Ferima Faye is a talented young woman from Harlem, New York who's made the leap to living in Europe. She's a singer, photographer and visual artist who has a laundry list of goals that she will, without a doubt, accomplish. She's someone you should know because Ferima breaks the mold and re-defines the traditional concept of creativity because she chooses not to limit herself to simply one means of artistic expression. Keep your eye on her!
Tell us about you! (Name, city, current whereabouts)
Name: Ferima Faye Haidara
Home City: Harlem, New York City
Currently In: Madrid, Spain
Rapid Fire: Either/ Or Edition
Brunch or Menú del día
AfroPunk or Everyday People NYC
EVERYDAY PPL NYC!
Pizza or Sushi
Gelato or Fro-Yo
Netflix (& chill) or Hulu (& commitment)
Vine or Snapchat
So, Ferima, tell us what brought you to Spain, Madrid in particular.
I’ve come to Madrid to sing and make movies. I would like to expand my film/ photo business, as well as start a band and perform. I know that Madrid is a metropolitan city and I want to learn Spanish, so here I am.
What does your day-to-day consist of?
This is my first month in Madrid, so my days consist of studying at TT Madrid. Running my film/photo company F. F. Visual Concepts, recording new music and writing a script for a short film inspired my by new music.
Most people come to Madrid through some sort of teaching or language programs, how do you balance that with your ever-budding career in music, design, and photography? What helps you to stay focused?
Balancing study and creative work can be daunting so it’s important to break all my activities up into 1.5hr increments and rotate so my mind stays focused, inspired and active. Erykah Badu said, “Write it, and watch it come true.” I have busied myself in online groups and forums, writing my plans and I’ve been welcomed by a wonderful arts, music, and media community here in Madrid; including LMDES.
How does the shopping in Madrid compare to NYC? Has your style taken on a more European flair?
OMG! So I feel like I’ve moved to my style equivalent. I have always been a business casual girl, plus a little extra. My style fits right in with the gorgeous architecture and color of Madrid. I smile everyday walking down the street. Madrid has a great vintage selection that garners many one of a kind pieces.
How’s your level of Spanish currently, and do you feel it has helped or hindered you from pursuing your passions in a Spanish-speaking country?
My Spanish is surprising me. I took it in high school, but never really practiced. I find myself understanding some of what people say and gestures help a lot. Now it is up to me to find the words to express myself; I’ll get there. I’ve been super smiley and engaging so being a non-native hasn't hindered me at all. People are taking their time to help me and I really appreciate that.
Have you found a Spanish-comfort food yet? What’s your new go-to dish or restaurant in Madrid?
I’m searching but I haven’t found it yet. I recently had some amazing fried brie and strawberry dipping sauce from Jarritus on Calle de Ayala. I also had a great swiss cheese burger on sesame seed pumpernickel bun from Revoltosa on Plaza del Rey.
We all need friends and a friendly face every once in awhile. What are your top 3 tips for forming a positive (& powerful) connections while abroad?
Search for your tribe! I knew I needed to be surrounded by ambitious black women. I knew I needed to be around artist/ musicians. I knew I needed to be around techie, business professionals. Get online, go to meet ups, hand out your business card/ whatsapp at networking events. Just be open, and be present.
You are a woman of all trades: visual artist, singer, fashion designer, the list goes on. Who inspires you? Is there anyone currently in the game that makes you think: #goals?
A visual artist who inspires me right now is Lina Viktor. She is currently art #goals. She is a gallery owner and mixed media artist, who works primarily with 24K gold! Her work is life.
Singers who currently inspire me are two women I’ve met here in Madrid. Alana Sinkëy, sulty, soulful, and awe inspiring vocalist of the band Cosmosoul and Ms. Erin Marisol Corine whose low register is directly aligned with the ancestors, complete with her magic flute in tow. The grind and musicianship of these women are #goals.
For tech and media #goals, the dynamic duo of LMDES Danni Roseman and Sienna Brown are teaching me about branding, organization and consistency.
Lastly, Madrid’s colorful architecture, modern yet traditional design, and fusion of old and new is inspiring me all around, to pursue my endeavors, no passion left behind.
What is the most recent album you’ve purchased and the last concert you’ve seen?
Im a singles girl now a days. The last 3 singles I’ve purchased are ‘Apparently’ by J. Cole, ‘Can’t feel my face’ by The Weeknd, and ‘Catfish’ by Ms. Tamar Braxton.
If we must discuss albums, I still have the holy trinity of RnB album releases from 2012-13 on repeat: ‘Two Eleven’ by Brandy, ‘Side Effects of You’ by Fantasia, and ‘Love and War’ by Tamar Braxton. The last concert I saw can't be disclosed because I cant remember…that's how long it’s been. I need to get my musical life together... I know.
Spill. We need to know just a little bit more about your closet. What are your 2 favorite pieces that when you put them on, you feel (even more) like a queen?
My two favorite pieces in my closet right now? Hmm… Before moving, I went to a boutique called S.O.S. in Soho, NYC and bought a a cream shift dress made of taffeta and embellished with silver/ gold floral beading. I serve Audrey Hepburn in that piece. Life is given and breakfast is had. The second are my pointed toe patent leather penny loafer creepers from ASOS. They are black, flat, sleek ,and stylish. I love them!
What advice would you give to any creative who is looking to make roots in a different country?
There is a new term circulating around the black social media community called ‘Carefree’. This feeling of being a carefree woman of color living life on my own terms is very fulfilling. I highly recommend it. @@For any creative who is looking to start anew in another country, be ready to feel special, like a hot commodity@@, because you are rare in this new place, so you will be coveted. You should enjoy every minute of it. You deserve it!
Where can we see more of you? Instagram? Twitter? Soundcloud?
Interview and text by Danni Roseman. Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.