By Sheroog Kubur, August 1 2022—
Calgary’s music scene is often delegated to whatever post-punk or indie band is appearing on your radar, but it would be disingenuous to say that’s all you have to look forward to. For those of us with an affinity to pop, there’s an artist on the rise that you should pay attention to from our very own hometown. Say hello to Premanition, or Fatiha Rezwan, the electro-pop singer that has been becoming more than just your run-of-the-mill popstar.
The stage name Premanition is both an homage to her Bengladeshi heritage and experiences with music. In her culture, nicknames are more commonly used than given names, and her nickname happens to be Prema. While trying to come up with DJ names for the class she was taking at the time, the name Premanition was brought up and stuck. The foreboding nature of her name makes her an act to keep an eye out for but not something to be skeptical of.
Her sonic journey tells a story beyond a simple rebrand. Before delving into the dark electro-pop sound she embraces today, her music was much more folk oriented. Her earlier tracks were stripped back, consisting mainly of her guitar and her voice. This sound was most clearly seen in her first EP, Head Games. It’s a dark and haunting project, feeling equal parts entrancing and authentic. It doesn’t come across as a bright-eyed upcoming artist desperate to make an impression, but rather a seasoned artist using her music to tell stories. The lyrics are heartbreaking and raw and the accompanying instrumental is simple and refreshing.
So, imagine the world’s shock when her newest single, “Heaven,” was a complete deviation from this sound. It took what she was previously known for and flipped it on its head. The acoustic guitar was replaced by intricate synths, the haunting back tracks were replaced by extensive vocal layering and the raw lyricism was replaced with bold declarations of conviction. The songs remained dark and moody but were a completely different interpretation.
“I’ve always wanted to go for larger and more dramatic sounds in terms of composition,” she said about her transition to electronic pop.
She also attributed her desire to have a full band as what pushed her to go down the electronic route. Finding band members willing to take on her project was tough, so she elected to redirect her focus to something that can be done independently.
“I guess I could have gone down the route of trying to start a band,” she said. “But I decided “no, I wanted to steer the entire ship right now and learn about production.””
Production is just one of the skills added to her roster that she plans to flex on her upcoming album. It is a mixed-media concept album titled Dark Ages released in conjunction with a novel. It’s an ambitious project, releasing singles every couple of months leading up to the final album release in March of 2023.
Despite the complexity of the project and the dedication to work on two major projects concurrently, Premanition maintains that she was ready to dive headfirst into this. After producing and editing the music video for “Sleepwalking” entirely by herself, she concluded that she was more than ready to bring this vision to life.
“I realized the only reason I’m not doing it is because I was scared,” she said about starting the project. “There’s no way I can’t do it now because I logic-ed my way into it.”
The album will keep her signature gothic atmospheric sound which accurately reflects the themes of the story. It’s a reflection of the past two years plagued by a virus we’ve all become intimately familiar with. The album draws parallels between the moral panics of the Dark Ages and what we’ve witnessed in the last couple years.
“I just want to tell stories and make people ask questions,” she said about the inspiration behind the project. “And through that, when people question themselves maybe change will happen.”
Premanition is a force to be reckoned with. She is not only a singer and performer, but an artist. She is dedicated to her craft and expresses her ideas with unmatched artistic integrity. Beyond that, her music is just really good. Even if you’re not a fan of folk or pop, she teeters the line of each genre well enough that there’s no limitations to what you can find in her discography. She takes her listeners on the journey with her, and while the ride may be unexpected and unusual, it will be something worthwhile. Her catalogue can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and all other streaming platforms.
Sheroog’s Recommendation: “Hide The Smoke’’ for some dark cottagecore realness and “Worthy,” releasing August 5.