City Fidelia is an Ottawa based artist, activist and entrepreneur and definitely one to watch this year, delivering his latest 15-track album ‘Painkiller’.
As a community leader in his hometown, Luigi Fidelia (AKA City Fidelia) has always empowered others to be their greatest and overcome their struggles. These traits are exemplified most recently through his establishment of an 80,000 sq. ft creative cultural centre in Ottawa, where he has given the local youth the resources to build and grow. These philanthropic virtues make it especially interesting to see how the self-proclaimed Mayor of Ottawa deals with his own personal struggles in his life and the society around him.
City Fidelia reflects on the chaos around him and looks for different ways to cope with the pain in his most recent release ‘Painkiller’. The 15-track project uses a combination of powerful and bouncing hooks contrasted with the immersive lyricism to paint a vivid story of City Fidelia’s highs and lows.
Setting the thematic tone for the album, the opening track “Painkiller Into” feels like the hazy opening to a journal entry as the Ottawa rapper reflects different ways to numb the pain around him backed with a hallowing vocal sample and booming drums. By the end of the song we’re left to think about the different ways to deal with obstacles thrown our way. City suggests that rather than internalize them, we can free ourselves by not caring as much and letting go.
A clear stand-out track on the album is “Can’t Sleep” featuring YNR DaVinci which uses warm and playful piano keys balanced with a harmonized gospel vocal backing to deliver a powerful and catchy hook. There’s a stark contrast between these playful instrumentals and the chorus’s lyrics “I can’t go to sleep without the strap on me” leaving the song with a somber but powerful mood.
The song “Close Call” paints a movie-esque scene of narrowly avoiding mistakes and falling victim to the vices around him. The instrumental production and warm piano keys set the tone for the vivid storytelling throughout the song that leaves the listener hanging onto every word.
When asked about the album City Fidelia explains:
“It’s meant to be a self-imposed therapy. I explore my inner child and express the different ways my friends and I numbed the pain with topics related to growing up in a broken home, depression, love lost, but also a spiritual experience. This project is to let anybody dealing with pain know that they are not alone.”
The project is a strong step sonically and thematically as he explores the themes of pain around him and his ways of remedying it. City Fidelia shows his ability to navigate and reflect on his personal struggles in his life while still continuing to be a strong pillar for his community in Ottawa.
Listen to the full album on Spotify