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#PopularPlay: Filipa


Sep 1, 2020

When we look back on this time, the movement of creativity that stemmed from artists during these times is sure to be examined.

On that movement is South African pop singer-songwriter, Filipa with the release of her official music video for “Do Something” premiering right here on Popular TV. Cascading in on the wave of an acoustic lo-tempo melody, the singers strong harmonies crash onto the song accompanied with breathy harmonies. In the self-shot video the artist urges her anonymous counterpart to make a move and define the relationship.

Of the song the singer say: “This song was inspired by a very confusing and frustrating romantic relationship that was at a deadlock. The unsettling feeling of not knowing where you stand with someone can be one of the most frustrating to deal with. My feelings grew stronger and I got to a point where I just wanted to scream and shout “If you like me back, just DO something! Take this somewhere”.

In the journey to this song, Filipa experienced worldwide success after winning an international Ryan Seacrest cover song competition for her rendition of One Direction’s “Story Of My Life”. The contest catapulted her to instant stardom in South Africa and gave her a global platform to focus on releasing her own original music. She released her debut single, “Chills”, on to rave reviews and later the song “Little White Lie”, which quickly climbed the iTunes and South African radio charts, landing in the top five on 5FM and the top twenty in Jacaranda FM in 2016.

Filipa talked to Popular TV about the pivotal moment she decided to pursue music and why she chose the life changing song in “Story Of My Life”.


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story. How did your background and culture shape you and what creative expression means to you and why?
I grew up in a multi-cultural home in Pretoria, South Africa, where I was born. My parents were of Portuguese descent born and raised in Portuguese colonies in Africa. My mother, especially, loved music and, because of that, there was always music playing in the house. So, I grew up listening to the music of all genres and from all over the world: Italian, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and, of course, English. I knew the likes of Édith Piaf, Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli, Queen, Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Eminem. This widespread musical field was further emphasized by the classical music and vocal training I received throughout my school years,  and it all influenced my creative expression.  It ended up being a massive canvas of inspiration that instilled in me this sense of appreciation for so many different genres.


2. Being from South Africa, what are some differences in the music scene between the U.S and SA?
The music industry is a tough one everywhere, but the main difference between SA and the US is the fact that the SA market is vastly smaller, making it difficult for different genres to find a space where to thrive and grow.

I believe that in the last decade, particularly, the SA market has felt the changes the music industry has gone through worldwide and has been gearing up to be on par. So, when it comes to genres such as pop, the tendency is to go with international artists and follow the trend. 


3. What’s that kind of personal ability to directly connect to your fans meant to you as an artist and during this time?
This time has been tricky for me, as I’m sure it has for most people, because of the isolation. Social media has become the only kind of medium to engage with fans, loved ones, and others. It is wonderful and we’re fortunate to have it because you can still continue engaging with your fans. However, I do miss the personal interaction with people and have realized how important it actually is.


4. Was there a pivotal moment that made you realize you wanted to pursue music full-time?
That moment was when I watched “Grease” for the first time when I was 8 years old. Since I can remember, music has always been my greatest love, but this movie changed everything for me. I knew I wanted to perform and be an artist. I was in complete awe and fell in love with the musical as a concept – breaking out into song when wanting to express yourself.


5. How do you envision yourself five years from now?
I see myself still performing, releasing new music, and feeling happy and fulfilled. A thriving career in music has always been the one thing that I have continuously envisioned in my future and I would love to keep growing as an artist and never stop. Of course, a Grammy wouldn’t hurt either!


6. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My mom once told me as a child that “The truth always comes out”. It really struck me and it’s something I live by. Live an honest and gracious life, because misdeeds will always be known and uncovered.


7. Tell us about your new single, “Do Something” and how this song came to be.
Since I like to be transparent with my music, “Do Something” was written at a time where I was dealing with the confusion and frustration of a “pending” romantic relationship. It was my way of expressing my sentiment of “if you like me, just do something!” I wasn’t coming from an angry or bitter place, but just from one of not appreciating the uncertainty while still maintaining was the calm and confidence. Mixed signals are frustrating and I like to know where I stand. So, the song sums that up.


8. Your cover of “Story Of My Life” is initially what catapulted you to fame! What made you choose this song?
I remember having made a list of 5 potential songs that I could cover for my second video ever on YouTube. It had to be good and because I’m a hopeless romantic, somehow, “Story Of My Life” was the one I most related to at the time. I interpreted the song in more of a romantic way and this is also where the “Pearl Harbor” theme for the video came to mind. Needless to say that I also simply adored ‘One Direction’, so it was a no brainer!


Keep up with Filipa on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @FilipaMusic!