After several years of studying and contributing to the lo-fi hip-hop scene on YouTube, emotive songwriter and artist Powfu has emerged from a small town outside of Vancouver and has established himself as an important player in bringing the unique lo-fi genre into the mainstream around the world.
The 21-year-old artist (born Isaiah Faber) grew up in a musical household and started recording and releasing music in the basement of his home while still in high school. After identifying his image and sound, Powfu steadily released new tracks over the next 3 years and started drawing millions of streams across multiple platforms. Throughout his journey, he has connected and collaborated with many other lo-fi artists on the rise such as Rxseboy, Guardin, and Snøw, building an impressive catalog that now boasts over 60 tracks on Soundcloud that bounce between chill-lo-fi and hype-punk. His unique sound and melding of genres stems from his love of artists as diverse as Yellowcard, blink-182, G-Eazy and MadeinTYO.
In early 2019, Powfu was browsing beats on Soundcloud and discovered an irresistible beat by Otterpop that sampled Filipino-British singer/songwriter beabadoobee. He wrote and recorded a rap for the song that complimented her hook, taking on the perspective of someone on their death bed who wishes they had more time with the person they love. Powfu laid a personal touch by merging that storyline with how he would feel if it were him in those shoes with his current relationship.
"I was watching a lot of romantic movies at the time that were inspiring me to write about deep, romantic stuff. When I write songs, I usually come up with a story first in my head of what I want to write about. The film ‘The Notebook’ was probably the main inspiration for the song, to be honest. It just got me in the feels, and I just started writing down everything I was feeling."
"death bed (coffee for your head)" was released and about 5 months later, the song took on a life of its own and exploded on YouTube, racking up millions of plays. The song then took over on TikTok in early 2020, and soon it sprung onto the Spotify, Shazam and Billboard charts.
After gaining worldwide attention from the song and signing to Columbia Records, Powfu has released his new EP poems of the past. The collection showcases his incredible growth since his early independent releases, and his diverse sounds and talents that range between alternative, hip-hop, and bedroom pop. The 6-song EP features collaborations with his lo-fi peers Sarcastic Sounds, Rxseboy, Jomie, ivri, and sleep.ing, who is also Powfu’s sister. Closing out poems of the past is a bonus remix of "death bed (coffee for your head)" featuring one of Powfu’s all-time favorite bands, blink-182.
"The 6 songs on this EP are some of my favorites that I’ve ever recorded," says Powfu. "I had a lot of fun experimenting with different features and sounds, and I hope everyone finds their own favorite song on it, whether they like hip-hop, punk, lo-fi or bedroom pop. Some of these songs were written about my own personal past and some are romantic stories I wanted to tell. I hope the fans enjoy it."
When the state of the world allows, Powfu looks forward to touring, playing live shows, and meeting his fans.