A veteran of the industry, Denver based singer/songwriter/performer Fia Nyxx grew up dancing competitively and singing in her church choir. Born Rachel Applehans, her creativity was cultivated from an early age and she realized she loved the spotlight and performing for people, deciding as she got older that she wanted a career in the entertainment industry. At the age of 19 she launched her dance career when she appeared on season 9 of ‘So You think You Can Dance’. As a result, she was signed to BLOC talent agency and was moved out to LA, where she embarked on a successful career as a back up dancer. About a year into her move, with growing ambitions for herself and her career, she auditioned for and was selected to be a member of the girl group ‘SHE’. This experience lead her to realize that performing music and singing was what she was meant to do. Touring the world gave her valuable experience as an artist, as well as quickly compelled her to learn the business side of the industry. With different goals and visions for their music careers, the group disbanded soon after tour and Rachel was on her own. With no idea what she wanted to do next, but with the ambition and passion to completely reinvent herself, Fia Nyxx was born, allowing her to grow and develop into the kind of artist she wanted to be.
A pop artist that blends the sounds of Motown era, Fia is a true performer with a love for storytelling. In 2018, she released her first solo album, Everything Girl EP, at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. The EP was recorded under the musical direction of Will McFarlane (Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Bobby “Blue” Bland), Emmy-winning producer Lance Bendiksen, multi-platinum producer and mixer Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna) and features players from the iconic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, ‘The Swampers.’ The EP release was celebrated with a sold out show at The Mint in LA and in June of 2018, her music video for “Maybe Just Love Me”, which won a Telly Award, was released. The video was also considered for the Cannes Short Film Festival as well as the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. In August, after about a 2 year hiatus, Fia released her single “Still Love You”, the first single from her soon-to-be-released sophomore album Red Umbrella, due out on March 25th. Most recently, Fia released the single “AEIOU”, along with an accompanying music video, the song of which tells about the desire to be with someone and have them satisfy your raw desires. The video, says Fia, conveys the narrative of the unnapologetic, sexual, liberated woman vs. the period of conformity and traditional gender roles. With plans to release more music, including a collaboration with Bobby Newberry, and hit the road for some tour dates, Fia Nyxx is preparing to take the world by storm with her fresh, fun, and unapologetic message of confidence and perseverance! You can connect with Fia Nyxx via the following links.
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud | iTunes/Apple Music | YouTube | Deezer | Tik Tok
You will be releasing your new album Red Umbrella on March 25th. Your previous EP, Everything Girl, was a mix of genres and was your debut album to show the world who you are and a snap shot of your life. In what ways do you feel that the new album showcases where you are now as an artist? Do you feel that it builds on your previous music or that it completely stands apart with your growth, both personally and artistically, since then?
My first EP, Everything Girl, will always be dear to my heart, and the process of creating it was something I will never forget, but there was a lot of guidance on that project, and it was much more of a controlled environment, if you will. It was my first album and so I was also heavily leaning on the opinions of the professionals around me that I trusted. I definitely don’t regret doing that and still feel that I was able to create something that resonated with me at the time, but this new album takes that to a whole new level. Red Umbrella was created in a space of unlimited creativity, with no fast approaching deadlines, or expectations to fit a certain genre or formula, no cap. What that did was allow an even more authentic version of myself to surface (one that I hadn’t even fully uncovered until recently). So, in a big way Red Umbrella is absolutely an extension of who I am as an artist, a woman and a human being, just much more evolved, honest, and free.
How would you describe the message of Red Umbrella and what did you discover about yourself in the process of writing this album? Do you feel that your songwriting process has evolved with this album?
Red Umbrella encourages us all to live loud, love hard, and have some fun along the way. It reminds us that we are both strong and vulnerable, sexually liberated and spiritually Divine, feminine and masculine, lonely but not alone. I was discovering all these parts of myself as I was working them out through music. Life happens, and as it happened, I wrote about it, more freely and openly each time, with less focus on what people would think of it and more focus on my artistry and authenticity.
You have been described as “mastering the craft of storytelling at its height”! What can you tell me about the importance of storytelling for you and incorporating it into your songwriting? What do you feel makes a good story?
I often consider myself more of a storyteller first than even a singer or songwriter. Every song, every performance tells a story. Every time I share my art, I am sharing my story with you. I want to be someone who is continuously pushing the boundaries creatively, chapter by chapter, evolving as life unfolds, and sharing it all as openly and honestly as I can with those who will listen. I think what makes a good story is relatability. I want my fans to see themselves in my stories. We are so much more alike than we are different.
