6Qs with R&B Singer Farid Alhadi //
After hearing Boyz II Men perform on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Farid Alhadi was instantly hooked to R&B music. More than a decade later, he is working on his own album, said to drop later this year. With musical inspirations that range from Michael Jackson to Brian McKnight (and even a little T-pain), he hopes that his catchy beats and soulful lyrics (not to mention his funny spoofs) will make him stand out from the rest.
“Firstday Fast (Birthday Sex Spoof)”
Favorite Songwriter: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
Favorite Song: “Ill Make Love To You” by Boyz II Men
Can’t live without: His family
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I was born in San Jose, CA, my father was born in Indonesia and my mother was born in Singapore. However, both of their ancestry originates in Yemen, so majority of my blood is Arab (mixed with a little bit of Malay and Indonesian). My ancestors were traders from Yemen who migrated to Indonesia. They married natives, but then continued to marry within their tribes, and thus, preserved a lot of the Arab heritage.
2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve always loved to sing. The moment that hooked me to R&B was back in the 90s when I saw an episode of Fresh Prince and Boyz II Men guest appeared. I was instantly in a trance from their harmonies. Since then, I knew I wanted to sing R&B. It was really about three years ago when I really realized I was blessed with a talent and decided to take this a little more seriously and become a “musician.”
3. Where do you get the inspiration to write your music?
I get my inspiration from many places. Mostly from my own experiences, I try to recall feelings and translate them into a song. But sometimes, I hear a great lyric, great beat, great melody or riff that makes me want to create something like it. I may see an experience of someone else or a TV show that I think would make a great song.
4. How did you get into writing spoofs and how do you decide which songs to use?
I’ve been doing spoofs for fun since I was 17 just to entertain my friends, which was a great success. I needed a way to generate interest in my music, and comedic viral marketing is such a great tool, so I decided to combine these ideas to generate buzz. I generally like to choose a popular hit that people would get a kick out of if it related to them.
5. What was it like making your first video, “Firstday Fast?”
Making a video is very hard, tedious work. This isn’t the first film I’ve done, but it is my first video. For three minutes of footage it can take hours or days to produce, then weeks or months in post-production. As tedious as it is, it’s always worth it when you see the finished product. Special thanks to Underdahood Films and their great director, Hisham Izzeldin.
6. What advice do you have for up-and-coming musicians?
I think too many musicians rush into things. They want the glitz and glamour, so their art isn’t refined. My advice to any musician is to really listen to your art critically and take the time to perfect your art and craft – don’t take criticism personally, always try to make your music better. Take classes and gain technical knowledge and understand all aspects of your music.
For more on Farid Alhadi, visit faridmusiconline.com
About the Author: Sara Elghobashy is a writer based in New Jersey. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Religious Studies from New York University.