About Fifi Rong
I have been meaning to write an introduction to Fifi Rong for sometime now. I often feel that it is my mission in life to introduce new bands and singers that I enjoy to my peers and readers. Fifi is a London-based artist who is a singer, songwriter, musician and visionary. From what I understand Fifi is from Beijing and her music reflects her heritage, but more about that later.
I have been following Fifi since I bought her album in 2015 which is called “Next Pursuit” which was released in 2014. I discovered Fifi on YouTube when searching for new music and artists and I watched every video I could find that night and also went on to her website, fifirong.com, to purchase her album.
I also follow Fifi on Twitter and what I like about her is that she will always respond to a tweet, that isn’t something that every artist will do so she is very approachable. I recently supported Fifi Rong’s work on Pledgemusic.com. I have to say it wasn’t charity because I received a signed copy of her new EP Awake, which I am going to review below.
As I previously mentioned I received a signed copy of Fifi’s new 4 track EP called Awake. The Tracks on there are Awake, Attack, Horizon and Sin City. I want to give my initial impressions each track on the EP.
Awake is the title track of the EP. The first couple of bars to this song took me back to the 1980’s when I first saw Gary Numan in Concert in Coventry during his Pleasure Principle Tour. The full sound of a synthesizer for the first thirteen seconds of the track and then immediately beautiful voice of Fifi with the first lines of the song “Lights, cars and people on the street. Fated meetings and every soul between. It’s hard to stay awake and hard to fall asleep in the heated battle we cherish the kiss” and the beat and rhythm of this track picks up and carrying you through the song. What I love about the track is the mixture of Fifi’s voice with the overlay of drums and synths.
On the first listening of this track I immediately thought that this would make a brilliant soundtrack for a Marvel movie or even for the Steven Spielberg’s film “Ready Player One”. It reminded me of a Playstation or Xbox game with synth fading in and then the synth bass and drums kicking so in a way it came as no surprise and yet surprising chorus that goes “Attack, Attack up up down back” which is reminiscent of the cheat codes that my son used to use on his game console. I love the vocal and music mixture which leads up to the first chorus in which Fifi sings the word “I’m coming for you, I’m coming for you”.
For me Horizon is a beautiful addictive piece of music. It begins with the sweet breathy voice Fifi singing the words “Sadness sipping through my pores, sinking a little deeper to the ground” There is minimum music behind her voice. as the track continues her voices fades more as it leads up to a bass drum drop and the synth kicks with Fifi’s voice echoing a long to the beat. I find this track very hypnotic with the voice and lyrics and the synths. it is very reminiscent of the song Hyperballard by Bjork from her Post album. In many ways this song evokes the same feelings and emotions of that song. though I find this song very hypnotic the words are far from soothing with the lyrics like “Soon this pain will end, soon it will start again.”
Sin city starts with a deep bass in a heartbeat rhythm. It is a slow ballad of the relation between two people both seem to be destructive towards each other. Fifi sings “I see murder in your eyes when you are pieces. I ‘m no good indeed yes I am bad and helpless.” and later sings “Neon lights suffocate in the sin city. Your brother warned you about me. I will break your heart and leave…” It is both a dark and beautifully sung track. the song is carried by a deep rumbling bass and nice tight drum beat again overlayed with the beautiful breathy voice of Fifi.
What I would like to have heard on this album
A track I would like to have heard on the Awake album is the son called The One (click on the link to see the YouTube video). This was originally released in October 2017 but isn’t featured on this EP but it may be on a future album. What I love about that this track is that it showcases the many styles and sounds of Fifi. It is a very up beat with a reggae beat. Though music is very upbeat the emotion and lyrics of the is pretty down beat “You could be the one, except you failed my game, everything remains, until tragedy ends it I could be the one, except I lost my way Don’t wanna be afraid If it hurts, it hurts” which makes this song both bitter and sweet. saying that it must be heard to be appreciated.
When Fifi dons her on stage persona she would not look out of place in the original Blade Runner, at times in her video she dresses in the style of a geisha in others she is not out of place in a Brazilian Festival or an evening out in London. It is my ambition to see Fifi Rong live but so far I have only seen her videos and bought her music but to see. To see more images and view her discography visit Fifi’s own website a fifirong.com
Who should give Fifi a listen?
As I said at the beginning of this blog I feel it is my mission to introduce my peers to new and up and coming artist and Fifi is definitely one of them. For my readers who still think The Rolling Stones, Gary Numan or Hazel O’Connor is the best thing since the sliced loaf was invented I have news for you There is still great artists and music out there. I can guarantee that if you were a someone who grew up in the 80’s listening to music by the Human League and Gary Numan. If you are a Bjork fan or anyone that loved electronic music this artist is for you. Give Fifi a listen and see if you don’t enjoy her music too.
If you enjoyed this blog on Fifi Rong then read my blog on Championing new bands and singers.