Fifi Rong really embraces this current musical world where independent artists CAN make bonafide careers without the help of some powerful music label. Fifi has shown with well-planned Pledge campaigns and a sizeable fan base that the need for a large label seems to be diminishing.
In keeping with her high level of productivity she has released her latest single, The Same Road which sees her expanding (as she rightly states) her sound bringing something that has disco inspirations it would seem.
Following on from a piece we did with the singer and producer in 2016 titled Creating The Best Laid Plans, we finally got some time to have a chat with Fifi about her; new single, her career this far and of course we checked out her rather busy diary for 2017.
#itchysilk has been lucky enough to have watched your career blossom-how have things from a career perspective changed (if they have) since we last spoke?
Time goes surprisingly fast when I make music. Years feel like months, months feel like days, I lose track of time, so apart from the fact that I’ve been making more music, I don’t think much has changed. Even if there is change in my perspective, it is very gradual and it doesn’t make me feel very different.
We noted your ability (back when we first met) to be your own manager, PR, publicist, gig maker-what personal attributes do you think have helped you to achieve the goals have you have reached so far?
Independence, love for freedom and vision. I had to make the decision to do this before I could attract the right team to me.
How challenging is it keeping yourself relevant and of course keeping the name Fifi Rong on the musical landscape?
I don’t think I’ve ever tried to be ‘relevant’-I only know how to be myself and do what I like. The music scene changes so rapidly, it’s just frustrating to chase and short-lived, even if one has the skill and talent. I don’t think I have a talent to be a certain way- I just have a gift to be ‘me’.
Let’s talk about your own personal styling which we feel is a central component to the whole Fifi Rong experience-where do the mad creative looks come from?
I tend to come together with other creative minds easily. The looks are simply me trying something new-like kids having fun at home trying adult clothes on, you try on whatever and see what happens. Putting together a bunch of people like me, sometimes great things happen but the public wouldn’t ever see the other stuff that didn’t work out.
You have made Pledge work so well- how supportive and important has that been to your current success?
It’s great and it suits me a lot because it allows me to bond with my supporters, share my creative life and share who I am as person. More importantly, it allows them to really show the depth of their love for me and my music-I enjoy it even more these days.
You did SSXW how did that come about and what was that like?
Well I was invited and I got support from my fans through a Pledge campaign as well as PRS foundation funding so decided to make the trip. I did 4 shows there at strange times of day and it was a very intense yet valuable experience. Around 2000 bands and it was the first time for many things. I loved the sun and the peaceful atmosphere of the busy city.
Take us through your creative process and how if it has, has it changed since we last spoke?
I need to be in a peaceful state, a pleasant mood where I can focus. That’s when creativity starts flowing and the excitement of creating escalates. I write lyrics anywhere or whenever I feel like there are words coming out. The difference I would say, previously I felt I needed to be in pieces to be able to write a ‘significant’ song but I would be too sad to be efficient in working through the process. These days I write so much and produce a lot and I credit all kinds of emotions and not just devastating ones. So, the ideal state now is to be in a trance to deliver the best work.
Let’s talk that new single The Same Road.
Some have thought it was a new direction but it is not particularly if you look at the map of my new album-it’s only one facet of what I’m doing. I try to be as versatile and show a full spectrum of emotions and as many dynamics as possible. The sound is very connected throughout the album as an evolution from my recent releases-it’s an organic and gradual growth. I’m becoming more and my core identity is getting stronger and deeper.
Tell me about the lyrical content-The Same Road sounds quite deep?
Going down the same road means going inside a negative pattern that I couldn’t get myself out. There’s the spirit of a fighter- never gives up on trying to pull myself out of the trouble I created, fighting through inner resistance.
What’s next in the plan for Fifi Rong world domination and indeed where are you setting your sights?
Just doing the best I can for the album. It’s quite a journey already, as a lot of things have been happening in the meantime and it’s taking a while, tastes change and my production skills improve too. My mind is focused on this album really, dropping trails of singles and preparing people for what’s coming.
We know you are playing Wilderness where else will you be?
I’m doing two shows in Brighton next Friday. One is for Help Musicians at Alternative Escape, and the other one headlining one of the official Great Escape showcases. My new single launch show is on 13th June. I’ll be doing two show in Germany in the summer after Wilderness and then I’ll be on a world tour with Yello.