If you like your music electronic yet intimate; classic yet futuristic; peaceful yet punchy; then look no further because London-based artist and producer, Fifi Rong is here with her latest EP release: Forbidden Desire.
Even without a manager or record label, the Beijing-born beauty has collected avid interest from the likes of The Clash, The 405 and most recently received national airplay on Radio 1. Not only that, but her influence isn't just taking hold in London and Europe after completing headline tours, she has also been voted into the top ten most popular new artists in China. Not bad for someone who didn't always see music in their path. Born and brought up in China, she moved to the UK to go to boarding school at sixteen, and it was only when she moved to London as an adult that her passion was ignited and the journey began. Having been trained in piano, violin, classical singing and guitar as a child, she then combined that with her love of electronic beats and dub as she was coached to produce her own music.
Up until now, she has mainly been seen collaborating with artists such as Skepta and Tricky, being known as a voice and collaborator, but now she's determined to go it alone, not only in terms of artistic direction, her look and lyrics but also in a DIY production that she says is an essential part of her package. When creating a track, she will shut herself away from any influences of the outside world so that what is created is “raw, emotional, intimate and uncompromised by external forces,” in Fifi's own words.
“It's a very individual and intimate language that I speak, with unfiltered and naked feelings of my own, for those who want to join me and listen to something real.”
The result? her music has a dark, sometimes sinister undertone yet her seductive, breathy vocals melt like velvet in your ears with a melody that clashes beautifully with the beat. This, mixed in with a heady baseline comprising of dubstep, jazz and hip hop, creates quite the soundscape. The punchy beats take you on a unique journey, transcending time and genres.
Take it from me: if you find yourself listening to her latest offering on your headphones, you would be forgiven for thinking she was there, whispering her vocals right into your ear as she brings a level of intimacy to her songs that feels as though she is singing just for you, yet it is also a sound that wouldn't go amiss pumping out at a beach party in Ibiza.
Though her sound is contemporary with a side of other universes, the traditional influences in her eclectic look hark back to her Chinese heritage, which only adds to the magnetic draw of this curious and etherial artist. And just to add to the quality of the track, Forbidden Desire was also mixed by Emmy Award-nominated, Robert L. Smith, who has worked with artists from Lady Gaga to the late David Bowie.
There is an LP currently in the process of being created, with no release date as yet, but after listening to the sultry sonic treat that is Forbidden Desire, we will certainly be looking out for news of when it will be dropping and we will make sure you're the first to know.
See the video of LP Forbidden Desire here:
Words by Elspeth Pierce