FEATURE: Spotlight: FiFi Rong





PHOTO CREDIT: @stefanoboski, @mr.focu ‬⠀  

FiFi Rong


SOME artists release a few things here and there…


PHOTO CREDIT: @jamikelatif

and that is about it! You wait for ages and, before long, they get around to releasing material. That is never the case with FiFi Rong. She is about to embark on a crowd-funding campaign for her latest E.P., The Crown. The work tackles power-play and ego; machinations and divisions – topped with all the usual excellence and innovation we would associate with Rong. I have investigated her music a few times and, with each new move, you get something different and fascinating. Whether it is an icier and moonlit coda or a fierce and vibrant slam – the electronics and sonic textures she weaves are delectable and supreme. One thinks of artists such as FKA twigs and Björk when listening to FiFi Rong – her music occupies a similar ground and you get that blend of physically intense and gorgeous. Whereas her Icelandic peer looks more to the natural world and building her own world; Rong seems to collect from her surroundings and fuses all these elements together – like a hungry and agile explorer casting and surging into the world. There is going to be a lot of interest with her upcoming E.P. and I would expect a lot of people to get behind it. It is another extraordinary development and move from an artist who continues to rise and make her way through the music world.

Go back to her Forbidden Desire EP and there is something teasing and yearning in songs such as Holy and You Hurt Me. Go back further to 2015’s Violently Silent EP and you get five unique tracks: from the stomping and rushing Slow Poison to the more elegant and seductive Since When. I will end the Spotlight feature by collating a playlist of her songs and how she has transformed in the past few years. 2017’s The Same Road and The One explore new ground: the former has a racing Pop mandate that fuses with Electronic suggestions and Alternative cuts. There is something almost island-themed and Reggae-like regarding The One. It sweats and slowly struts its way through the scene in a way I have never heard from Rong. There are so many different sides to the exotic and quixotic FiFi Rong. Look at her 2013 album, Wrong, and you have all that confidence and variation right from the off. The choice track, in my view, is Hurt Outa Sudden. It is a juddering, mysterious thing that mixes Portishead, Björk and a world of music into a bubbling cauldron and lets it simmer. There is no denying how brilliant Rong was as early as 2013. Although her music brings in more light and range now – she has mutated and brought in greater width – you cannot deny the originality and sense of direction she sported back then.


PHOTO CREDIT: @stefanoboski, @mr.focu ‬⠀

I am excited to see what she comes up with on her new E.P. and whether she reverts to the darker world and more nervy sounds of her earlier work or continues with the sort of thing we heard on this year’s Awake – an E.P. that showed breeze, breathy vocals and a melting of positive Pop and edgier sounds. Horizon, from the E.P., is one of the best things I have ever heard from FiFi Rong: it moves through motions and stages and, whilst the lyrics grab your ear and whisper into your mind; the composition stutters, jabs and runs in all sorts of directions! The sheer passion and love Rong has for the music is what captivates. She is not conforming and aligning herself according to marketing zodiac signs and label demands: what she puts out is done in her own way and she only moves to the beat of her own drum. Alongside the music itself, you get fashion, style and innovation. Rong is someone who can take care of every stage of production and has a great knowledge of production and music technology. She is as interested in the workings of machinery and technology; how various sounds and effects can emphasise emotions and introduce vivid imaginations. Although there is other personnel on her work; the control and influence exerted by Rong herself mean there are fewer hands picking and pulling away – the music does not suffer and sounds more natural and free because of it.


I have mentioned a few other musicians – each of them is known for creating their own identity and standing out from the pack. FiFi Rong’s Asian background goes into her look and music. You have the fusion of Eastern designs and makeup; that translates into her music and you get a great flavour of Asia. Alongside this is a U.S./U.K. combination that makes Rong a fascinating and eye-catching proposition. There is immense beauty and sexuality in her work; a subtlety one moment that goes to rapture and ecstasy – that seamless unity of the delicate and passionate makes her such a force in the industry. The images one gets from her social media accounts certainty grabs the brain and gets into the soul. She mixes up her images; from black-and-white shots that contain smoke and beauty to colourful and bright-lit shots that show that explosive unification of East and West. In an age where few artists are regularly providing change and images; it is nice to see Rong take an offensive outlook and showcase her talent regarding imagery and music. The way FiFi Rong engages with her fans and has that connection is another reason to gravitate towards her music. She is a complete artist and somebody who makes every effort to push boundaries and defy the odds. I have featured Rong a number of times but keep coming back because her world and music gets bigger and stronger.


PHOTO CREDIT: @parisseawell

One could look at highlights and which period of FiFi Rong’s career is the best. It is impossible to limit your views and get to grips with the enormity of her work. I love how she has changed and the way her music continues to pick up new ideas and keep the audience guessing. Big radio stations and musicians are backing her music; there is no denying the brilliance of her design and how keen her ambitions are. The Crown is going to be a much-anticipated release and one I am really looking forward to. Rong has travelled around the world and is attracted to different people and cultures. Like fantastic innovators – modern-day geniuses like Damon Albarn – Rong looks around her and brings worldly eclecticism into one place. Her stock and world is a fascinating place and one everyone should be involved with. I shall leave things here but urge people to keep their eyes cast her way – the rest of this year is going to be intense and exciting. There are few artists out there like FiFi Rong. Surrender to her magic and let the incredible forces of nature get into the blood and do their thing! She has been around for a few years but there are many more years left in her. It is scary to think how far along she will be in a couple of years, even. If anyone was primed and ready to take her music to the mainstream and mix it up then it is FiFi Rong. When you listen to what she is producing right now then you have to think that moment is…

RIGHT around the corner.


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