#IMMusicMondays: Faith Richards: A Fresh and Creatively Confident Songstress (Interview)

R&B singer-songwriter Faith Richards is a kaleidoscope of talent and emotion. The up-and-coming talent has garnered over 11 million streams to date and has mesmerised fans with her sensational vocals. The Paris-based artist rebukes labels and embraces the multi-dimensionality of womanhood. She candidly pens hits about sex, love, heartache, self-love, and trauma healing. Her new single ‘Good Girl‘ takes a sultry and seductive turn. It’s a perfect introduction to her discography if you’ve never heard her before.

I had the pleasure of asking this promising talent ten questions about her new single, her artistry, and her future plans.

Good Girl’ is a proclamation of liberation and constructing your own narrative. Where do you find the confidence to create a record like this?

It feels like I’ve already lived so many lives in my 26 years here. I was outgrowing the life where I made myself small to avoid making people uncomfortable or disappointed. The confidence comes from knowing who I am, and loving who I am. I am a kind, creative, sensual, adventurous, loving, passionate, and motivated woman. If I do not explore and exude all of who I am, I am doing myself a disservice. I don’t like to filter my songwriting, and the best art is when you don’t hold back from what you are feeling at that moment. No self-judgment, just honesty and confidence in your truth.

Have you always wanted to be a singer, or did you have other dreams growing up?

Ever since I was a teenager I always knew I wanted more for my life than what was around me. By having so many dreams and creative ideas, I knew I’d be a star one day. I didn’t see a career path for myself that didn’t involve art – I actually wanted to be an actress at first. I studied acting in my secondary school for my GCSEs in Nottingham, England, and joined the Television Workshop on a scholarship. After having a couple of singing classes at college, my teacher would use me as an example for his classes. Him recognising my singing talent helped me to see it more too. I’ve always enjoyed singing growing up, and loved teaching myself piano chords and writing music. 

I always enjoyed singing growing up and loved teaching myself piano chords and writing music. I won my high school talent show singing an original I wrote about my dad leaving us when we were little for another woman. I’m not sure why I didn’t see music as my career path before. With music, I’m able to have control and creative freedom.

You’ve moved around a lot. How have your travels impacted your artistry?

My music elevates each time I allow my current chapter to inspire me. During my childhood, my mom really liked Aretha Franklin, Nora Jones, and Josh Groban. In my pre-teen and early teen years in England, (I was into) artists like Adele, James Arthur, and Justin Bieber. In High School, I was exposed to some of my favourite artists: J. Cole, Jhené Aiko, Drake, and Frank Ocean. (During) my time in LA, I listened to SZA, Sabrina Claudio, and electronic pop, and now, living in Paris, I’m very into Afrobeat music and the independent R&B scene here.

You’ve previously stated you hate being put in a box as an artist – what struggles have you had with avoiding labels?

I was labeled my entire life growing up, and the labels have completely contradicted each other too. I have been called a prude, but also a sl*t; too innocent and boring, but also too wild and messy, too shy, too risky; the list goes on. I’ve had many requests to make more party music, or more “popular” music, but I don’t ever want to lose myself trying to be anything other than who I am.

Do you have any musical influences fans would be surprised to know about?

Maybe fans would be surprised that I listen to a lot of Burna Boy and Megan Thee Stallion because my music is so chill in comparison. I also love SEBASTIAN PAUL and Big Wild. I’m influenced heavily by artists like Sade, Cleo Sol, Jhené Aiko, Sabrina Claudio, and Erykah Badu.

You share a lot of snippets of your gigs on your social media. What is your favourite song to perform live?

Probably ‘My Caffeine because it’s perfectly in my range. I feel calm and happy singing it – and it’s my most popular song. This summer I had a lot of fun singing ‘Jaded‘ in Los Angeles for the first time, and French people seem to really enjoy ‘I’m Still Sorry

In three words, how do you want your music to make listeners feel?

Understood, peaceful, confident.

Have you any bucket list goals you haven’t achieved yet as an artist?

So many! In the near future, I see myself performing an NPR Tiny Desk show, winning Grammys, hitting 1 billion streams on a song, being playlisted on Spotify’s R&B X and Today’s Top Hits playlists, performing on Jimmy Kimmel and SNL, collabing with designer brands; and touring the world.

You’re very open about working through trauma and undertaking mental healing in and through your music. Why is it so important for you to share this in your art?

Deep depression can happen when people feel like nobody understands them, or that they are alone in what they are going through. I hope that sharing my traumas and journey can help someone see a little opening of light in their darkest times. Furthermore, I’m praying that my art can bring people comfort and healing. I know that my destiny is to help in the healing process and confidence journey of others through my music and my story.

Your records are very diverse – some sad, soulful, and sexy – what energy is this next era bringing for Faith Richards?

I just released a song called ‘I Please Her‘ – it’s a sensual and empowering love song to myself. My next release is this sad, chill R&B vibe, and the one after that is more upbeat and is my version of a diss track! So very different moods this year, but all honest and soulful. I’m excited!

Faith Richards is on Instagram and TikTok. Make sure to read more interviews here and stream ‘I Please Her‘ below.

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