The Eye is a video series that hosts up-and-coming artists for in-studio performances in a gorgeously minimal environment, a set-up that truly lets the music shine. The latest performer to step behind the mic is Faouzia, who delivers stirring renditions of a couple of her premiere tunes, “Hero” and “Wake Me When It’s Over.”
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter was born in Morocco but moved to Canada when she was a baby. She showed tremendous promise as a teenager by winning a number of prestigious contests, like when she beat out 6,000 competitors to win Unsigned Only in 2017, becoming the first teen to emerge on top. She has managed to deliver on that potential and turn some influential heads, as she has collaborated with industry icons like John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and David Guetta. Her talent has translated to commercial success as well: Her singles, some of which come from her 2020 EP Stripped, have charted in multiple countries.
As the title of Stripped suggests, the project features minimally arranged songs that put Faouzia’s voice front and center. Indeed, that’s what her The Eye performances deliver as well, as Faouzia’s vocal appeal is undeniable on her rendition of “Hero.” Here, the song is presented in a strikingly intimate arrangement, with Faouzia backed by just a piano as she confidently and passionately delivers her yearning lyrics. She brings a similar energy to “Wake Me When It’s Over,” which again proves that she has the powerhouse vocals to back up the emotional weight of her songs.
Faouzia’s piano-centric approach to her performances isn’t surprising, given that she started playing the instrument when she was 5 years old and went on to take 11 years of classical piano training, as she notes in an interview with The Eye. As for her vocals, she says that she taught herself how to sing, inspired by both pop artists and her Moroccan heritage: “I am self-taught and it was just by listening to amazing pop artists and being like, ‘How do they do that with their voice? I want to learn how to do that with my voice.’ And also listening to Arabic artists because I am from Morocco, so that was a huge part of my life, too. So having those two worlds meshing together and blending is what makes me who I am today.”
It’s unique perspectives like this that bring intrigue into the pop sphere, a space that Faouzia seems set to comfortably call home for years to come.
Watch Faouzia perform “Hero,” “Wake Me When It’s Over,” and “Paparazzi” for The Eye above.
Faouzia is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.