SOCA singer/songwriter Nailah Blackman will bring the Fiah on February 28. Fiah is a free virtual concert which will be streamed on Blackman’s official YouTube page, Digicel’s Facebook page and its D’Music App at 8 pm.
In a phone interview Blackman said there will be no live component to the concert as its organisers wanted to follow covid19 regulations and “wanted to ensure we have a great show that this fully produced, that can reach anywhere in the world and make its mark as a great show.”
Blackman's guests on Fiah include Patrice Roberts, Kes, Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Ravi B, Sammy Jo, Tafari and X originals.
For her, Fiah is also giving back to her many fans across the world who did not get the chance to see her in person as the pandemic stopped her from touring.
“I have fans all across the world. In Australia, Japan, Switzerland. All the way in Nicaragua. Canada, America, all down the islands, all around the world.
“We can’t travel and meet these people. The entire year last year I was in TT...,” she said.
Blackman said before the pandemic, she had a full calendar, booked every single weekend.
“My whole life was booked and I was going to go to Berlin and I had so many new places I had planned to go.”
She said fans all around the world who did not get to see her because of her shows being cancelled, will get the chance to do so in Fiah.
“I feel it is important for me to share my work with them and to share with them my music in a new refined way that everybody can enjoy and everyone can be a part of.”
Blackman said she chose to do a free show because, “I felt like my fans are what got me here and I love them so much.”
She also decided to host the event outside what would have been the Carnival window because everyone was rushing to do things for Carnival, but the truth was that TT did not have a Carnival 2021.
“So technically in our minds, it is sort of an imaginary Carnival that we were all racing to do something to. When we decided to do this event it was mid-January and we thought in order for us to pull off the kind of concert we would like to do, we would need a bit more time.
“We were going to do this on Carnival Monday and then I started getting so many calls for shows that were going to be happening on Carnival Monday itself.
“We realised it had made no sense. It would just be competing for no reason. It is airtime, everybody is doing something. Everybody was trying to rush the window.
“But there was no Carnival window.”
Blackman said Carnival is TT, TT owns the culture and it could be done at anytime.
She and her team felt right after Carnival would have been a nice slot where people are warming down and can be heated right back up with a little “Fiah.”
Initially, doing virtual was a bit strange for Blackman. It felt a bit detached and as an artiste she wanted to connect with the people which one can’t necessarily do through a screen.
But she thought about being back in 2001 and being back “where there would have been no virtual anything and we would have just been locked off from our fans” and she started enjoying the virtual experience. In 2001, there were no digital platforms that would have allowed for the streaming of events.
This made Blackman see the rainbow in the storm.
“Let us praise this rainbow and do it at its best. And that is exactly why we are doing this like this.”
She said a lot of people were so sad that regular events could not be held, they began treating virtual events like a live one.
Fiah is a virtual experience concert that is unlike anything one would experience if they were there in person, she said.
“And it makes you feel as if you were right next to me on a stage,” she added.
She said as promoters –because artistes were promoters as well throwing their own concerts– it was a big financial output.
“If you are putting out that sort of weight financially, you want to know that you are going to get the returns. The crowd is limited and if you have to put a limit to your crowd it does not make sense financially,” she said.
She is going to wait until things are a bit more normalised before considering hosting a live event.
Blackman hopes that would be soon though, and she and her team could actually do that for Sokah Origins 2021. Sokah Origins is Blackman's annual concert.