Retrograde – Interview with Fifi Rong
Fifi Rong’s music has gone through changes that have exculpated no shamelessness in her efforts to stay true to the image and sound of miss Rong herself. The distinct conduct of her imagery and outlook has placed Fifi Rong has a hybrid pulsating through electronica, dub, Jazz, UKG, Soundscape, and even Hip Hop. Her image is extravagance and pure colour with rich textures and fabrics washing through her videos like: ‘Since When,’ Next Pursuit’ and her most recent, ‘Forbidden Desire.’ She uses environments and scenes that even Yimou Zhang would be proud of (Hero), and the Geisha make-up of hair, face, and body can only add to some of the heritage that miss Rong is known to carry out and display. It brings me no shame in saying that since the first time I interviewed Fifi Rong nothing has changed in terms of personality either – she is still courteous and prompt, and not entirely unreachable as an artist. I was glad to have this opportunity again to follow – through on her latest EP release ‘Forbidden Desire’ and her latest videos (etc.)
C: You have a new Ep coming out on April 29th called ‘Forbidden Desire” a title that holds much to its name, what can your listeners expect to hear from this new Ep in comparison to ‘Violently Silently’?
F: I needed Violently silently for the transition to my current sound in ‘forbidden desire’ EP which is the most realized work that portraits in terms of writing and production. I was going through an organic process of self-discovery towards becoming fully formed as an artist. I hope this EP will prepare my audience for my new chapter, and take them through a transition into my next album, which will be telling what I have grown into over the last few years.
C: After listening to tracks on your EP likes ‘You hurt me’ and ‘Holy’ there is many varieties of sounds and experimentations that produce unique elements to your music, has this always been an important aspect? What makes your music so unique?
F: Yes the samples I collected are definitely a huge part of my production. What I do is I mould the sound I like and sampled from any source you can imagine into my own sampler, to a point you can’t guess where the sound is from sometimes. I suppose the blending of all my eastern and western influences into something that’s mine is what’s individual about my music.
C: Can you talk to us through each track on your Ep? Are their personal realities to be told here? What story does each song hold?
F: Yes all real stories but I can’t tell you the details you have to find out from the songs.
Forbidden desire: is about desire created in the distance between reality and fantasy of wanting someone
Holy: is expressing a mood, my state of being. Holistic experience of the circle of life and soul searching
You hurt me: was an idea I wanted to develop for a long time but this time due to an emotional outburst it happened very quickly and smoothly. It’s an instrument led track and vocal acts as an instrument here.
C: What do you make of genres these days? It’s hard to pinpoint one or the other right?
F: Genres help people to put things in place in their heads. It helps artists to get exposure if they are in the ‘hot’ genre of the time. But the downside of genre is that it usually doesn’t age well, being inside a genre could make you a sacrifice in the history.
C: How has your music been received internationally? Obviously many talk of its success, but in your personal opinion is it easy reaching these outer borders?
F: For me there is no inside or outside. To western People I’m Chinese; to Chinese people I’m westernized. Both like me for different reasons. With Internet, there is no border really, so I don’t have a sense of reaching any boarders.
C: Your image is always full of rich colours and artistic visions that border something out of a Chinese or Japanese movie (including your videos), how much of your culture plays a part in the way you look and think? Is it important?
F: Yeah my heritage plays a large part in what I do. A lot of westerners have their own interpretation of the oriental sound and style but I would like to show the world how it really is in a way people here would understand. It is important to carry on my heritage and what I am in my blood, and feed people in today’s world that is overloaded with information yet starved from quality content.
C: China and Hong Kong is very different from Europe and the UK, when it comes to your shows and audiences which ones have stood out?
F: People react in similar ways, I in particular enjoy German audiences but people are sweet in general.
C: With a new video coming out real soon, what else is on the pipeline for you in 2016?
F: I’m producing my new album, which is a fuller picture of forbidden desire EP. There are a few exciting shows and collabs coming out this year as well.
C: Please let us know of any upcoming shows to add to the calendar.
F: I just had my forbidden desire launch show and it was a great show and I really enjoyed and connected with my audience. I have to keep you posted with the next one as it’s not confirmed yet 🙂