BlackBook Premiere: Sensual New Fifi Rong Single ‘Only Man’
Born in Beijing, but eventually landing in Britain, ethereal songstress and prodigiously talented multi-instrumental Fifi Rong ended up in London after doing study time in the musical Holy Lands of Manchester and Bristol. She would ultimately count Tricky, Yello, Phaeleh and Skepta amongst her high profile collaborations, the latter on his 2016 Mercury Prize-winning album Konnichiwa.
The follow up to her 2013 debut album Wrong is due out sometime in autumn of 2021, and will flaunt the rather dramatic but certainly intriguing title, There Is A Funeral In My Heart For Every Man I Loved – which frankly sounds like quite an emotional cross to bear. The first single, which BlackBook premieres here, is ‘Only Man,’ a sultry, languidly sensual trip-hop stunner, with Ms. Rong’s breathy, almost spectral vocals – part Liz Fraser, part celestial being – painting vividly visceral pictures of romantic longing and devotion. Indeed, when she intones, “You are still my only man,” it’s impossible not to believe every word.
“It is the epiphany of unrequited love,” she explains, “the saddest and paradoxically the most self-righteous thing to do, as my character knows the man she loves doesn’t reciprocate – but rather gives her a very small piece of attention. So she suffers alone, and sees the love blossom and wither by herself. Eventually, though, this is another funeral the character would hold in her heart before she does it all over again.”
Heartbreak is as inevitable as it is agonizing, of course. But if we’re going to endure the torment, frankly, we would very much prefer this to be the soundtrack.
N.B. An ‘Only Man’ launch show on Sunday, April 4 will be part of the Yi Jing 意境 Live Music Series, designed to bring the worlds of online concerts, short films, and performance/sonic/visual art all into one reality. Advance tickets can be purchased here.