Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Fe-nix: Keep rising to the top


With the UK scene awash with boy bands it is about time that equality was restored with an all dancing, all singing and all rapping girl group.

Stepping to the plate are Fe-nix who are in truth not new to the music scene. However with their debut album soon to be completed, their first single off the album, 'Red Light' sets their stall out nicely. Delving into their usual fodder of empowering women, the video is a visual pleasure.

Tanya, one quarter of the group spoke to B&S' Semper Azeez-Harris about the group’s forth coming plans.

Semper: Fe-nix have been together for three years if I am right in the music industry, how has the group kept on going when so many have fallen away?

Tanya: To have a long life in the industry you need to write your own material and your own sound and voice. You cannot wait for people to write material for you but for longevity you need to be able to create your own material.

Semper: Is it difficult as women in this industry at times?

Tanya: Sometimes people look at your looks and they do not take you seriously as an artist. However we have been working, grinding and writing our own music and our own designs (I designed our clothing range).

Semper: What have you found hard personally?

Tanya: The road has been the most difficult part. I am a homely person and I like to eat home cooked food. It is really hard but that is the life that we lead at the moment. Sometimes we go to shows and have to change just wherever there is space. There is not glamorous changing room which is what people think.

Semper: And what sacrifices have you all had to make?

Tanya: Individually we have all been working to this point, studying, getting qualifications in performing arts, private singing lessons, we have all done a lot of ground work from an early age.

Semper: And what about the business aspect of music?

Tanya: The business aspect has been very important to the group and so we insure that we are very curious. I am glad that it has taken this length of time to get to where we are now because we have now learnt so much. We knew nothing when we started but it is so different now.

Semper: And the clothing range that you mentioned?

Tanya: I actually started out in a dance group but we could never find outfits and so I made the clothes but I never took it seriously. I then stated making clothes for the group and I made relationships with people from Funky Fish and I thought let me do a range and see if they like it. They really liked it and said they would do a Fe-nix Range and so it will be in thirty five stores across the country. The range will drop summer time next year so look out for it.

Semper: So group dynamics and the loss and addition of emcees.

Tanya: Our old emcee was replaced due to artistic differences. She wanted something else from the music and we were pushing for something that was different to her. We work as a team and we were battling against each other so it was just not working.

Semper: What were the artistic differences?

Tanya: Well it was in regards to commitment. Towards the end we had a lot of shows and we had a lot of promo work and she just was not turning up to like Sky 1 for rehearsal which was un-acceptable so it really could not work. You have to be dedicated to a team ethos and it was just not there towards the end.

Semper: I saw a quick free-style by your new member she definitely has a bit of swagger.

Tanya: Her name is Red and she is a dancer as well as a rapper and she definitely adds a lot to the group. Hold on we have just had a car crash! (In no way a joke Tanya actually is involved in an accident all be it minor but like a true professional she carries on once particulars are taken.)

Semper: What happened then?

Tanya: Someone came from the side road and she basically went too far and she did not give us way. I actually wanted to have a real go at her but she was so nice I had to leave it.

Semper: Well glad you are ok and like nothing ever happened, your new single Red Light give me the lowdown.

Tanya: Well in Fe-nix we are all rounders and we do everything in our group and we believe in being independent so we are always coming up with these women liberation themed tracks. So one of the girls in the group (Ayshen) had a psychopathic guy who was saying she was his girlfriend when they had not even been on a date. It is inspired by guys that do not get the message and take things in the wrong way and it is basically about a girl giving a guy the red light as opposed to the green light.

Semper: Your video which is great, features one Lee Ryan, that’s a
rather out of the blue cameo how did you get him involved?

Tanya: Well a guy that he has been working with on movies is actually best friends with our manager so it just happened. He asked Lee if he would be in the video and when Lee heard this he said he would have to see who the girls. So we sent him a picture and he was like okay I will do it.

Semper: What can we expect from this debut album because it seems to have been a long time in coming?

Tanya: That is true and we have worked so hard for this album we have literally recorded seventy tracks for this album. We have narrowed it down to fifteen tracks and we are still getting new songs and they are getting put on the album every single day. The album will be called' Fe-nix Uncut Fairytales' and when you hear the album then you will understand the title.

Semper: That’s interesting how do you use the fairytales?

Tanya: Basically we take every fairytale and we put our own twist on it. We are not giving the sugar coated vibe to these fairy tales this is for all those young girls out there where we are giving them the real truth and prepare them.

Semper: Anything more you can say about the album at the moment?

Tanya: Well I am not really allowed to say too much but we already have a feature with Mr Midas (Boom TV) but we definitely want to get more artists on there.

Semper: Are you thinking Wretch 32, Skepta and others like them?

Tanya: All of them would be great! The UK scene has come a long way and UK rappers are really making the stand now. In truth I hardly listen to US rappers at the moment I think UK rappers have got a real vibe about them and people are appreciating them now.

Fe-Nix latest single Red Light is out on Jan 23rd and their debut album 'Uncut Fairytales' will be released late Spring.

Red Light - youtube
Words Semper Azeez-Harris

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