Today we have a new Spotlight – Vibi. We catch up with this captivating singer to talk about her newest track Fallback Girl. This track has some catchy beats as well as an even better story with the lyrics. Check out what Vibi had to say as we tossed a bunch of questions at her.
Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! My name is Vibi (pronounced “Vee-bee”). I’m a pop singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. You can easily pick me out from a crowd by my big red curly hair. My greatest love is and always has been music. My earliest song writing memory is when I was 11 and wrote a duet inspired by the Black-Eyed Peas… It was terrible but I remember every lyric and melody… vividly…
What artists have helped inspire and shape your own music as you’ve grown?
I could throw a lot of artists on this list, but I’ll try to keep it to the essentials. When I was a kid, I was super into Red Hot Chilli Peppers thanks to my Dad. The cool thing about loving the RCP from a young age is that as I grew older, I kept rediscovering the meaning behind the lyrics. Simultaneously, I was obsessed with pop stars like Britney Spears, Shakira, Avril Lavigne. These were the artists that made me want to be a performer.
When Taylor Swift hit the scene, I immediately begged my parents for a guitar and dove into song writing. Adele came into the scene and made me want to be a powerhouse vocalist. Lana Del Rey evoked my inner sad girl and aesthetically blew every artist out of the water. I admired the way she challenged and changed the entire alternative pop scene. Nowadays I’m so obsessed with artists like Doja Cat and Billie Eilish. These are artists who are revolutionizing music for generations to come. They inspire me to make music from a genuine place of self expression and self love.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Every song I write is more about whatever I’m feeling in the moment of creation rather than chasing a certain sound. However, usually it’s thematically centered around my most intense emotions. Sonically, the most unifying element is my voice and that I write with live performance in mind. I was first trained in classical singing then musical theatre and lastly pop, so I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on building a powerful and dynamic voice, apt for the kinds of stories I want to tell and live performances I want to give.
Who are the biggest supporters of your music?
My family, hands down. I feel super fortunate to have a supportive family as I know many people don’t have that same luxury. My oldest supporter is my 101-year-old great grandmother who doesn’t miss a performance. Pre-COVID she came to every local show and stayed up past her bedtime to catch my set. Currently, she watches my live streams with my family in the living room. Without fail, she slips me $50 bucks after every stream.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I’m convinced my mom is a secret songwriter. She often passively gives great advice without realizing it. She gave me great accidental advice around being an artist, that was just a dig at me in retrospect. I was being super inconsistent as a human and artist and she told me “you make it really hard to be your fan.” At first, I was like ok, rude… But then I was like ok, no one’s ever going to love me as much as my mom does, so if SHE’S finding it hard to be my fan, we have a problem.
I realized how much more I needed to give to the people who support me. Nowadays, I really think about how I can bring my supporters closer to my (he)art. This inspired me to make the “Fallback Girl” presave campaign a reverse fan art situation! I personally drew 10 pre-savers in the style of the ”Fallback Girl” animation. I also do very interactive biweekly Twitch livestreams to connect with people on a consistent basis. Now, Mom’s a fan once more!
Tell us about your song writing process.
My process varies. My favourite songs I write are usually melodies with lyrics that just randomly come to me. I call it a song writing puke. It’s like this random flood gate of ideas that make me rush to an instrument and try to voice note it out. I have an ungodly amount of voice notes. Other than that approach, I also enjoy cowriting which is super fun because it’s like a small party where we get to share emotions and sing our hearts out. Of course, this experience is optimal in person, can’t wait to do that again!
Your music video for “Fallback Girl” is a fun mix of animated and live footage. How did that come to be?
Thank you! It was a fun project to put together. “Fallback Girl” felt like the name of some superhero show I could have grown up watching, so doing animation was a no brainer. The mix of animated and live footage came to be simply because I have a hard time being simple. I wanted to mix different mediums and take my viewers on a bit of a journey. I even hid a few “easter eggs” in the video.
What do you think is missing from the pop industry? Is this something you can bridge the gap of?
