Confined within the four walls of his room, Isaiah Faber’s quarantine experience was rather indistinguishable, until his song started to amass billions of likes on TikTok.
Faber, a 23-year-old Canadian musician known as Powfu, acquired over a million TikTok followers after the release of his song “death bed (coffee for your head).” The viral hit, featuring singer-songwriter beabadoobee, has since been featured in more than four million TikToks and gathered upwards of a billion streams on Spotify
Powfu embarked on his first 12-show tour in North America. The tour includes a stop at the High Dive in Gainesville June 16.
“I want to be connected with my fans,” Powfu said. “I want to be able to touch them and talk to them and listen to what they’re saying or yelling out in the crowd.”
Powfu concluded the first leg of his tour May 31, which included three shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, Canada. Though he had backstage nerves, the crowd’s buzz dissipated Powfu’s tension.
“When you see everybody and how excited they are to see you, it makes it so much easier,” Powfu said.
Despite his commercial success, the ongoing pandemic separated the singer from his fans. He tried to keep low expectations for his first tour, he said, but has been blown away by the first few shows.
One fan flew from California to Canada just to see him.
“He was there in the front row by himself,” Powfu said. “He knew every lyric, and he was crying when he met me. That was really crazy.”
After finally escaping the confines of the internet, Powfu is dedicated to creating a personal atmosphere with his shows, one he doesn’t think stadiums can offer. With heartfelt lyrics and slow-tempo beats, Powfu said he enjoys smaller venues, like High Dive, to help him connect and emote with his fans.
After his shows, Powfu stays behind to meet the people who have supported his journey to the stage. He started recording music on the bus between tour stops and said he’ll never stop writing lyrics and melodies
“So far, it feels very natural and like something I’m supposed to be doing,” Powfu said. “I would love to tour more areas and keep playing shows.”
With the bar set high, Powfu is leaving his home turf to perform his remaining live shows, starting with Florida. He’s looking forward to visiting parts of the United States he’s never seen before, including Gainesville.
Powfu’s performance at the High Dive will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday and tickets are available for purchase on High Dive’s website.
Averi Kremposky is a senior journalism major at the University of Florida. When she’s not covering music, art and culture beats for The Avenue, you can find her going to a concert, finishing another book in one sitting or submitting to the latest Taylor Swift album theory.