by Julia Cirignano
Meet RoseMary Fiki. She is both a singer (with a powerfully compelling voice) and business woman. I recently had the chance to ask her some questions about her budding career, plans for the future, and her many ambitions.
To truly understand this fascinating woman, I asked her what musicians have inspired her. “My love for music began at home with my parents playing traditional Nigerian music like King Sunny Ade, Shina Peters, and Fela Kuti alongside acts like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder. I would also have to say that Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are huge influences.”
Fiki is inspired by a wide variety of musicians, which is evident in her music. Her music has been given many labels such as rock, hip-hop, rap, afro-pop, and afro-punk. She has never worked within the confines of a specific genre, but did say, “I’m putting my energy into merging my love for pop and Nigerian music into my latest project.”
With this being said, Fiki will always have a rocker side. When performing, her songs seem to escape from her chest roaring with energy and attitude. Her voice oozes with emotion and soul as each song seems to take over her body, and captivate her audience. When can you see her live? Fiki mentions a few upcoming performances that she is personally excited for, including the upcoming XPoNential Music Festival.
“I’m a big fan of WXPN. Last year, I was fortunate to play The Key Sessions over at World Café Live and it was an awesome experience because it was our first time being on the radio. Since day one, the team at WXPN have been really supportive of my music and I’m truly grateful for this.” Although Fiki hasn’t attended the festival before, her performance is one you don’t want to miss.
Fiki is more than just a pretty face with an equally impressive voice, she is also the brains behind the operation and an intelligent business woman. “As a musician, having business sensibilities is definitely a plus. Owning and running a business makes you very aware of how everything operates behind the scenes. Booking your own shows, negotiating contracts, networking and building relationships provides hands on training on how the music industry works. I think this experience is important to have in your back pocket.”
Her newest release is her sophomore album The Great Unknown. According to Fiki, it’s “an indie-ethereal rock, soul album that touches on love, chasing your dreams and embracing the unfamiliar future. The title track, “The Great Unknown,” focuses on the fact that while things may not be clearly defined; you just have to fearlessly press forward.”
Fiki ’s life may seem glamorous from the outside, but she explains that “being a DIY musician and executive can definitely present its challenges. In addition to fronting my own band and being a co-owner of a small business, I still maintain a 9 to 5 job. My business partners also do the same. Everything that went into recording, mixing, and mastering The Great Unknown was funded entirely by our 9 to 5 paychecks. We’re all grinding behind the scenes, working multiple jobs to make ends meet. I know musicians can relate to this hustle.”
Fiki has exciting plans for the future. She is currently writing and recording new music which blends pop and Nigerian music (she says it’s a 180 from what she’s done in the past). “Once the new music is released, I plan to put together an East Coast tour to support the EP. Also, there’s so much talent in Philly. One of my goals for 2016 is to start curating and producing my own concert series featuring up and coming indie acts. Last but certainly not least, I need to ditch my 9 to 5…being a millennial and having to be cooped up in a office desk job is not a good look!”
Along with Fiki ’s many ambitions, she is also very interested in fashion. She is frequently seen rocking bold new looks, and she even has some of her own ideas. “I love fashion and one day I definitely want to start my own clothing line. The collection, that doesn’t exist yet, would mix punk with Ankara fabrics.
Fiki is both a talented and intelligent woman. She is a hard worker who puts 110% into whatever she sets her mind to- whether it’s her “normal person” 9-5 job, her work as a musician, or business owner. The Great Unknown is bursting at the seams, and her new music is bound to be an eruption of sparkles and flames that you don’t want to miss.