Outside of firefighting, Faizal Coto was an aspiring rapper who performed under the name FAIYA — and recently asked his fans for their support in his musical pursuits.
“Slowly making a return to my music. I have a ton of ground to make up. Your support as always is appreciated,” the 33-year-old member of the Bravest wrote on Facebook late last month.
“I don’t ask for a dime… only that you share. Spread the FAIYA!!!” he added.
He wrote earlier that “there’s a bigger picture when it comes to my Life, my Music and the Legacy that I hope to leave behind.”
Coto also offered advice on how to tackle adversities in life.
“A lot of times getting into creative zones means opening dark places in your mind. This is what makes creative expression so powerful… it forces you to release everything that weighs heavy on your heart,” he wrote.
“Anyone that deals with depression, anxiety, insecurity (which is ALL of us at one time or another) pick up an instrument, a sketch pad, a paintbrush, a pair of dancing shoes, a camera… something that can capture what you wish to say without words.”
In his FAIYA website’s bio, Coto wrote: “Showered with diversity since day one, this Puertorican, Sicilian, Indonesian rapper was destined to appeal to all walks of life.
“Early on, the written word became Faiya’s escape, and he learned to always express his feelings through art… from paintings and poems to songs and stories.”
Coto said one of his poems was published in an anthology when he was 11. The following year, he wrote, he was sent to Norway with a musical program to perform for the royals.
“In 2005, Faiya tackled the modeling industry… and for nearly two years Faiya charged full steam ahead earning jobs such as a Mountain Dew Ad and the cover of New York Magazine,” the bio says.
“Reckless living and a slew of bad decisions led him to write 25 songs in a one month time span. This was therapy for Faiya, and he realized after playing it for others, that it could very well be therapy for the world.”
Meanwhile, tributes continued to pour in for the smoke-eater and artist.
“I don’t know you or your family or friends or any of your FDNY brothers and sisters but I am a New Yorker and I’m saddened by this tragedy,” one person wrote on Facebook.
Another wrote: “I am soooo sorry for your loss. My niece was an FDNY EMS killed March 2017 so I can imagine the pain your family is going thru.
“May you rest in the most heavenly peace and I’m so sorry that your departure had to be in such a horrific manner.”
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