Winner of Best Female Solo Artist, Australia in the International Music Aid Awards 2006, has seen Farita hit the USA, Broadjam Top 10 Charts including the Pop Top 10, The Production (Other) Top 10, The Female Vocal Top 10 & The California Top 10.
And now Ish managed to catch up with her on her busy schedule to bring you this exclusive interview with her.
How about we start by telling our readers a little about yourself, your background.
Where do I begin? I’m not your typical “I’ve been singing since I was two” singer. I grew up in a traditional Indian, (Zoroastrian) family where it was always studies first! I was in school choirs growing up and played the clarinet in primary school but I never really thought about music as a career. During high school my desire to sing and write grew – it was my form of escape as I wasn’t cool or popular. When I began university, I enrolled in singing lessons as well and from there my interest in music evolved into something more than just a hobby. It was hard at first convincing my parents that I wanted to pursue a singing career. They were, understandably, concerned that I would be influenced by ‘unsavory characters’ but my goal has always been to be a true, strong Indian female artist and nothing less. Once my parents understood how important this was to me things sorted themselves out.
My parents are supportive and encouraging now. I don’t think I could have done this without the love and support of my family and friends. It’s been a long, winding journey but I’m glad to be where I am today and I hope to achieve a lot more in the future.
Every artist is given a blessing to release their feelings, their thoughts through music and that is something really special. Initially I was singing for other writers/producers and I was okay with that but as I became more involved with the music I realised that I had a unique opportunity, here I was an artist with the best of two worlds – my Indian heritage and my western upbringing - an unique combination and a true reflection of the influences that have led me to where I am today, instead of letting that pass me by I thought why not fuse the two and create something new and different. ‘Farita’ as an artist is all about blending the best of east and west. Even the tracks that do not have a blatant Indian feel often have subtle ethnic characteristics to them, whether it’s a percussion instrument, a sound, a riff. As for the listener, the beautiful thing about music is that it is completely open to interpretation. It’s all so completely personal what a song means to each individual.
You recently won ‘Best Female Solo Artist – Australia’ tell us more about this?
Ah yes, the International Music Aid Awards. The Music Aid Awards began in England in 1988 as a way to reach the public through music while creating awareness for worthwhile and needy causes all around the globe. It has featured some of the biggest names in music. We submitted the track, ‘Get Up Now’ (available on her debut EP). I didn’t think too much too much about it…okay, I thought a little about it but I was stunned when I read my name next to Australia for ‘Best Female Solo Artist’! What makes it even more rewarding is that the track was reviewed anonymously by industry peers, writers, musicians, producers etc. It’s wonderful to receive some recognition from others in the industry.
“Karma” is not your typical kind of single. Tell us more about this and why you have chosen this type of style?
You’re right, “Karma” is not your typical ‘what goes around comes around’ track. We tried something different. For me it's a track about taking control of your destiny, being grateful for the blessings you are bestowed in life and being true to yourself and others. At the same time it’s got a great beat to move to! I love Karma – it’s something unlike anything else out there right now. The track was a finalist in the respected Australian WAM Song of the Year Awards in the ‘Urban’ category.
You started playing music as a young child - would you say it took away something from your childhood?
Hahahaha, hardly! I only played the clarinet for two years. I was awarded a scholarship during primary school. In fact I wish I had kept it up and continued playing it, who knows, maybe I will take it up again.
Obviously piracy is a massive problem at the moment; what are your thoughts on the issue taking into consideration that you have recently got into the media?
A big part of the problem is that people are misinformed about how much artists actually earn. The average listener thinks an artist is making ‘all this money’ and so it’s ‘no big deal’ to just download or copy their track without paying for it. The reality is quite different. For every CD sold a percentage will go to the label (if they are signed). You have to pay the producers, the writers, the engineers, for the mastering of the CD, the CD artwork and design, CD pressing – and we aren’t even going into marketing, distribution and promotion here. To have a professional product, none of these things come cheap and these costs are all incurred by the artist. So you have to sell many thousands of CD’s to even recoup your initial costs let alone make a pile of money. From an artist’s personal perspective you invest so much of your time, your creativity and your dedication into each and every project - a part of you goes into every line, every song, every CD. That should to count for something I think. When people don’t pay to enjoy an artist’s music they are saying to the artist we don’t feel you are worth $1 for a download or $15 for an album. Music prices have some way down. A lot of good artists never make it because the public doesn’t support them. An artist can’t survive on ‘I love your stuff’ or ‘I’m a big fan’. If you like an artist - buy their music! It’s that simple.
If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing?
That’s a hard question to answer because my focus is always on my music! Maybe something in fashion, interior design, marketing or maybe something with animals, I’m quite of fond of animals.
What are your plans for 2007?
2007 is turning out to be a very busy year. I was travelling last month and I have several professional engagements I’m committed to, including the 2007 World Youth Zoroastrian Congress which is going to be held in Ballarat, Australia in December of this year. I’ve been asked to write and perform the theme song for the event which I’m looking forward to. Then there is quite of lot of press work to do in terms of interviews/promotion and performing. Most probably I’ll be heading over to the USA to perform later in the year. I will also be working on completing my debut album as well, so yeah – it’s going to be a busy year!
Who do you think has helped the most at your career?
Are you always this thought provoking? Hahaha. Let me see…to be honest with you, the people who have helped me the most were all the naysayer’s, people who told me I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or talented enough to make it or maybe it’s just the stubborn Capricorn in me! Of course my producer who I’ve worked with for a while now, Dean Hopkins he’s really been a big part of all of this too and of course last but not least my family and friends.
What is your current top 5? (Title/artist/label)
All my tracks! Nah, just kidding, gees I am not the kind of person who really has a top 5 as such. I just enjoy a variety of music though I steer more towards Pop/R&B and I like Bollywood tracks and Latin Pop music too. I’m a fan of many artists including, Justin Timberlake, Mario, Beyonce Knowles, Ricky Martin, P. Diddy, Pussycat Dolls, Joe, 112 and there are heaps more, it all just depends on what I feel like listening to.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
I’d like to complete my debut album – but in this industry you can want one thing and get quite another! I would love to tour at some point too.
What is an average day like in your life?
Always lots to do but I don’t want to bore you with the details!
Which places would you like to visit but haven’t yet and why?
I’ve been lucky, I’ve been to California, New Zealand, India & Dubai over the past year and they are all places I really enjoyed visiting. I’d love to visit New York - because I hear the shopping is great! Hahaha. I’d like to visit Hawaii or the Bahamas one day. I’d love to go to Europe and see all the lovely history and architecture. I want to do the Da Vinci tour, because I read the book and just loved it! One day, one day…
Finally, a message to all the fans reading this through SimplyBhangra.com
SimplyBhangra readers, I hope you’ve gotten to know me a little more today and I sincerely hope you enjoy my music. It’s been a very special project for me and I’m excited to be sharing it with all of you! I’d love to hear from you in my guestbook or at Myspace.com. That’s it guys! Mwah!
For more information and to grab your copy of Farita’s debut CD, ‘Karma – The EP’, visit www.farita.com. Don’t forget you can also drop Farita a line in her guestbook!
(And the forums here at SimplyBhangra*)
You can also say hi to Farita at www.myspace.com/artistfarita
*If that was not enough, leave your comments/feedback in the forum post to win an Exclusive Signed Copy of her debut Cd. (Listen to the track Here)