By Jeoffrey Mukubi
The ever so well-rounded and consistent FEMCEE ROMI is well into her tenth year of releasing music to the world and she says she’s only getting started on a focused musical journey.
Her professional rapping career began when she uploaded her music on Soundcloud, a popular music streaming site. Not long after that, she bagged the Best Hip Hop Award alongside fellow rapper Cassidy Karon for her work on the song ‘Chains’ as well as winning the Rap Battle Volume 2 in 2016.
“I am only now getting started on my very intentional musical journey. It is not limited to hip hop or rapping. It is a space in which I will do whatever feels right to me at whichever given time. If you have expectations of my sound and style of music, I would advise you to remain flexible as I am exploring and will continue to explore in whichever way that I see fit,” she said.
The mere fact that she has been rapping since the age of 12 should give one the sense that she will be here for quite some time. “I am creating new content every week, so, I can tell you that I am here to stay. Music has never been a side activity or simply a passion project to me. I have always used it as a form of therapy for myself. Hence, I don’t like to conform to too many ideals, structure, or rules when I create. It is one space where none but my emotions can dictate what and how I create,” she added.
Her new project titled ‘Dat Energy’ is expected to drop soon and she says it is all about her journey through identifying, maintaining, and protecting her unique energy.
“It is a framework that I do and that I intend to live by, as well as a set of practices that help me stay aligned with my personally defined version of being successful. You can expect high energy, diverse and specific sounds, as well as life lessons that I have accumulated throughout my life and experiences. Of course, I have incorporated both English and my mother tongue, Khoekhoegowab, into my music so you will find instances where parts of a song are in Khoekhoegowab and other instances where the entire songs are performed in Khoekhoegowab,” ROMI said.
She did not want to give a lot of information as the pre-release of ‘Dat Energy’ which is scheduled for 29 April will reveal more of the features on the project. “All I can say at this stage is that I have featured two female artists and one male artist,” she explained
ROMI also said that her latest album is better than her previous EP. “I have grown as an individual and as a storyteller. My messages are clearer and more concise in this album. I have also allowed myself more freedom to disregard typical song structure and typical hip-hop styles,” she added
Furthermore, she says that although music is one of the biggest hustles in the country, she really does not know how others survive in the music industry. “Most that I have heard from have side jobs or other activities that generate income to feed into music creation. I will say that it is challenging to make an income strictly off music for many, including myself. In my case, I work on a full-time basis in a sector that is very far removed from music.
Hence, I don’t have the time to study our industry and understand how to generate income in the most optimal way. Due to the fact that I don’t know enough about our industry, I cannot say that one cannot survive within our industry. I can only say that I don’t know how to survive in our industry. Regardless of that, I believe that it is our job as creatives to figure out new and innovative ways to make a living off our craft in our country. My strategy is to collaborate with anyone who is trying to build the industry as I have with Dololo on the first ever DoMusic concert where entrepreneurship meets music,” She said.
She also said that she would like to see the youth take initiative and create platforms for growth, exposure and sustenance within the next five years.
“I am already doing so with my team, the New Alternatives, and we intend to lead by example. We cannot and should not rely on old and failing structures to sustain us, my goal is to bring music to the front seat and maintain that permanently. Hence, I am setting up my life such that I can sustain that goal,” she said.