Faris Badwan

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Faris Badwan
Faris Badwan 2006.jpg
Background information
Birth nameFaris Adam Derar Badwan
Born (1986-09-21) 21 September 1986 (age 33)
Bexley, Kent, England
OriginLeamington Spa/Rugby, England
GenresNeo-psychedelia, post-punk revival, shoegazing, garage rock revival, alternative rock, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, vocalist, artist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active2005–present
Stolen Transmission
XL Recordings
Associated actsThe Horrors, the Rotters, Lumina, Cat's Eyes

Faris Adam Derar Badwan[1] (born 21 September 1986) is an English musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the Horrors, and more recently as half of Cat's Eyes.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Bexley, Kent [3][4] on 21 September 1986 to a Palestinian father and English mother, Badwan grew up in Leamington Spa and Hillmorton, Rugby along with three brothers.[5]

Badwan attended the public school Arnold Lodge School in Leamington Spa before obtaining a scholarship in 1999 to the exclusive public boarding school Rugby School,[6] where he met future Horrors bassist and synthesiser player Tom Cowan, also known as Tom Furse.[7][8] Continuing his education, Badwan moved to London to study illustration at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2004, eventually deferring from his studies to concentrate on his musical career with the band.[9]

Musical career[edit]

Badwan in 2014

Badwan is best known as vocalist for the Horrors, an alternative rock band formed in Southend-on-Sea in 2005. Their debut album, Strange House, was released in 2007. Badwan became notorious for his onstage activities, which have featured violence, the use of black paint to mark audience members, scaling anything available and using items found in the stage area to antagonise the audience.[10] Badwan and his band were thrown out of venue Great Scott in Massachusetts in 2007 after he accidentally smashed a ceramic bust of Elvis Presley on stage.[11]

Prior to forming the Horrors, Faris took part in pseudo-punk band the Rotters, named after the novel The Rotters' Club by Jonathan Coe.[12]

Faris released a one-off single under the pseudonym of Lumina, teaming up with ex-Ipso Facto member Cherish Kaya to record a cover of the Black Lips song "I'll Be With You".[13] This recording appeared as a B-side on the Black Lips single "Drugs".[13]

Badwan's illustrations have also earned admiration; his artwork has been featured on releases by the Horrors, the Charlatans and Hatcham Social,[14] and in Vice magazine. His "Drawing a Straight Number Nine" exhibition in London featured a drawing series of 100 new works by the frontman.[15] Due to its popularity, it was then taken to Milan, Italy.[14]

In 2011, Faris collaborated with Canadian opera singer Rachel Zeffira under the moniker Cat's Eyes, releasing the Broken Glass EP and a self-titled full-length album.

Faris appeared on the TV show Soccer AM, scoring in the spot kick challenge. He talked about his love of football, confirming that he is a Blackburn Rovers supporter.

In early 2015, Faris and his brother Tarik Badwan (lead singer of Loom),[16] announced that they would be launching RAFT Records, in partnership with Vinyl Factory. They collaborated with renowned designer Marc Donaldson to create the label's aesthetic.[17] The first release was a four-track double 7" EP featuring Skinny Girl Diet, Niqab, Puffer and Jet Black.

In February 2015, Cat's Eyes released the soundtrack for Peter Strickland's film The Duke of Burgundy.[18]

In February 2017, Hercules & Love Affair released the single "Controller", featuring Badwan on vocals.[19]

In 2018, the Norwich-based duo Let's Eat Grandma released their sophomore album, "I'm All Ears", featuring two songs co-written and produced by Badwan and Sophie, "Hot Pink" and "It's Not Just Me".[20]


  1. ^ https://repertoire.bmi.com/Catalog.aspx?detail=writerid&page=1&fromrow=1&torow=25&keyid=1216131&subid=0
  2. ^ Dorian Lynskey. "When Cat's Eyes met Ron Arad | Culture". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Interview: Faris Badwan, The Horrors". Native Monster. Retrieved 17 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ https://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/england-and-wales-births-1837-2006?firstname=faris&lastname=badwan
  5. ^ McAlpine, Fraser. "BBC - Chart Blog: The Horrors: Night Time Is The Fright Time". Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  6. ^ http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/cats-eyes-singer-faris-badwan-11145060
  7. ^ "The Horrors know fame is nothing to be frightened of - Features - Music". The Independent. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  8. ^ "The Horrors' Tom Furse Shares New Music". Clashmusic.com.
  9. ^ Paphides, Pete (2006) "The rocking Horrors show", The Times, 18 August 2006, retrieved 2010-11-06
  10. ^ "Horrors Singer Attacked During CMJ Performance", SPIN, 1 November 2006, retrieved 2010-11-06
  11. ^ "The Horrors Thrown Out Of Concert Venue", contactmusic.com, 16 March 2007, retrieved 2010-11-06
  12. ^ Monroe, Jazz (2 May 2014). "Strange Fascination: Inside The Cult of The Horrors". theskinny.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b "The Horrors' Faris Badwan to release Black Lips cover", NME, 7 August 2009, retrieved 2010-11-06
  14. ^ a b "The Horrors' Faris Badwan for Milan art show", NME, 16 October 2010, retrieved 2010-11-06
  15. ^ "The Horrors' Faris Badwan to exhibit his art in London", NME, 7 July 2010, retrieved 2010-11-06
  16. ^ http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-radar/radar-band-of-the-week-no-127-loom
  17. ^ Marc Donaldson. "Raft Records". Raft Records. Retrieved 31 August 2015. Marc Donaldson designed RAFT's label aesthetic
  18. ^ Dennis, Jon (2015) "Cat’s Eyes: The Duke of Burgundy soundtrack review – eerie beauty from Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira", The Guardian, 12 February 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015
  19. ^ http://pitchfork.com/news/71123-hercules-and-love-affair-share-new-song-featuring-the-horrors-faris-badwan-listen/ Hercules and Love Affair Share New Song Featuring the Horrors’ Faris Badwan: Listen, Pitchfork.
  20. ^ Snapes, Laura (2018) "[1]", The Guardian, 29 June 2018.