Photo Credit: Jeremiah J. Lewis

FAARROW, formed by singer/songwriter duo, Iman and Siham Hashi, were born in Mogadishu, Somalia.Fleeing their homes to escape civil war, the sisters and their family relocated to Toronto, Canada as Refugees. Early into their teens the sisters identified their music ability but told no one for fear of the cultural taboo. When they finally made the decision to pursue a music career, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia to begin their journey. In Atlanta the sisters began recording and within six short months, caught the attention of Universal Motown. After sometime at the label and no debut, they decided it was time to move on (figuratively and literally). Iman and Siham then made the move to Los Angeles as free agents. Wasting no time, they were back in the studio crafting a new sound. Iman, meaning ‘FAITH’ and Siham, meaning ‘ARROW’ gives light to their name, FAARROW. Their music has evolved into a drum heavy fusion of World, Hip hop and Pop music. The sisters have recently inked a deal with Warner Bros Records and worked with their producer Elijah Kelley on their debut EP, ‘Lost’! Iman and Siham also serve as U.N. Spokes People with the U.N. Refugee Agency and are actively involved with humanitarian efforts for organizations alike.

An Interview with FAARROW:

What is your relationship to transformation in your work?

IMAN: I think being an artist is all about that; it’s about transforming ourselves. And we, as women, had to shed a lot of things and transform into who we are really suppose to be. I think this is a lifelong journey, even more so for an artist because you have to know who you are.
SIHAM: And that’s a journey in itself.

Do you think it is important to consider
_MG_6847your audience and, if so, how can you consider the audience and also have a purity of vision? Is that possible?

S: As artists, the music you are making, and the people that end up connecting with it, that is your audience. It is always useful to get the feedback from the fans. And when you end up finding your people, your ‘tribe’, in my mind we are like friends, we are like-minded. We feed off our audience, from what they think, things they really like.
I: But it’s always true to who we are. We stick true to FAARROW and what we stand for.

When you say “FAARROW and what we stand for”: What do you stand for?

S: Our thing has always been girl power. It is about us, as women, how we were raised and shedding a lot of things that kept holding us back, so that we can be the best versions of ourselves. Culturally it was a lot of things. So now that we are these women that we have grown into, there is a lot of girl empowerment, which is a lot of what GIRLTRIP is about.

                                                                                                 Photo Credit: Jeremiah J. Lewis

I: And also defining ‘cool’ for yourself, I feel that this is also what FAARROW is about. I know a lot of people want that type of influence where people want to be you, but we want to promote being yourself, and defining what’s ‘cool’ for you. And I feel like if we are ourselves, then it will make it easier for the people who look up to us to be themselves as well.

When you say shed things to become who you are as women, what would be an example for each of you of an important thing you’ve shed or left behind from when you talk about how you were raised as a woman, culturally?

I: We were raised to feel guilty and ashamed of so many things. Not really through our parents, because I feel we are the people we are today because of our parents, but because of the community that we come from. You are made to be ashamed of things that aren’t shameful, such as the career path that we chose or dressing the way we do, from a modest country. In our community what we are doing is so far left but then, in this industry, it is like: ‘oh you guys are so—
S:–Safe! It was a culture shock for us._MG_7033

                    Photo Credit: Jeremiah J. Lewis

I: We were always being pulled in two different directions. So it was time to do what was true to us, who we are— and not really think about catering to one side or the other. And that took a lot from us, to completely free ourselves from that.

What importance do you think craft has on your work? Is there still value in crafting your music or is it more about how many followers you have — the image?

S: I feel like for us it took a really long time to put the sound together, that should be the first thing on an artist’s And right now, I feel like there are not that many great albums happening.
I: –Like the EP we released in July 15th, it is just a taste for the full album and we want every song to be amazing, no album fillers. In today’s age people do care about the music but they also care about the followers, it all goes hand in hand. If you have a lot of followers, it just means that people are connected to you in some way, you are offering something that they love and this is not a bad thing to me, it just creates more opportunities.
IMG_2142 6
S: This EP is something that took a long time for us to create because we take our music very seriously. It’s been a journey to get this far.
I: I think the craft is important to us but if I see somebody with a lot of followers and I don’t respond to their sound, I think ‘you know what? People love them!’
S: Somebody loves them!
I: Actually I shouldn’t even say craft because this is so subjective.
S: I mean, there is a Japanese hologram on tour with really interesting music,. That’s crazy. Amazing and crazy. Their songs and vocals are computerized and thousands of people buy tickets to their concerts–
I: –Sold out concerts!
S: I just love technology!

What would you say is the most important thing you learned in terms of getting your work out into the world? What would you say to young artists who are really good and they record and they have all these tracks but how do you get it into the world?

Photo Credit: Jeremiah J. Lewis

S:  With the digital age, one thing that we struggled as artists with was that we crafted this music in the studio, we spent so much time, we tried to baby sit it, we were like ‘okay can’t let anybody hear it yet’, we think there is that perfect timing, to hold on to this music for this big splash but really people just want to hear the music. There are all these platforms now with social media and you can just put it out there and you never know who is listening and all of a sudden it’s like a DJ hears it and then it’s on the radio. I know that doesn’t happen for everybody like that but, with or without a record deal, you have the power to put the music out there, weather it’s Sound Cloud or YouTube, people have access to it. You have to just stay consistent and I think most artists who are very successful were very consistent with just creating content and putting it out there, letting people grow with them and that’s amazing. I am proud of our work, it took a lot of time to work on this EP and I am so glad it is finally coming out, there will definitely be lots of music after that.
I: –Continuous!

What would you say is the greatest responsibility of your medium?

I: We have always wanted to use our platform to speak on things we believe in.
S: Being former refugees and growing up in Canada, the minute the record deal happened we realized: ‘Oh my God, this is for real, we can actually make an impact as our voice grows’. And ultimately, because we are the first females from our country to get a major American record deal, automatically our responsibility was to speak for the voiceless girls in all these developing countries, including Somalia, and it just became our purpose.

If we agree that no one does it alone, what would you say is the most important quality in your relationships?

I: Just being able to be honest with the person, because it is like a marriage really, you know? And it’s all about energy. If there is a toxic energy in the room everybody could feel it and it would ruin everything. For example, could you imagine, if our manager was super toxic? No matter how many connections they have, how many people they know, if they are negatively impacting your soul, it will never work out.
S: We are very aware of our energy towards other people, and vice versa, so I feel that energy is very important. We are becoming wiser and in tune to ourselves and there is a reason why our soul, our spirit is feeling off about something. We need to listen to what our body and our mind are telling us.



                      Photo Credit: Jeremiah J. Lewis

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