Interview with She Makes Music
Getting To Know…
London-based singer, songwriter and producer Fifi Rong, whose constant stream of independent releases and contributions to Skepta’s Mercury Award-winning ‘Konnichiwa’, Tricky’s ‘False Idols’ and electro legends Yello’s current album Toy have thrilled her ever-expanding and deeply devoted fan base, is back with a new song.
‘The One’ represents the final instalment in a trilogy of singles, which began with the critically acclaimed ‘Future Never Comes’ and continued with the equally celebrated ‘The Same Road’. Yet again, Rong proves that she is not an artist prepared to stand still. Gone are the 80s soundscapes, to be replaced by multi-layered sounds and varying echoes with a distinctly organic and upbeat feel, heavily influenced by reggae and dub, and all served up with a generous slice of pop.
The track was mixed by Isabel Gracefield whose credits include Sam Smith, The XX, Benjamin Clementine and Emeli Sande among others. Stream it above.
Having already established herself internationally as a stand-out live performer, with headline shows throughout the UK, Europe and China/Hong Kong, she released her much-anticipated EP Violently Silently in December 2015. Fifi’s last EP Forbidden Desire was released on in April 2016.
We had a quick chat with Fifi about ‘The One’, collaborations, performing live and more. Check it out below.
You’re about to release your new single ‘The One’. The track is pretty different from what you’ve done before, drawing on more urban, reggae and dub elements. What was the reason for this change in sound?
“Oh trust me, that has been me from day one. I wouldn’t say urban. I’m a bass lover, a bass addict, and it’s bass that got me into music making. Dub reggae is where a lot of the currently popular electronic genres came from. Think about hip hop, trip hop, dubstep, two step, bass line, UKG, Jungle, Drum and Bass. The grandfather is rooted in Jamaican dub reggae. So there’s no change in sound really, I’m just covering my roots.
Is this a direction you’ll be exploring further?
“Yes. Anything and everything that sounds good to me. I don’t see genre limitations in music. As long as I can get my hands on and mould it into my music, I would take the various elements and play with them. But the main rule is.. if it’s got a nice low end, I’m there.”
You’ve collaborated with Tricky, Phaeleh, Skepta and Yello to name a few. What have you gained from the experience of working with these artists/producers?
“Yeah, I’ve worked with over 30 producers casually and formally. I have definitely gained much from it, and I like learning from experienced producers and artists especially to learn their ways and attitude they possess in regard to their careers.”
Who else would you love to collaborate with and why?
“The Villagers, 6lack, James Blake and Shlohmo, and whoever’s got that achingly beautiful thing in their music that makes me fall in love.. What can I say…”
You’ve played a number of festivals and shows over this last year and you will also feature as a special guest on Yello’s forthcoming arena tour. What is your favourite thing about touring and performing live?
“It’s always a challenge because it’s thrilling like extreme sports to the mind. It reprograms one’s mentality and metabolism. And I like travelling to places I haven’t been and have experiences I never had. Any experience is good experience in a way, as it expands my horizon.”
Finally, what’s next for Fifi Rong?
“I’m producing my new EP as we speak. And I already have a full length album per se but I’m writing new stuff as well so I will just let these boys fight for their seats and earn their way onto my new album. The ‘The One’ video is just done. I directed it and was pretty much hands on all the way. And I’m quite happy with the result.”
‘The One’ is out October 13. read here