Farah Khalil, a young voice enriching the youth



Thu, 27 Jul 2017 - 12:01 GMT


Thu, 27 Jul 2017 - 12:01 GMT

Farah Khalil performing at Yellow Umbrella -Courtesy of Farah Khalil

Farah Khalil performing at Yellow Umbrella -Courtesy of Farah Khalil

CAIRO - 27 July 2017: Introduced to music through a school choir in middle school, Farah Khalil has a strong passion for using her music for positive impact and development. Her first ever debut was on July 25 at Yellow Umbrella, where she performed some covers as well as a few of her originals giving the audience a taste of what she has up her sleeve.

Khalil’s multidisciplinary interests have thoroughly contributed to her music quest. She combines soft vocals with powerful lyrics to hit her audience right in their soft spot. The 23-year-old teacher, weightlifter and musician spoke to us about her music journey and also shared her hopes and dreams.

How did you find your way to music?

I started singing at the school choir in middle school in Saudi Arabia. I was lucky enough that the place there really nurtured art. I had no idea that I could sing! My teacher was fantastic; she taught us music theory. In 7th grade, I joined the school band and I was playing bass for both a classical band and a jazz band. The theory I learned helped me become good at suiting from bass to guitar. Then I thought it would be really cool to play the guitar and sing at the same time, soon after I started performing in middle school to small audiences. In 2011, I joined a rock band in Egypt and it was a lot of fun. I was their lead singer and we had the same interests in genres. After doing that for a while, I quit the band to focus more on myself and song writing as a solo artist; I did that for about a year and wrote a couple of originals that I posted on SoundCloud. That was the peak of my music “pursuit.” Writing and composing comes naturally to me so I started learning to keyboard too because I wanted to produce. I recorded my produced my originals and posted them on SoundCloud and it’s been on hold ever since.

How do you feel about your first performance?

Yesterday was a big deal for me because last time I was really intact with singing and performing was 2010, 2011, but ever since then nothing at all. So putting myself on stage in front of people and building stamina to perform for more than an hour, it was hard to bring back. And also the confidence, I genuinely forgot that I had talent and lost the awareness that I can be good enough to perform and not just play in my room and post Instagram covers. So yesterday when I saw that people were responding to what I was doing and my originals specifically, it gave me a little bit of the push I needed. I always recognized myself as a performer then song writer then singer. I know that singer is the last thing because I am better at performing and songwriting and you can tell that from my character, social skills and such. Even yesterday I was joking around with the audience as I was performing by making weird faces. So I know how to engage people and perform but I was still very nervous yesterday because it was my first performance. The turnout was great and most of them didn’t know me. This is my debut. They don’t know who I am and they never listened to me before so that’s what surprised me. I was very surprised when 2- 3 people came up to and asked if there was a place where they could listen to my originals like SoundCloud. I am just really happy that I took this step yesterday and I hope I will be performing in other venue and the performance will be bettered.

Farah Khalil performing at Yellow Umbrella - Courtesy of Farah Khalil

What are your plans for your next performances?

I have in my mind mapped out what I want to do for my next shows. My goal for the next shows is that I want to recruit people to play instruments like the “kahoon” or drums but I want my students to do that. I know a couple of my students in school are musicians so I don’t want my friends from the music field to do that for me. I want my students to perform or sing with me because that’s the point, I want the young generations to come up with me if I’m a teacher and I am nurturing others, then I should nurture their music too. I want the students who are still learning who are still struggling so we can grow together. I am a big believer that music and art is all about how you convey emotions and feelings and it's not about skill and techniques. Skill and technique is just how you deliver that.

What do you think of Egypt’s music scene?

I am really proud that there a lot of places that support up and coming artists like yellow umbrella and 3elbet Alwan. There are these underground places that do not have to be a stage but it's just a place for u to perform and especially if your new. You don’t have to be recognized or famous to come perform at these places. They specifically choose people who are up and coming. So I really appreciate that the people who are responsible they want the people to grow and are not looking for people who are already recognized and famous. The music scene needs more support but it's already nice. If you really think about it, the profit for the underground places is not just monetary profit they also focus on social profit. It has been proven that if you focus on social profit you will get financial profit and lately people started picking up on that. And that’s why there is so much support. If I'm able to balance between work the gym and music that would be a dream come true.

What struggles do you experience in order to join the music industry?

My hope is that I can gather enough money to make an album because I have a lot of originals under my wing that no one heard ever and I believe in them and I know they’re good I just need a good producer and good marketing and a lot of money which I don’t know if I can or cannot raise to do this album but my goal is that before I’m 30 years old I want this album to drop. I am not looking to be the next Shakira or the next big thing. I am just looking for someone to relate to my music and enjoy it. Aside from money, my implicit struggle is that my family while they are very supportive people they are very worried about me getting into this (the music industry). They are a very conservative Egyptian family and are very happy with my career in teaching. Anything that deviates from this career path or threatens it, they are freaking out over it. I have that hurdle or challenge to sway their mentality or create a mind shift away from the stereotypical musicians and the stereotypical lives people think musicians have.



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