Royalty-Free Music & Music Licensing
November 04, 2021

Music Talk: Faith Richards' Dark Indie Music Speaks Straight to the Soul

By Alice Austin 9 min read

Highlights

  • Growing up, Faith Richards didn't have much. But free piano lessons helped her find her musical talent and a bright future
  • Faith writes beautiful, sad, R&B and soul tracks that explore themes of heartbreak, loss, adolescence and hope
  • Her first full-length album, "I'll Bloom When I'm Ready," is due to be released in January and is a reaction to the pressures of being a young woman working in music and living in LA

Faith Richards seems shy and unassuming until she starts talking about her musical ambitions. As soon as she opens up about her hopes and dreams for the future, the shyness slips away, and all that's left is drive, focus and confidence.

I didn't like singing in front of people, but I would push myself to do it.

Faith writes and sings soaring, soulful R&B music. Her track, 'My Caffeine,' is an Artlist subscriber favorite and can be heard on wedding videos, in fashion shows and short films all over the world. Brands are attracted to Faith's atmospheric, romantic songwriting style with lyrics that come straight from the soul. For her latest track, 'Before We're Leaving,' Faith teamed up with Artlist artist Aaron Kellim to write a heart-wrenching break-up track that's both haunting and poignant. It's a beautiful example of Faith's ability to turn her raw emotions into song form.

faith richards album

'Before We're Leaving Here' is a soft, delicate pop song with hauntingly deep and

melancholic Vocal harmonies coming together to form a subtle sense of hope.

 

Born in Kansas, Faith's father was in the military, so she spent most of her childhood on the move, living between Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska and Colorado. Then, when she was 10, she moved to Nottingham, England, and then back to Kansas at 16.

Faith was a cripplingly shy kid, but she always loved singing in church growing up. Her mom wasn't well-off, so in England, Faith received government assistance in the form of free school meals and free piano lessons. "I had a really good teacher. And that was what got me into writing music and thinking this could be more than a hobby," she says. One of 5 siblings, Faith began writing music age 13, inspired by UK and US artists like Adele, James Arthur, Dr. Dre and Sam Cooke. Faith says songwriting was a coping mechanism and a way to be heard when there was so much noise around her. 

When push came to shove, her passion for music overpowered her shy nature. "I would perform at school talent shows," she says. "I didn't like singing in front of people, but I would push myself to do it."

Having Your Music on Netflix

This drive is representative of Faith's entire career. Her love for music overcomes everything else. Despite having many obstacles in her way, Faith has never stopped chasing her dream. When she was 18, she moved to LA to attend acting school, which she paid for with the help of good samaritans and loans. She studied musical theatre and acting there, with 2 teachers, in particular, pushing her to sing despite her nerves. One made her perform in front of the class every day. "They helped me realize I have a voice that stands on its own, and I should consider pursuing music when I graduate." Faith would record music on GarageBand with a USB mic and keyboard and upload it to Soundcloud. "It was all really dramatic, about my exes. I deleted it all now."

Faith Richards album cover for Jaded

With Soulful, alluring Vocals and an atmospheric soundscape,

the sensual Pop songs on 'Jaded' are definitely attention-getters.

 

Faith graduated from acting school in 2017 and released her first EP, 'I'm Right Here,' in 2019. "Sabrina Claudio is my favorite artist, and I reached out to her vocal producer to work a deal with him, and he was who I worked with on my first EP. I wrote everything myself, including the keys and then recorded it with a way better pianist than me." 

In 2020 Faith wrote and released a song a month to build a discography and get established in the licensing world. The strategy paid off - working with Artlist changed the direction of Faith's career permanently. Faith's music has been used in several Netflix movies and USA Network's 'Temptation Island' and was also featured in Vogue Germany and Vogue Korea. In addition, the K-Pop girl group Twice and Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix have endorsed her tracks as well as several YouTube stars, including Mady Morrison, who used 'My Caffeine' in her Full Body Stretch video, which now has more than 38 million views. Faith says this massive increase in reach is partly thanks to the audience she found through Artlist.

I'd spend all my time just creating music and working, and I started to see myself more as a business.

Performing is still difficult for Faith. Despite releasing over 20 tracks, she still feels like she doesn't perform enough. "I am still shy," she says. "But that's one part of the artist's life I really want - to perform at stadiums and go on tour and all that, but it still terrifies me." Faith says that as soon as she's on stage, she's having fun, but the week leading up to the show isn't fun at all. "I feel sick the whole week."

The plus side to that is COVID wasn't as painful for Faith as it was for other artists. "I hate to say it, but COVID was kind of a blessing for me because the unemployment from my waitressing job was life-changing." For the first time in her life, Faith could stop hustling and actually concentrate full-time on music. She could write songs online with other songwriters, connect with people in the industry, and she had time to do interviews. "I'd spend all my time just creating music and working, and I started to see myself more as a business. I could think about planning and creating content for social media."

Pushing Back against the pressure women face in the music industry

Faith's fans are a loyal bunch - she often gets messages from people asking her to promise them she won't stop making music. This only makes Faith more determined to make it work. She's spent a lot of this year working on her upcoming album, 'I'll Bloom When I'm Ready.' "It's like my first time doing interludes and other interesting stuff that I've always wanted to do. There are sad songs and happy songs. I love songs about heartbreak - it's just kind of everything," Faith says.

faith richards album cover Are You Ready

Alternating between Electronic and Acoustic sound, Faith Richards' intimate Pop on 'Are You Ready'

always captivates whether expressing unapologetic sensuality, romance or personal fragility.

 

The album's name is a statement in itself and a way for Faith to push back against the pressure many young women face in music and in Los Angeles. "Especially in LA with social media, there's a lot of pressure to be perfect or just be a certain way. I need to take the pressure off and remind myself to take my time and not chase someone else's journey."

Faith feels she doesn't have a choice but to make music her full-time career. "I know it sounds cheesy, but making music is part of me, and I know if I make music my career, I won't be chasing anything - I'll be fulfilled. I don't care about being a huge star or anything - I just feel like it's what I'm supposed to do."

 

If you'd like to use Faith Richards' music in one of your films or projects, check out her page on Artlist

 

About Alice

Alice Austin is a freelance writer from London. She writes for Mixmag, Beatportal, Huck, Dummy, Electronic Beats, Red Bulletin and more. She likes to explore youth and sub-culture through the lens of music, a vocation that has led her around the world. You can contact and/or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.