Born of a Touareg mother and an Italian father, Faris grew up in a musical environment, lived in several countries and was influenced by many musical styles, although traditional touareg music was a major influence to him due to his maternal connection.
He recorded his debut single "Derhan Alkher" with Terakaft in 2010, and performed as a soloist with Tinariwen at the "Festival au Désert" in Mali in 2012. After years of collaborations and touring with Tartit, Terakaft and Tinariwen, he released his debut album "Mississippi To Sahara", produced by Reaktion and distributed by Wrasse Records, Universal France. This Saharan part of Africa is widely known to be the land in which the American blues may have a great deal of its roots. Amongst the originators of the blues are the Kel Tamasheq or Tuareg people. "From this heart of Africa, the Sahara, to the place that I call home, in the Mississippi Delta, and musically now known around the world as "the blues"" said recently actor Morgan Freeman. "I really love this record, it is a simple record, you can't lie when you do things like that, you can't hide behind tricks or sound effects, and I can really hear myself in it" says Faris. "If you go to the desert, yes, it really becomes self-evident how the blues are linked to this lands, every person who listens to traditional Tuareg music will think of the blues". The record was critically acclaimed, Faris has this great ability to mix things up without messing things up. He did amazing arrangements of the songs, respecting the originals but adding a lot of new things to them, not to mention his playing and singing, rich, full of finesse and emotions. "Faris is Amazing!" said American blues musician Taj Mahal listening to the record, "This is the most amazing movement to happen with this great music!". Upon Taj's suggestion, singer-songwriter Ben Harper invited Faris to meet him while he was touring Europe with the Innocent Criminals. "I played almost all of the weissenborns (slide guitars) he had with him" says Faris "that was wonderful, and I am such a big fan, I mean, he did so much for music, so much for activism and art". Ben played Faris' guitars as well, "Mississippi to Sahara is a great record", he said, "I can only imagine the wonderful songs to come from Faris in the future".
As a young and promising artist with a rich repertoire, Faris is an example of how Tuareg music is evolving, and will evolve in the future.
His works with artists like David Rhodes, Calexico, Leo Bud Welch and Kiran Ahluwalia are just a little glimpse of his broad view of the musical landscape...