The first guitar that Faris Monshi fell in love with was a plastic, cherry-red Gibson SG that didn't connect to an amplifier, but a Playstation. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and sound designer from California's Bay Area, Faris Monshi (Fair-iss Mawn-shee) blends the atmospheric, experimental Art Rock of Radiohead with the Electronica-drenched Singer-Songwriter stylings of Chet Faker. Emerging in 2015 with his debut EP, Idle Warships, Monshi began his journey as a young DIY artist and Music Technology graduate, simultaneously learning all of the various stages of music production in his makeshift bedroom studio. From writing and performing, to recording and mixing, what began as the necessity to be cost-effective became the holistic, big-picture approach he takes towards the creation of music. Seeing every point along the path as an opportunity for creativity, Faris Monshi keeps an open mind towards experimentation and what he calls “happy accidents”.
His latest single, “Chrysalis”, deals with the concepts of change and growth. This song, among others currently in production, is inspired by Faris's two-year period of solitude, introspection and rediscovery, ultimately leading to his relocation to the Yosemite mountains to continue his musical pursuits. “Chrysalis”, much like its role in nature, represents an isolated period of inner turmoil and growth that leads to a bright, new beginning. Not a clean slate, but a continuation of what we've always been, and in its greatest form.
The frets of that SG, 5 in total and more like buttons, were green, red, yellow, blue, and orange. It plugged directly into a Playstation along with a copy of Guitar Hero 2. There was Faris, at 15 years old in his childhood home, blowing the minds of a digital crowd of adoring fans with his rendition of Nirvana's “Heart-Shaped Box”, shortly before the amplifiers, pedals and non-plastic guitars that would consume him in the years to come. It was thanks to a video game about pretending to play music that he would be inspired to... actually play music. A successful Craigslist transaction led to his first electric guitar, a white Schecter Tempest, named Rabbit. Like Alice in a land of wonder, he spent his formative musical years chasing his curiosity down rabbit holes. This exploration eventually led to finding his home in the world of Indie music. Today, a common thread can be found across the eclectic mix of personal heroes Faris resonates with and aspires to: artistic abstractions that invite interpretation, conversation and, ultimately, connection.