Success Doesn't Have Shortcuts: An Interview with Faizan

Faizan remembers being in first grade and watching the older students perform during band practice. He was always an intensely curious child, and one day the music teacher saw him waiting outside the door. She invited him inside and asked him if he liked music, and when he said yes, she handed him a clapper and let him join the band. From that day forward, he would spend any free time perfecting his craft.

Just a few years later, his father had gifted him FL Studio, a digital audio workstation designed to allow artists to create music using various samples and effects. His father asked him if he could make a backing track of a specific song for karaoke purposes. The program jump started his interest in composing, making him even more curious about other aspects of music.

He began playing in his first band in the early 2000s, a maldivian rock band called Serenity Dies. Being part of the band really helped him understand what hard work and determination could get him and it’s something that he hasn’t forgotten about.

“I learned that I need to work hard to achieve my dreams and that success doesn’t have shortcuts - I have to work for it,” he said.

Currently, Faizan performs as a solo artist using a handpan, also called a hang, which is a musical instrument created by Felix Rohner and Sabrina Schäre in Switzerland in 2000. Its origin lies in the classic Trinidad steel drum of the 1970s and despite the handpan being a percussive/melodic instrument, is not as complex as one would imagine. He first learned about the handpan through Daniel Waples’ YouTube videos and was as curious about them as he was curious about band practice as a child.

One of his most recent releases, “Aether”, first started to take form in 2019. When he began recording his ideas on the handpan, he felt that the song would sound even better accompanied by strings. He came across the all-female electric quartet, Amadeus, while doing research and was blown away with their music composition and performance.

The song is about a man who tries to connect with the elements of nature - water, air, earth and fire - through his music. After stumbling across ancient scripts, he sees that the four elements have taken the form of four musical goddesses. What he didn’t realize was that the music they were playing through was actually the fifth element, aether. Enchanted and mesmerized by the music, he kept on playing until he realized that it was nothing but a dream. This story not only comes alive in the song, but in the accompanying music video.

When it comes to the song, Faizan hopes that listeners take the time to hear the beauty of each instrument and get a sense of how he felt during its creation process.

“I hope it would make them feel as good as I felt writing the song,” he said. “And that they would relate to the story behind the song.”

Faizan has always been curious, and the things that he was most curious about brought him an adventurous music career. As long as he continues to be curious, his talent is sure to captivate listeners around the world.