Andre Fiyah B Austin is igniting the soca music industry with his Barbados to United States connections.
The 30-year-old, who was speaking exclusively to Bajan Vibes, said he has a fond love for Barbados but he also wants to live his dream of being on stage, internationally.
Fiyah B was born in New York but moved to Delaware after the 9/11 bombings. He is currently living in Delaware, hence his United States connections. However, his family roots are from right here in Barbados.
The artiste who has strong and deep Bajan ties, said that not even COVID-19 could get the best of him as he is constantly working on music.
“I keep pushing music and promoting. I have a lot of links with the internet community like Team Soca. We did some lives and interviews; just trying to stay relevant. At this moment, stuff is opening back up so we are going on the road a little more now,” he said.
Songs like the 2018 hit Buckle and 2019 single Bend have been blazing on the airwaves. His latest release is Who De Gal Want which has been holding its own.
Fiyah B was first known as Fiyah Ball in the hot streets of Delaware. After deciding to take music seriously in 2017, the name was shortened to what it is now. The singer told Bajan Vibes that he was a videographer and host for his show, 60 Seconds With Fiyah B, where he covered fetes exclusively.
The inspiration for his song Juck Down Gals actually came from one of his videos which went viral of him “jucking down women”.
Fiyah B is not your typical soca artiste; he is actually Rastafarian and very spiritual.
“Certain words in the bible keep me strong. When I was young, I had to go to church as a Seventh Day Adventist and on Sunday as a regular Christian. I was in church a lot, but the transition came in my teenage years.”
Andre explained that he rebelled and became a man of the streets. Through it all, he said he has a strong grip on God, but he no longer goes to church.
In his early to late teens, he would listen to R&B rapper Jay-Z and the smooth sounds of Coco Tee.
Within the next five years, he wants to provide similar inspiration to others and wants the brand to be known as a household name.
“I actually want to be known for shelling shows,” he said with slight laughter. “My goal is to just keep pushing.”
Despite the success that he has seen in music having performed with seasoned entertainers like veteran artist Lil Rick and Trinidad’s soca sensation Patrice Roberts, he said that he was not supported by his family.
“I had no support until I released the song Buckle. My family wanted me to get a regular 9 to 5 job to be a doctor or lawyer.” The entertainer explained that he is a hustler at heart and he prefers to show people what he was created to do.
Fiyah B is also involved in other businesses in Delaware. “I have a notary business in the United States dealing with banks, and I also have a brand called Drinks by Unique and a marijuana company called Dank Drinks.”
But for him, music is his happy place; though the local crowd he described as hard to please.
The resident of The Bayland, St Michael when in Barbados, is a man who gives his all and recalled one of his best performances to date when he shelled at Trippy Wednesdays.
“I remember that I gave my all, and I hardly got a reaction. I find that in New York people are more free up and they listen to the lyrics. It is easier to shell a New York show than a show in Barbados.”
When asked if he preferred to perform in the United States because of these challenges, a confidant Fiyah B said that he doesn’t mind; the aim is to establish himself worldwide. He said that the team is looking to have him in New York, Canada and Japan.
“We just find a stomping ground and keep pushing. We started in New York and things went good, but we moved to Barbados because of management.”
Fiyah B explained that music chose him, and though he started out late in life, he believes in pursuing goals at any age.
“You’re never too [old] to start anything. You can be 50 years old and get inspired. You can [even] start early or young, but the most important thing is to start. Once you start, you just keep going.”