It’s tempting to write about the new Major Lazer video this morning. They’ve never put out a bad video, and really, this new one is something to write home about (Terry Cruz, Lauren London, Nick Kroll, & Blake Anderson in one hilarious, bad-ass video is remarkable, one must admit). But that’s just the thing- Major Lazer is an institution that can easily pull together a hilarious, oddball hodgepodge of notable actors and a glitzy director to make a video as enjoyable as the breakbeat, larger-than-life “Scare Me”. That’s fun, but it’s a known quantity.
For many people, Faarrow is whatever the exact opposite of a known quantity is. Is that a typo or the name of another low-level villain from the “Scare Me” video? Neither. Faarrow are Siham and Iman Hashi, two Somali born, Canadian raised, L.A. dwelling sisters who can really spit and sing. This might be exactly the right time to pick up on the duo. Their material is anything but amateur- their tracks feature excellent, lush production and killer, ear-wormy beats- but there’s not that much out their about them aside from a small handful of tracks and videos, a few interviews and essays by the sisters, and a little biographical information on the Studio Africa website (the two joined the Diesel+EDUN funded arts and culture collective in it’s second season alongside Spoek Mathambo and Olugbenga). One such biography claims that they are the first Somali women to sign with a major record label, but an exhaustive 30-minute long search for exactly which major label proved fruitless.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that these women are at the beginning of a very exciting career. Their new track, “Say My Name,” says it all. Unlike many of their contemporaries, these two have incredibly beautiful, graceful voices capable of not only the gymnastic, melismatic style so pervasive in contemporary American pop music, but also of saying less with more, singing plainly but evocatively. Whoever crafted this beat knows exactly what they’re doing, and the dense vocal harmonies on this song are as moving as their are impressive. The visual of Iman singing the pitch-shifted, baritone voice in the video is somehow funny and chillingly imposing at the same time. “Say My Name” is an anthem for the girls, which brings us to our final point: are Faarrow gunning for Beyoncé? Two young, beautiful women equipped with stellar voices and bangin beats pumping out tracks like “Say My Name” and “Rule The World” (Erm, those titles sound familiar at all?) might just give the diva a run for her money, provided they are punctual for their gigs.