What can you tell me about your recording process for Red Umbrella and the team you worked with, which included mixer/producer Sam Garfield? Will you be featuring any guest artists on the album? Did you collaborate with any other artists in the songwriting process?
Sam J Garfield and I created this album together over the last year. To this day, it was one of my favorite creative journeys with some of my fondest memories. It was such an incredible experience because we fully trusted each other and just let our creativity run wild. I would bring Sam a song and together we would take it from the beginning stages to a beautiful work of art, giving it new life, molding it into the masterpiece it was meant to be. This album also features some amazing artists including Jegasie, Taylor Xo, Dvina, and Timo Nunez. They all brought a special energy and a story of their own, which only enhanced the vision and the overall journey.
“Red Umbrella” was the first song you wrote since releasing Everything Girl. You have said that you were feeling lost and in a transitional period in life at the time. How did writing Red Umbrella help you through your transition and to come back to yourself?
This album really helped me to come full circle. There was a moment where I realized that after this entire journey of writing and creating and self discovery, I was right back where I started, only this time I knew why! The EP, Everything Girl, brought light to a girl who had a dream and a story to tell, but Red Umbrella embodies what it means to be the everything girl. Writing this new music was therapeutic in the way in which it helped me process all that was changing around me, allowing me to focus on the things that remained the same, the authentic nature of it all. I was able to find myself again under all the newness of my current environment and rest in the fact that I could always come back to who I was in my heart and soul even if the world around me looked so different.
You recently built an in-home studio! What can you tell me about your decision to build the studio and what can you tell me about it? Do you plan to use it to help record for other artists, as well, or just for your music for the time being?
I did just build an in-home studio in my East Coast home, so that I can record and make music no matter where I am. I have been traveling a lot and am preparing to tour all over the US, with a lot of east coast dates. This allows me to hop in the studio and get creative at any time. I took some time to really make it into a sanctuary where I would feel comfortable, creative and prosperous. It is a space buzzing with beautiful energy, warm white light and untaped potential that I can tune into, channeling the magic into art. I definitely plan to do some collaborations and invite fellow artists into my space. I want it to expand the energy even more and the best way to do that is to bring other brilliant minds into this new sanctuary of music and art.
You recently released your music video for “AEIOU”. What can you tell me about the song and the concept behind the video, which also features your mixer/producer Sam Garfield. You also directed the video with Michael De Angelo. What was the process like? Do you have any other music videos in the works?
This video concept was so fun. I wanted to highlight the sexy, liberating nature of the song and the lyrics, while also incorporating a campy 50’s-housewife inspired theme. I loved the juxtaposition of the narrative…. the unnapologetic, sexual, liberated woman vs. the period of conformity and traditional gender roles. Without giving too much away, the video also has a fun twist at the end and keeps you deeply engaged in the storyline. It was even more fun because Sam J Garfield was the lead in the video and we had a blast bringing one of our favorite songs to life with a really strong visual.
Michael De Angelo is an incredible director and choreographer. He has been creatively directing tours of mine for years now, since the beginning of my career. We are truly the dream team and pride ourselves on the way that we compliment each other. Much like Sam J Garfield is my musical confidante and brings life to my music, De Angelo takes my visions and puts them into motion, helping me to create an epic live show or visual production of any kind. I trust both of them with my life and my career and we only get stronger as time goes on. My team is everything to me.
You will be performing at the Grande Opening of Blackrose LA on March 16th! What can you tell me about the venue and what fans can expect from the show? Will this act as an album release show for Red Umbrella or do you have a separate show planned later?
I just recently performed at the Grand Opening of Blackrose LA and it was absolutely incredible. Being on stage again in Los Angeles, with my band, with the dancers, after two years off from a pandemic, lit a new kind of fire under me, and I came out guns-a-blazing. There was a euphoric feeling that took over me as I walked onto the stage of the new venue. The energy and the creativity was entirely intoxicating and the audience was ecstatic. Being 9 days out from the release of Red Umbrella, I definitely used this opportunity to debut some of the new music to these industry professionals and high profile people! But…. there will absolutely be an album release party open to the public very soon here! It means the world to me to be able to share this big moment with my friends, family and fans! The dates are being announced very soon… so stay tuned 😉
What’s next for you?
I am about to embark on tour again with lots of dates throughout the United States (and possibly some international stuff). All of the dates will be available on my social medias and on my website (www.fianyxx.com). I am also in the midst of several really exciting collaborations, including my new single with Bobby Newberry, “Escape,” out this summer!