Having followed her career since 2015, we're delighted to say that Farah Elle is finally releasing her debut single into the world.
One of our favourite Irish artists over the past five years, she's continually bedazzled us with her ethereal and engaging live performances.
Of course, we've had some brilliant features on tracks with the likes of Bantum, Cunninlynguists, MuRli & Side 4 Collective - but as welcome as these have been, it's a full Farah Elle release we've been craving!
The single, called Sunblock, is an ever-present in Elle's live set. The song was written among a crowded campsite at Knockanstockan, and explores the emotional complexities of choosing joy over sorrow in our day-to-day lives.
"The song captures a moment of solitude and reflection, exploring the emotional complexities of choosing joy over sorrow in our day-to-day lives. Making sure we take a moment to reflect on ourselves and consider how often we 'block out the sun' each day," says Farah.
We spoke to Farah (below video) about the single, her upcoming debut album & more. But first, the music:
WATCH: Farah Elle - 'Sunblock'
// GP: Why did you decide to release ‘Sunblock’ as the lead single from your album?
"I feel like it's a catchy segue into what the rest of the album has in stock. In order to fully embrace the album, y’all gotta wash that sunblock off. Let those vitamins in."
// GP: The lyrics in the song are very descriptive - can you explain the meaning behind the song for us?
"It’s toying with the idea of what it’s like to be a human being in 2020. There are parts of us that can easily go back to our indigenous ways of being, while also being strongly connected with technology. I always joke about being half cyborg or low-key being an alien because that’s honestly what it feels like sometimes.
Then there’s this deeply rooted part of me that needs to regularly spend time with nature in order to connect with myself and get clarity on what our role on this planet is."
// GP: You were a heavy presence on the Irish music scene between 2017-2019. Why did you step back from the live music scene?
"So. Many. Gigs. I love performing, almost too much, to the point where I did all the gigs – then BOOM! Lockdown in March 2020. I had three massive gigs that weekend that were all cancelled and I was secretly okay with taking a break. It wasn’t a deliberate choice to step back from the live music scene; it’s just the way things worked out.
The world stopped for us all. Alongside being grateful for our safety, shelter, health, etc. I was so grateful for the time & space to make progress with the album.
There are also a few collaborations I’ve been working on as well as other projects around human rights activism and trauma healing which also keep me busy. That’s a whole other area of work that really motivates me as an artist. I’ve done basic training in Logosynthesis (a form of psychotherapy based on creating change through the power of words) and CAPACITAR Global Trauma Healing Methods. Daily practise in healing ourselves, our communities and our world are crucial to me."
// GP: Why did you decide to call your debut album after your mother Fatima?
"My mother is pretty much the whole reason that I’m able to have a music career. She fought really hard for our family and wants us to feel fulfilled, loved and free. Without the sanctuary of a home that she provided and a long list of other battles that brought us here – I don’t know where I’d be. I also love the global meanings of 'FATIMA' and how it cross-culturally makes sense, which I highly relate to as a person. I was raised with multiple cultures & it’s important to celebrate the power of that."
// GP: You've been working on the full album release for some time now, how have you found that process?
"There was plenty of transitions within the team along the way and it’s so important for us to be patient with ourselves when creating a body of work this important. Keeping it a labour of love, not rushing things and trusting the process were vital elements in creating it. When lockdown happened, I realised the massive role that fear plays in our world and how I personally don’t want to live from a place of fear.
This essentially meant letting go of old behaviours, pushing myself more, making progress with creative projects, calling a few shots and moving forward. I am forever grateful for every single person who made this album happen – Cian Hanley on drums; Lorcán O’Dwyer on bass; Adam McNamara who helped engineer it at Herbert Place Studios; Duane Gallagher who engineered and produced it; Scott Tobin who produced it some more, and Fergal Davis who mastered it.
'FATIMA' is almost three years in the making and I’m so excited for people to hear what’s coming. Whoever’s out there reading this: thank you for listening. I deeply appreciate the support and the fact that other people are looking forward to hearing it too. I’m so excited. YAY!"