Monday, November 29, 2021 | Rabi' ath-thani 23, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

A deep dive into a musician’s intimate ‘2021’ journey

Emerging artist and musician Fatma Mirza confessed that when she was just starting, she was compared to a lot of different artists and singers but despite those comparisons, nothing stuck.


This is a good thing as Fatma celebrates her uniqueness saying her style of music now does not necessarily fall under just one genre.


In the last eight months, in the middle of the pandemic, she took that depressing turn of events as an inspiration to better her craft learning not only to master playing the guitar but also working on her music.


The result is an EP of seven songs long documenting her personal experiences as well as moments that inspired her. It is her way of sharing her innermost thoughts not minding that it betrays her vulnerabilities.


Launching it on November 17, a day short of the Sultanate of Oman’s celebration of the 51st National Day, it is Fatma’s brave nosedive into the Sultanate of Oman’s often unforgiving music industry but something that definitely can use a new voice, a new style and a lot of diversity.


The EP includes titles such as ‘Am I Running Outta Time’, ‘Don’t Compare Me’, ‘Dreamer’, ‘Fear of Death’, ‘Gave You Light’, ‘Let it Out’, and ‘Take it Easy’ — one taking strength from each other taking listeners into a journey of an artist finally ready to own her spot in the sun.


Providing Oman Daily Observer with the first look into her music, we reached out to this Architectural Engineering degree holder slash Art Director and Stylist slash musician to learn more about her latest music offering.


Can you tell us more about this EP?


It’s called “2021”. It is kind of my formal debut. I released a few songs in the past but this is my biggest release yet. The EP is seven songs long. Each song has its own tone and sound. The lyrics are also so different from each other. It reflects some of my passing thoughts in recent times, from different parts of myself. Shedding a layer with every song. Finding more meaning in my own experience. I actually recorded more than what’s here and played around with plenty of ideas but ultimately these tracks, together, made the final cut.


Can you take us through the thought and creative process and did you collaborate with anyone to put it together?


It took me around eight months to complete the EP. I wrote the lyrics and all music was produced by me. My creative process often comes from my personal experiences and what inspires me on a day to day basis. For some of my songs, I would start with the main melody and then add some lyrics to it (I always write down different lines I think of on my notes app to use later), some attempts turn out good and these are the ones that I usually put my focus on and start building a song from there. I like to capture a feeling, keep the tone and emotion and really bring out my experiences from it.


Can you talk briefly about each of the songs?


‘Dreamer’: The beginning of it all, and you can probably see it from the production. Pushing me to dream bigger, and to see where my potential can take me.


‘Fear of Death’: A conversation with myself.


Aptly named ‘Dreamer’ start things off with a breezy disposition. Surreal to its core, the way it transforms itself into a stately drone into a longing pop track feels magnificent. Percussion has a lightness to it on the ceremonial sound of ‘Fear of Death’. Delirious with its mix of R&B, chamber pop and more ‘Don’t Compare Me’ defies all expectations.


On ‘Am I Running Outta Time’, there is a dramatic sensibility, for the way it builds up feels cinematic. ‘Take It Easy’ features a psychedelic swirl about it, with the drums hitting emotionally. Forgoing beats ‘Let It Out’ has a communal, compassionate cadence to it. Easily the highlight of the album ‘Gave You Light’ has a regal finish about it. A whole slew of different genres blends into it for it closes the album out on a high note” quoting a review by beachsloth.


Putting the EP together when there were restrictions everywhere must be hard. What was that like for you as an artist?


Developing the songs was not easy. I’ve had one or two tracks that had entirely different mixes that were all viable. I had to really sit down and listen to each sound and how it’s played, to the point that I was hearing things that your average listener wouldn’t even care about, to really figure out what the song needed most for its sound.


The main challenge I think was the mixing and mastering. I’d been levelling up my skillset a lot throughout the years, working with different producers and sound engineers, but I felt I still needed a little more. I’m still unsure how the final product will sound on all different playback devices, but I’m hoping for the best!


Can you share a little bit more about you [for our reader’s whose first time to encounter your music]?


Music was always my personal thing, it was an outlet for me to express how I felt at any moment. I used to love dancing and performing dance routines with my cousins. In my teen years, I started paying more attention to lyrics and got into writing. I, later on, picked up a guitar and started learning some basics on Youtube and began progressing from there.


My style is a blend of many things as I’d been experimenting all through my musical journey. I grew up listening to hip-hop and R&B, tuned to rock and metal music in my teens until finally finding myself attracted to acoustic songs. In 2020, I released three songs “Sunrise” “Time” and “Lying” alongside some really talented artists (Raymen & MO SAUCE, Ashraf Dahab & Ziryab Dahab, SG & Wassupnile) who helped me translate my vision into a final product.


Where can people listen or download the EP from? And where will we see you next?


The EP was launched on November 17 and is now available on all streaming platforms. I am planning to do some live shows and I’ll definitely be producing more and collaborating with all kinds of musicians and artists. I plan to keep expanding my art, always. For those who want to learn more or get updates about my music or events, they can follow me on Instagram:


@wndrssmusic


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