Local Tourist Interviews: Fifi Rong

What brought you to London?

I went to school in Bristol, Manchester, Scotland and ended up in London going to King’s College doing a PHD research in Dubstep culture but I got bored and just decided to focus on making music instead.

On social networks, you’ve had what looks like a countdown: We’re on 2 right now. What’s that about?

It’s a collaboration music video with some cool digital art artists and filmmaker on my Next Pursuit single from my latest EP. I’m excited to see what they do to it. Should be cool.

Recently, you told me you have plans to go back to China to tour. Tell us more about that.

Yeah, [I have] some shows in Hong Kong in November, some music festivals in Beijing, and a few other things not confirmed yet.

One of my favorite songs is “Only If I Knew”. Can you tell us more about what was going on when you wrote that?

It’s [about] a guy I met. I had some great dates and [I] felt like it was going where. He disappeared all of a sudden. I was upset and my ego was hurt, mixed with the fact that I was focusing on music for a few years without a relationship. So all in all, it was a bad cocktail — leaving me feeling vulnerable at the time. I’m sure everyone more or less has been through situations like that.

Fifi Rong
Images: Paris Seawell

In your bio, it talks about bringing in ‘Traditional Chinese’. Can you tell us more about those elements?

Naturally, the tone of my voice has that accent and tonality. I grew up in China. A lot of values and realms of my understanding and worldliness come from my Chinese cultural background. Hence visually and sonically, these elements are almost inevitable yet blended into what I am now – a cultural clash or mixture as a result.

A lot of producing credits on Next Pursuit belong to you. How is it letting go some of the control and collaborating?

I produce almost all [of] my stuff. But it’s fun to work with others’ sounds. It’s like I’m a loner. I like hanging out by myself but it’s fun to have conversations with others. Magic happens if there’s chemistry.

Tell us about some of the video content for this new project. What inspires you?

Basically, something new, exciting, and groundbreaking. Things that feels right and things that excite me from my gut I guess. Life and living inspires me. There’s always something to learn and expand every day, especially when shit happens.

For some people, when they come to a crossroads of leaving school, a job or relationship, it’s perceived as a gamble to focus on a passion / music? How was this transition for you, leaving school for music?

Be honest with yourself and follow your passion. I asked myself the same question for years, at my crossroads, before making the decision. It takes a lot of courage to follow my truth as opposed to what the world thinks is realistic. But I have proved to myself [that] this was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Is the collaborative video out?

Not yet, it’s moving slowly. Paris Seawell and Alba G. Coral teamed up to work on it. They are both amazing artists.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I’m doing proud galleries in Camden today. You’re welcome to come down. In addition, the rest of remixes for the EP is coming out. My video ‘Breathless’ with Paris is coming out before Next Pursuit.

Eric Fobair (Interviewer)
Richardine Bartee (Editor)

For more Fifi Rong, just click here and visit her official website for regular updates.

Written by Manny King John


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