Fatiniza, a feisty rocker who has just come back from an amazing tour inColombia, which saw her songs soar up the rock charts and saw her named as one of the top 100 most influential Colombians (more on that soon!), has proved that you need drive and attitude to make it in the UAE music business. We asked her a few questions about how hard it is to be a female rocker in the UAE.
You are one of only a few female rock musicians in the UAE, what has it been like for you to get accepted as a real musician? Hard Work… I had to prove more than most that I have talent. I write my own songs, I helped to produce my own album, I perform at the same level as the big ones. You need to do this here so people can see is not just about pretty legs,ora good rackorblond hair.…there is else something worth seeing that’s much more important. I guess it’s the same everywhere, but in this male dominated society, it was tougher yes. When you look at how involved I am with every detail of what I do you can see how much hard work goes into it, before you add the woman thing!
Do you think women, particularly in the UAE, have to work harder and be better musicians than their male counterparts to get recognised?
I don’t think so… I have been in Dubai many years and only a few years ago I came out of my hidden shell and I can say confidently that I have reached where many other bands and musicians haven’t even tho’ they are male… and they have probably been on the market longer than myself… I’ve got recognition after 6 months of been in the market by Time Out… but still I have a lot of hard work to do…
There seems to be a lot of the ‘oh a chick vocalist, that’s hot but they can’t sing for shit’ attitude amongst men in the UAE. Do you think this will ever change?
Yeah, I know what you mean… you find them anywhere… well I don’t pay attention to this comments cos normally those who make these comments do not have a clue about music… so… I really don’t care… all depends of the crowd…It doesn’t bother me to be honest because I can sing, so for those type of guys…I personally invite you to come and listen, I won’t disappoint
The Arab culture in general is about women staying in the kitchen and making babies, as an expat singing in the UAE have you been discriminated against by people who think you are just a sex symbol and give you no credit for your talent?
This not only in the Arab culture you know… you find it in some Latinos too… but not at all… I have been recognised and admired so far forthe job I have done… I even have some Arab teens that stop me and talk to me, and have my cd in their hands and they want me to sign it… as you i am surprised! And women, they love to see my performance… after the show they come to me and say they loved it.
From what you have seen yourself, do you think women musicians in the Middle East region are more driven to succeed in music than men?
I think whoever works hard, stays on course and persists will succeed… no matter the genre orgender.
What do you think the music scene in the UAE can do to help promote female musicians as musicians, not as sexy things that happen to stand in front of a band?
I don’t think the music scene promote female as sexy things… I think the deal is women have to lose that shyness and step forward as front singer and stop fearing the music scene…for example la femme fatale gig last November was a night of talented female performers at the Music Room… It was successful and well reviewed by magazines such as Rolling Stone… and everyone appreciated the diversity in the female talent they had that night…it was a great night.
What do you love about playing music?
Seeing people staring and tapping feet and nodding their head… and see my fans singing along … i fucking love that… i love being on stage and see the face of the lead guitar when his bit is comingormy sexy drummer showing off the fact that SHE is a drummer and can play! There u gooo! A woman musician Francy Taborda one of the best drummers in the UAE and a Female
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your history with music?
I have been singing since i was 2. I started writing when I was 14. I have 3 degrees in: financial administration, technology and systems, pharmaceutical dealer …. always singing on the side. I travelled around the world with bands on music contracts… and reached Dubai and took advantage of the virgin scene to get myself recognised in the Middle East – Fatiniza with my own Music… then launched an album, here and in my country Colombia… The second album is coming – to be launched simultaneously in both countries … the rest you know… music is my life, everything i do has a melody sewn in it.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Yes… come to the Music Room on the 19th and I will show you that is not only pretty legs … I will fill you up with an energetic discharge of the most amazing rock/pop originals in the local scene… don’t look at me as a woman, look at me as a fighter!