vision with more boldness and self-assurance than ever before.A brilliant introduction to her newly elevated sound, Faouzia’s high-energy single “Hero” brings bright textures and kinetic rhythms to an urgent message of self-reliance. “I wanted to write a song that’s almost the opposite of my song ‘Tears of Gold,’ which is about a one-sided love that leaves you feeling drained and empty,” she says, referring to her luminous 2019 anthem. “‘Hero’ is about refusing to accept that kind of love, in relationships or even in friendships, and wanting to build something that’s healthy and strong and beautiful.” In a testament to Faouzia’s tremendous creativity, “Hero” came to life late at night in the midst of studying for her final exams last December. “I took a break and came up with the first few lines, and pretty soon I had the hook,” says Faouzia, a computer-engineering major at the University of Manitoba. By the end of the night, she’d completed a rough version of “Hero” in her basement studio, and later worked with producer Alex Koste to shape the shimmering sonic atmosphere surrounding her fearlessly honest lyrics. The official “Hero” video, directed by Ariel Michelle, reveals Faouzia’s strong and independent nature. Battling adversity at every level, Faouzia proves she doesn’t need anyone to save her and that she will always come out on top.
Not long after landing a deal with Atlantic Records, Faouzia released a string of impressive collaborations including “I Dare You” with global superstar Kelly Clarkson, “I Fly” with chart-topping DJ duo Galantis and “Money” alongside French rapper Ninho. Faouzia made her major-label debut with the 2020 EP Stripped, a six-track project comprised of beautifully stark renditions of “Tears of Gold” and singles like “Born Without a Heart.” Just a few months later, she returned with “Minefields,” a soulful and stunning ballad featuring Charlie Puth on piano. “John Legend’s name came up right away when we were brainstorming who might be the male vocalist on that song, but I figured he was way out of reach,” Faouzia says. “We sent the song over and a week later John sent it back with his vocals on it, and it sounded so amazing—like it was always meant to be that way.”