Faber is a feisty 22-year-old singer-songwriter from South London whose debut EP I AM… is packed with empowered anthems to inspire women to walk a little taller. She spoke to iSing’s Kimberley Cartlidge about making an EP as an independent artist.
iSing: The intro on the EP is a bold statement piece. Can you tell me about that?
Faber: I wanted to set the scene for the vibe of the EP and I always really liked albums that have an intro. I was on YouTube doing some research and came across all these clips that had something that spoke to me. It starts off negatively with all the Donald Trump stuff, then all the kind of degrading comments and then turns into something positive with a poem by Maya Angelou at the end.
iSing: How long did it take to make the EP?
Faber: It’s been my whole life for a year and a half. It took all of my energy and I put off so many different things just to solely focus on it. I wrote the first song Let Me Blow Your Mind back in 2014 and then I wrote all the others in 2016 and 2017. They all came very naturally so I wrote them all very quickly.
I AM… the spoken word song was the only song that I really spent time planning. It was really important to me so I wrote out what I wanted to say, like a little diary of kind of venting.
iSing: The whole EP feels like a personal statement. Was that your intention from the outset?
Faber: I intended it to be powerful and meaningful, but I didn’t realise everyone was going to relate to it as much as I did writing it. I’m overwhelmed with the response.
iSing: Do you have a team around you?
Faber: At the moment it’s me, myself and I, but I have some great people that I can call for help and advice. One of my friends is a music manager and is giving me tips, but for now I’m still an independent artist without a manager or a label. I lack a lot of knowledge on the business side but I’m learning. It’s like an apprenticeship. This is my first release so learning all the platforms – iTunes, Deezer, Spotify – was a challenge. I have a cover on my EP so I also needed to learn about licensing.
iSing: What are the advantages of being independent?
Faber: I was one of those people who was waiting for someone to come and save me, but it’s totally possible to do it all yourself. I can’t believe I’ve done it. But I’m still looking for a manager because I believe they can help take me to the next level and it comes to a point where I don’t have enough time in the day to do everything myself.
iSing: What advice would you give singers considering taking on a similar project?
Faber: Make good friends in the industry and not in a false way. It’s a small world so support people doing the same thing as you. They’ll naturally want to boost you up as much as you want to boost them. Have a set goal, focus and then network.
iSing: What a should a singer know before they record an EP?
Faber: Have some singing lessons specifically for your EP so when you go into the studio you know how to get the best sounding product. Also, make sure you have your arrangements set in stone otherwise it just wastes time. Getting everyone together was nearly impossible but I did rehearse and get my tracks finalised with the band before recording and it saved a lot of time.
iSing: What lessons did you learn while making the EP?
Faber: For me as a person: be direct. Obviously, you can take opinions from other people but if they’re trying to change the concept of what you want to do then that’s not okay. Also, be prepared to do it yourself. I’ve created the artwork myself, I did my own logo and all my own press. That being said, sometimes to get a really good, professional record you have to be prepared to spend money on certain things and make it happen.
iSing: What are your top tips for singers making an EP?
- Educate yourself and don’t be afraid to learn something new.
- Hone your craft. Be skilled. Challenge yourself vocally and practice every day.
- Network and be nice. It should be common knowledge but being nice gets you places and will help you out a lot in this industry.
Catch Faber at:
The Underbelly, Hoxton Square, London on 29 March.
Café Cairo, London, 19 April.