A Serene Singing Sensation

A song about staying connected across distances recorded by a young Bahraini singer is mesmerising thousands on social media.

Serene Faraj, 10, is following in her father Ehab’s musical steps, and has written, recorded and released Here to Stay, a three-minute song about the connection felt by loved ones, no matter the distance between them.

Within days of its release, the song attracted more than 4,000 views on Instagram and YouTube.

“I did not expect so many people to be interested in seeing it and to get so many great and encouraging comments,” Serene told the GDN.

“I have been singing ever since I was about four-years-old. I sing all the time when I am at home and some of my favourite songs include This is Me, from The Greatest Showman movie, My Home Town from the Eurovision movie, Strangers by Sigrid and Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha.”

The Year 6 St Christopher’s student has been working on her song for the last year, even though the lyrics seem ever more prescient and relevant to today’s socially-distanced climate.

She was inspired by the connection she felt as she stayed in touch with one of her closest friends, whom she knew since they were both aged three and who moved back to the UK.

Her father, Ehab, a well-known musician in the kingdom with a career spanning nearly four decades, added: “I was always hoping that at least one my kids would pick up my love for music and so happy to see that in Serene.

“She’s been singing from a young age and when she started writing Here to Stay, I saw the potential of the song and her ability to write, so I encouraged her to finish it and we recorded it soon after.”

Serene, working with filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani, recorded and released a music video alongside the song.

The video features the serene-sounding Serene painting palm trees as she sings the ditty, overseen by the watchful gaze of the horizon.

“I wanted to do something easy and simple at home which would also represent me and how I felt,” said Serene.

“Since this song was inspired by my friend, one of my favourite memories of us was when we went to a beach where we were surrounded by many palm trees. However, I wasn’t used to singing in front of a video camera and it made me want to laugh!”

Serene is the youngest of Ehab and Farah Cheshmejoui’s children and considers her father to be her biggest musical inspiration.

The UK-born young Bahraini does most of her creative work in the serenity of her room, surrounded by her paintings and artwork.

She has grown up around her father’s recording studio, watching him work and picking up the piano when she was younger.

Now that she has a song under her vocal belt, she is considering working on another composition.

“Our home is very music-friendly,” added Ehab. “I’ve made sure to keep instruments handy everywhere, including a piano in the living room, and small guitars called “guitaleles”. And, of course, there’s my music studio where there is no shortage of instruments for her to pick up.

“But mainly she is passionate about singing and sings throughout the day and does it with no encouragement from anyone.”

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Views my own. Eyeroll aficionado. With dreams of being the understudy of an amateur satirist.

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