She’s a quiet girl who got her big break by starting her two YouTube channels SafiSings and BronzeQt, which showcase her serious skills in doing natural hair, make-up, her sense of fashion and overall her love for singing. FIYA is the latest R&B artist stepping onto the scene, ready to show the world what she’s got.
Her artist name, FIYA, is a shortened version of her full first name Safiya, which means pure in Swahili. And that’s what she intends to give with her voice, pure soul that will excite anyone who’s listening.
She admits that she was a late bloomer to makeup, who learned her style by watching YouTube videos. After noticing the lack of young Black girls represented, she decided to start her own channels. FIYA built up SafiSings and BronzeQt to having over two million hits and 22,000 subscribers, which attracted The MATRAX Productions to her.
FIYA defines her sound as R&B and Pop but wants to add more to the mix.
“I would like to incorporate a little bit more of a Rock edge, because I don’t think that’s something that’s been done in the R&B. Pop world. But we’ll see because I’m still working on a lot of material, so its hard to pinpoint exactly what it will be like,” she said.
The 23 year-old Philadelphia native’s first single, “Wishing You Home,” is a Christmas song that tells of a girl who is sad about her lover not being with her for the holiday. She definitely took the unconventional route in introducing herself with this first song, but she’s says that it has been nothing but positive responses.
“All of the feedback that I’ve gotten has been great," FIYA said. "I actually previewed the song over the summer to my viewers on both of my channels and everybody loved the song."
She calls starting off with a Christmas song a good marketing decision. “A lot of people were like, ‘Yeah, that’s kind of different to start off like this’ instead of releasing material that would kind of showcase more of who I am as an artist but I think it gives me a better chance to get on the radio as an independent artist,” FIYA said.
Right now, FIYA is working on her tentatively untitled debut album. And not only is she offering her vocals on tracks, but also her creative process as a writer.
“I’m actually just getting into the production side of creating my own music. Yesterday I was in the studio with another up-and-coming artist and that was like my first time trying to write a song with somebody. It was a little nerve-wrecking because I’m kind of used to writing by myself,” she said.
Listeners can expect to hear a lot of inspirational music on the album. The song “Another Try” encourages people to persevere through hardships to get reach their goal without “the corny feel”, and FIYA said “Don’t Lose Love” tells how “the end rewards are so much sweeter if you don’t give up” when there are hard times.
But she definitely will still have songs to make you dance. The track “Give Me A Reason” is a fun song about a girl who challenges this guy in the club to give her a reason why she should leave her man.
As far as musical inspiration goes, FIYA lists people like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle as major influences. She also mentioned fellow Philly native Jill Scott as someone “she’s really been getting into lately.” Maroon 5 was listed as great artists that she would love to work with some day.
FIYA is still defining her style as an artist but knows that she wants to be a role model for young girls as an entertainer. She says she wants to put out music that is not only fun but that will teach you something.
FIYA isn’t down for playing the over-sexed crazed female role as a singer. “Its gotta be something that I can listen to in the car with my parents and not feel weirded out or anything,” she said.
She’s convinced that her approach will work because she believes people are tired of looking at the same kind of image in the media,
“I read blogs and see what people are saying about the artist today, and people, especially women, are tired of the same acts that are out today who have barely any talent, don’t wear much clothes and sing about really suggestive things,” she said.
“I think it is time for someone to come out and take things a different route,” Fiya continued.
Apparently, she believes that she’s that right woman for the job.
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