A singer, songwriter, and composer originally from the Czech Republic, Faana is now residing in the United Kingdom.
A loop station has made him sound like a whole band throughout his performances as an accomplished guitarist, singer/composer, and songwriter.
As early as the age of ten, Faana started learning the guitar and eventually formed his own band. Faana was courted by an Austrian band while studying music in the Czech city of Brno.
Faana dropped out of school and spent the next five years touring Europe with a Beatles tribute band, honing his abilities and honing his craft.
Faana, on the other hand, had his eyes set on London’s musical freedom and innovation, so he set out for the UK once again. A veteran of the live scene with two self-released albums under her belt, Faana was discovered during the epidemic at London’s famed Marquee Records and immediately signed.
“Stop Running” the band’s first release since signing their first record deal is a welcome harbinger of things to come for the indie-pop industry. In a short conversation, he discussed his career, the future, and how he hopes to conquer the globe with his music.
What is your real and showbiz name?
I go by the name ‘Faana’, but the whole name situation is more complicated than it might seem at first. My legal name is ‘František’ which is a pretty generic Czech name. Many kings, poets and other historical figures have had this name.
It’s an equivalent of English Frank, Italian Francesco or French Francois. Why Faana then, you might ask. One of the short versions of the name ‘František’ used in the Czech Republic is precise ‘Fána’.
‘Á’ just indicates that the vowel is pronounced long. To bring that across without using a special character I decided to double normal ‘a’ like for example in Nordic names. And here I am – ‘Faana!’
Where are you from (hometown)?
The Czech Republic is a rather small European country with only a little over 10 million people and its biggest city – Prague – consists of only about 1.2 million.
It’s very common therefore to grow up in a small town or even a village. I come from a small town called Šumperk located in the north of Moravia – the eastern part of Czechia.
It is surrounded by mountains called ‘Jeseníky’ with truly beautiful nature. I’m always really happy to go back to take some rest from the busy life of London.
How did you get into music?
My dad is a mandolin player and since I was about 5 years old he would take me to gigs with him. I remember enjoying just observing his band during rehearsals and performances that were early enough so I could stay as a little kid.
Then when I was about 10 I started playing the guitar, a couple of years later I joined a school band and everything snowballed from there. A big influence on my music taste was also my dad’s music collection.
He would gather many CDs, cassettes, vinyl or minidisks of world-class artists and performers. From bands like Queen and Rolling Stones to Rush, Led Zeppelin or The Hooters.
What field or genre are you into and give a brief description of what your field feels like?
I’ve gone through many different music taste stages from pop and rock, hard rock and progressive metal to country, bluegrass, swing and jazz, soul and blues or even acapella and classical music.
I feel like if you take all of these and put them in a bucket called pretty normal central European fella obsessed with groovy guitar funky riffs, you’d get what my style and taste would be like! I listen to everything above and put pieces of each style mentioned into my music soup too.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why??
I draw inspiration from other musicians I’m surrounded with or from the ‘big ones’ I aspire to be too. But not only that, I think I’m inspired every time I see someone executing their passion.
Seeing a person doing what they truly, deeply love and feel called to is the most inspiring thing to me and I happened to think that it is exactly what we most appreciate about the biggest artists out there.
Why? I believe that’s what we all aspire to be like, but we are afraid to admit it to ourselves or it would be too challenging for the comfort we’re finding ourselves in. When I can see someone like John Mayer, Sting, Adele or Stevie Wonder I see my own potential in them and how much more of it I could be expressing.
I think that’s why music and art, in general, are so important because it makes us aspire to be better human beings than we currently are.
What does your current song mean to you?
The song ‘Stop Running’ is one of those ‘lucky’ songs that only took half an hour to write. Sometimes it can be hard work to finish a song and be actually happy with it, but if you write enough of them there is a chance that you’ll get lucky one day and the song just comes effortlessly through you right onto a piece of paper or a recording device.
These songs are then usually the ones that feel the most fluent or seamless. This song is also the no.1 reason why I got signed to Marquee Records label.
My current manager who was the first one to hear the song said that it was so infectious and he just couldn’t stop singing the chorus after our first meeting. It’s a catchy song about a clingy relationship and the inertia with which we try to hold on to it.
What are your hobbies?
Aside from my Faana – artist career, I enjoy performance coaching/music teaching and I do a bit of music production and session guitar work on the side too.
I like a lot of sports but especially the collective ones. I play something called ‘floorball’ which is very popular in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
It’s sort of like hockey but you play it indoors with indoor shoes, a small plastic ball and plastic sticks. I even play the UK league for London Sharks so that’s what takes up most of my time apart from music.
I love listening to philosophical podcasts and I regularly meditate on the insights I get from them.