Nigerian-Canadian artist Femi is making waves in the current Hip Hop and Rap environment we're presented with today. Femi believes he has artistic attributes that the world hasn't seen from any other artist yet, and he's more than ready to share these features through his music! Femi's "ICY" has an underground, dark and mystic feel to its initial intro to the production. Then, Femi's vocal integration breaks the dark ambiance and creates more of a psychedelic beat. He advances his sound by adding in some sly and catchy verses, which caught our attention almost right away. Once our attention was caught, we were completely drawn in and hypnotized by the lyrical outflow. Then, Femi brought in an eclectic moment of production where the entire beat and vocal delivery switches up, providing the ultimate climax for "ICY".
As for 2019 soundings, Femi has released tracks such as "Doubt?", "Greezy" and "No Pressure", which all offer up the same type of environment we were gifted with during "ICY". It's within these singles that the contrast of Femi's sound shines through. He's able to successfully integrate both harsh and soft vocal soundings, which gives for the most fitting contrast in a Hip Hop and Rap track. We believe that the Hip/Hop community is completely ready for what Femi has to bring in this stage of the era, and we're personally ready for more to come from Femi!
Listen to the track releases of Femi here.
Hey there, Femi! Congratulations on a successful 2019! This past year has seen many releases from you. How do you feel looking back at the number of tracks you came out with, and the amount of work you put into them?
Looking back on it now, 2019 has been pretty crazy with the amount of tracks I came out with and the ones I’ve been featured on. Creating Channel 2 was a super long but fun process for me. It was the first time I really put together a full body of work and was content with just listening to it myself. I found joy in the process of creating it and so I wasn’t too attached to the outcome of the project. The features i did this year were also part of that for me. I was offered bags by a couple people to jump on tracks with them but the ones I ended up doing I didn’t make any money off of. The sound of the music was just so important to me that I only worked with other artists that make music I vibe with. I think that my philosophy when it comes to working on tracks will eventually lead to success because I believe putting the music first will always lead to a bag in the future.
Out of the various places you've lived as an artist, what area stimulated your creative process the most?
I think that I really started getting into music when I moved to Calgary in grade 11, simply because I would take the train from one end of the city to the other twice a day everyday. That gave me a lot of time to really analyze and listen to albums in their entirety. Before that, I would listen to singles here and there or start listening to and album and most likely never get to the end of it. By the time I was headed off to University, I had a pretty thorough understanding of what I liked and didn’t like. For the first like a year or two in St. John’s Newfoundland, I really didn’t like the place because I didn’t have much to do and didn't really vibe with the people all that much so I spent a lot of time listening and analyzing my favorite artists and their work. So I would say Calgary and St.Johns were the places that stimulated my creative process the most.
We really resonated with your track "ICY". The beat was addicting, and your vocal blend was enthralling. How did you feel about the production of this particular track? Who was involved in making the production execute in the way it did?
ICY was the first track I ever released. Produced by Ben Noseworthy from Ne1 beats, Icy was probably the first time I heard a beat and had lyrics come to me instantly. I think I wrote that song in about an hour because the beat hit me in a way I had never felt before. I put down a reference track, sent it to Ben and Eddy, they loved it and wanted to get it sounding as professional as possible. So we rented a mic went to Bens basement and created it the next day. To this day it continues to be my highest streamed tracks and I don’t think it because it the best we’ve ever made but because it was the first time people heard from me and the quality of it really surprised them.
As an artist who has a shortlist of inspirations, do you incorporate the elements of the artists you personally look up to within your own music and sound?
I definitely incorporate elements from all the artists I’m inspired by but I always want to keep my orginallity with that. I’m inspired by the different dimensions of an artist. From the songwriting of Ed Sheeran and Drake, the production behind Travis Scott, the combination of rapping and melody from acts like Tory Lanez, Anders, Johnny Yukon and the emotion and vocals in acts like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and the Weeknd. I try to incorporate those dimensions in my music and add my own spin on them. Originality is key to me, the ability to add your own sauce to a track I think is what makes an artist unique. I can even sometimes hear an artist who’s sold a track to another and it inspires me to stay unapologetically me.
Is there any goal/action you want to complete within early 2020 as an artist, or are you planning on taking a break from the music world as we venture into the New Year?
I have a couple of goals for 2020. This year I’m putting all my time into building my brand as an artist and my business brand ITB Inc. I’ve moved back to Calgary now to really start networking and get my music in front of the right audience. I want to touch at least a 100,000 streams on Spotify and iTunes and double my following on Instagram. I'm committed to producing more content and getting in front of more eyes because I know my work is great I just need more attention. Establishing my presence in Calgary is my primary goal in 2020 and hopefully making the move and taking the support I’ve grown here to Toronto in 2021.
It was really great to take the time to talk about your music, Femi! Are you planning on performing at any live shows in the next few months?
I was able to touch the stage recently this December on the 27th with one of Calgary’s well-known artist’s Dozie. I had a great time and plan on doing a lot more shows especially with the release of my upcoming EP "Between Channels” and my next project "Channel 3". I don’t currently have a lot of shows planned for this year but I’ve got an open schedule and a hunger to work.