There are so many incredible female artists today really pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a pop star these days. Doja Cat and Billie Eilish are two icons I’m obsessed with right now. They’re really refusing to be defined by one song, look or genre. These are multifaceted women who always speak so candidly and have this incredible ability to make you feel confident through their own radical acceptance. I can only hope that by continually being authentic to myself and genuine in my conversations that I can fit into the gap some of my favourite artists are now starting to fill.
If you were not doing music, what alternate career path would you choose? What are your non-music related interests?
As a kid I only ever wanted to be a singer-songwriter, so I never had a plan B. That being said, I could see myself being a fashion designer as I used to hand sew clothes for my dolls when I was a kid and still love fashion to this day. Makeup is another passion of mine. I’ve been a freelance makeup artist in the past, so I could see myself nurturing that into a makeup company.
Both your new song “Fallback Girl” and the previous single “Lockdown” are about gratuitous heartbreak. Are you someone who best draws inspiration from feelings of grief?
I feel seen. Yes, often my biggest inspo is heartbreak but not just the romantic kind. For instance, my single “No More Bad Dreams” was written from a place of heartbreak even though it sounds overwhelmingly positive and upbeat. I wrote that song at the top of pandemic when the first wave of depression started to roll in for my friends and me. The news became a huge source of stress and my days were filled with phone calls with distressed friends and my own anxiety attacks. “No More Bad Dreams” came to fruition one night after one of those phone calls with a sad friend. I wanted to take that heartbreak and turn it into some positivity to share with others who were feeling the same way.
You took home two awards at the “Niagara Music Awards.” How did the recognition of your hometown make you feel?
It felt like a full circle moment for me. It was so meaningful to win two awards because I had my heart set on getting an NMA award years before ever being nominated. I always looked up to the talented musicians who took home awards, and somehow, I got two! I know my younger self would be so proud of this accomplishment.
How is the music scene in Niagara? How has being raised in Niagara helped shape your music?
There’s a lot of incredible undiscovered music in Niagara. I think it’s partly due to the abundance of live music venues thanks to the tourism on Clifton Hill. By performing to tourists, you get to be an artist to an international market in the comfort of your own city. I used countless hours of gigging as a way of building confidence and testing my original music to people outside of my friends and family. I would always slip some originals in my set and see the audience’s reaction. Also I didn’t want to be background music; I treated every gig like a show. It really taught me how to grab people’s attention and deserve it.
Are there any topics, sounds, or genres you want to break into during your career?
All of them! Even though I identify as a pop artist I’m fascinated by every genre under the sun. I do not thrive when I limit myself, so I want to continue to make music I like in whatever genre suits me at the time. Topic wise, I will always write whatever I need to hear for my own growth or personal enjoyment.
Do you miss the feeling of performing live on stage? Are there plans to start performing again in the next year if things are looking better?
I miss performing most of all. Just before the pandemic I had the amazing opportunity to open for Bryan Adams in front of tens of thousands of people. It was such a tease because when the world went into lockdown shortly after, I was on a high and mentally ready to perform in front of a way bigger crowd than just my COVID bubble. Fortunately, I did get a cool performing opportunity in October to do a drive-in concert! The minute live music is allowed, I’m booking every show possible. Until then, I’ll be keeping busy with performing live streams on Twitch every Tuesdays and Fridays.
Can we expect an EP or album drop at some point?
An EP is definitely on the horizon. I have a bunch of songs ready to go that I recorded with Mike Tompa and I’m bundling them together as a project. I’m most excited for the single “Nights Like This” which is my next single!
The concept photos for this song as well as most photos on your Instagram are red. Is there any significance to this colour?
My favourite colour growing up was blue. My childhood room (which I had to move back in due to COVID) is blue. I loved blue because it was fun, innocent, happy and reminded me of the sky on a clear summer day. Then I got my heartbroken and didn’t necessarily identify with those feelings anymore. I was red. I dyed my hair red, and I felt this new sense of power and strength. Of course I don’t want to limit myself to only being associated with one colour, but it’s an eye-catching bold colour that makes me feel powerful and represents my most intense emotions.
Spotlight – Vibi is a wrap and a big thanks to Vibi for taking the time to talk to us
Check out Fall Back Girl out not
Keep up with Vibi right here
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