It was a few days before the APEC Summit and Singapore-based electro/r&b chanteuse Ffion (Williams) and her manager Dex Wong are experiencing the full force of the notorious Manila traffic. It’s a scorching day and her press schedule is tight and appointments overlap, plus she has to make her way to a gig in Club 20:20 in Makati with BP Valenzuela, Taken By Cars, and She’s Only Sixteen. One can imagine the stress of logistics enhanced by reroutes plus the relocation of BillboardPH’s interview. Dex makes minor rescheds, understandably stressed but otherwise cheery.
Ffion herself is the perfect picture of stoicism. She takes it all in calmly: the humidity, the relocation, the delayed lunch. She answers questions simply and to-the-point, punctuated by a welcoming–if shy–smile.
The demeanour of the Welsh-born artist is largely reflected in the nocturnal chill of her music which is a mix of electronica, hip-hop beats, and a dreamy melodicism from her soothing vocals. Ffion admits that she’s not entirely sure where the “R&B” tag came from–with slight giggles, she name-drops James Blake as her main influence– but the vibe is there.
But make no mistake, she ain’t no shrinking violet: her name literally means “purple foxglove” which is a poisonous flowering plant. There is anger in one of her songs “Rumours.” In the first part of our interview below, Ffion expounds on her name, her songcraft, and the Singaporean music scene:
As the interview wrapped, Ffion and Dex handed over a black box, a “thank you” gesture for each press entity of the day. She seemed to relax even more and added, “Oh, by the way, I also have a fashion line. Street wear stuff.”
It was curious to see how either she forgot to mention her parallel concurrent career or simply just talked about music because she was primarily in town to promote her songs anyway. As BillboardPH walked with her to her next interview, she elaborated a bit about her line, and the story behind “I Miss U”:
Check out “I Miss U” and Ffion’s other tunes on her Youtube page: