Born in the Netherlands to Afghan refugee parents, Ferdous releases his latest 6-track alt-R&B EP titled ‘Doors EP’ through Faintly Red records. I first came across Ferdous through his pop duo project Kylne. Kylne found commercial success with their self-titled 2017 studio album, which perfectly blended electronic-pop synths with organic house drum grooves and indie pop-centred vocal melodies. ‘Water Flow’ being a highlight single off the album. Now fast-forward to 2022, with a handful of singles and a debut EP under his belt, Ferdous has crafted his own unique sound, one where he is able to share both his production and vocal ability, which was secondary under Kylne. ‘Doors’ EP is a collection of intimate and lyrically-honest songs unraveling Ferdous’ personal identity through a sonic palette of minimalistic electronica, R&B and alt-pop. Ferdous ensures the EP is diverse by switching up on tempos and styles with more up-beat, synth-orientated tracks such as ‘Vivid’ to more darker alt R&B such as the Drake-reminiscent track ‘Wasteland’ to the afro-swing inspired drum groove on ‘Trust/Verify’. Ferdous’s vocal performance across the EP is delicate and vulnerable throughout emphasising the times he admits on ‘Tolerate’ – “Got to have you with me/Even if it’s just for one night” and “Guess I should’ve known what I was getting into.” Sonically, I would like Ferdous to push his sonic boundaries further on his next releases. As much as I enjoyed this EP as a whole there were times when I felt that the production sounded too safe for an artist of his calibre and potential.
When asked about the Doors EP, Ferdous described that “Listening back to the EP I can clearly see when I felt like I was at my best and when I was at my absolute worst. Even if my state of mind isn’t obvious on each track, it still feels incredibly personal,” Ferdous reveals. “For a long time I didn’t feel like I was ready to put some of these songs out. But I feel like this is my first body of work where I didn’t want to hold back on anything, I’m starting to let go of the idea of how my thoughts should be perceived once it’s outside of my own space. The whole thing for me was a liberating experience, I hope that’s something that can be felt throughout the EP.”
The Doors EP also features photography and artwork from critically acclaimed photographer Nick van Tiem. Nick was brought in to help express the roots of his musical identity,with the use of imagery to highlight that he does not want to be defined by one simple thing, or just one side of his background. Ferdous added that “It still feels mad that we had the EP visuals finalised shortly before the terrible situation started to unfold in Afghanistan. I’m still in shock and it hurts thinking about it. It feels incredibly bittersweet to have parts of the artwork highlight my heritage, because I’m still proud of the fact that my roots lie in Afghanistan and how that interacts with everything I do in music one way or another. It was so important for me to be able to express this somehow and to tell people that it’s an integral part of who I am. Shout-out to Nick for capturing all this. I’m very proud to have these visuals complementing the story I’m trying to tell as an artist.”