At Fiona's Rythm
Interview : Kelly Lauriente
KL: How did the pandemic affect your creative process?
F: My activities led me to travel a lot and I was always on the go. I had to learn to be at rest again and I can’t express how much it helped me. I was able to take the time to remember why I do what I do. I’ve learned to rediscover myself through my music during this period, immersing myself in the essence of the sound. I have also been able to regain possession of my body and my mind, I rediscovered yoga and meditation. All that had a very positive impact on my life. With hindsight, I realize that I’ve never stopped since I was 19.
KL: What made you understand that it was mixing for you?
F: I think that music is the only thing that has never changed in my life, in terms of the importance it has for me and the way I consume it, i.e. a lot (laughs). I never thought it could become my main activity, but I had a revelation during a warm up in 2019. I then understood that few things had ever made me as happy as being on stage. Sharing this energy with an audience definitely is a feeling that you become addicted to once you’ve tasted it.
KL: What are you the most proud of ?
F: All the little things I’ve been able to do over the last few years. All these things that led me to live the life I’m living today. I have the chance to do what I like, with people whom I love and admire. No day is like another. I have an incredible chance, even though I know I’ve worked for it. I’ve learned to be thankful every day for what I have, I am very proud that I’ve dared to take risks and that it eventually paid.
KL: Tell us about the most memorable partnership you’ve done.
Didi:Fenty Beauty. Because I was able to meet Rihanna. Not once, but twice. Once during the launch in Paris, then during my trip to Seoul. Not only did I participate in a campaign for a brand that inspires me, but I mean, I literally met Rihanna !
KL: Your most recent mixes "disdancing" and "disdancing II" are quite interesting. We’ve noticed that you tried to convey the effervescence of the outside world. Can you tell us more about that ?
F: During this pandemic, being in a club is one of the things that I missed the most. I think my sound evolved in this direction. I, indeed, wanted to convey the energy that many have been unable to feel for about a year now. I hope it will tease them and help them to wait for the reopening.
KL: Your mixes are very dance oriented. Where does this love for the genre come from ?
F: My love for the groove always wins. Whether my sets are more disco house-like, or be they more acid and techno, the point for me really is to make you feel the music in your body and in your soul. That’s how I like to consume it, so I just try to put it in my own way.
KL: Some artists you’d like to recommend to us ?
F: There are plenty of young female techno artists right now. It’s very exciting for me to see that. As soon as I see a girl gaining weight in the industry, I feel instantly proud and I want to support her. Sexism is so suffocating in our environment that it hurts the feelings of some dudes to see women dropping bangers. Those I am following the most are VTSS, who is a Polish based in Berlin and Anetha, who is French. She plays a different type of techno which I’m really fond of. But my undisputed inspiration is Honey Dijon, a real OG. She comes from Chicago, where the house genre was born. In the industry, she is one of the few who represents the very essence of the genre. In a much more disco style, I invite you to go check out Jayda G’s boiler rooms. It’s more soulful and sunny. She has such a radiant energy that it's wonderful to watch her, and even more to listen to her.
KL: What is the biggest difficulty in the industry for you ?
F: Coming from the fashion industry, being a woman and having, in addition, acquired a certain notoriety before making music makes people have quite a lot of prejudices about me. Even if I used to have quite an underground lifestyle when I was younger, I will never be seen as such because besides that, I’ve been working with luxury brands thanks to my business. I think that a generation of afficionados has difficulties seeing things change. I understand it in a way, they do not want to see their scene taken upon by capitalism. Because of that, I really feel like I can’t afford a mistake. Even if I have the privilege to have so many people listening to my sets, I have to meet some expectations.
KL: How do you deal with it ?
F: Like any beginning artist, I need to build some experience, make some mistakes and find my sensibility. The problem is that this journey is stalked by thousands of people and that I may be attacked for the mere mistake. As a hypersensitive person, I’m quickly overwhelmed by the surrounding energy, so it’s not easy. To deal with it, I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone and face it. I'm starting to accept that whatever I do, it won't please everyone and that there will always be haters. So I meditate, I light up some palo santo, I breathe and I try to always do better than before (laughs).
KL: If you could change one thing in this society, what would it be ?
F: In music just as in society, I think, the world would be a much better place if it wasn’t dominated by old white men. We need more women, more racial diversity and more genres at the head of labels, radios, magazines, festivals and on stage. That’s it.
KL: What advice would you give to your 10 years ago self ?
F: Everyone will tell you that you are too dreamy. They will try, somehow, to get in your way. But in the end, the only thing you have to listen to is yourself. From the bottom of my heart, I can now tell you : the decisions you feared the most were ultimately the best.
KL: What would you like to be remembered for ?
F: I hope that I could leave a positive and inspiring impact to those who have crossed my path. Sometimes, there are girls who write to me on Instagram to tell me that they would have never considered becoming DJs before following me. That, thanks to me, they bought their first controller and are starting to put themselves out there. Truly, nothing makes me happier. Sometimes ago, I’ve set myself the goal to always leave people with whom I have been able to share a conversation, a drink, a dinner or a dj set with, happier than I met them. It has been a great way to live my life, in these past few years.