© 2024 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source. Celebrating 75 Years!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WRTI is proud to highlight the accomplishments of young artists in our local communities. You can donate now to champion and support WRTI's education initiatives! Learn more about what inspires and motivates these musicians through the interviews in this series.

WRTI Young Artist Spotlight: Vocalist Ifika Rowe

Vocalist Ifika Rowe
Joseph V. Labolito
Vocalist Ifika Rowe

Ifika Sakari Rowe is a 17-year-old senior at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). Outside of school, Ifika has been a member of thePennsylvania Girlchoir since 2015, and also studies dance and acting.

Ifika has performed at banquets, community festivals, recording sessions, and recitals. In the summer of 2022, she studied in a music production program and wrote the music and lyrics for an original song called “You Are.” This past summer, Ifika attended the pre-college program at the University of the Arts.

10 Questions with Ifika Rowe:

1. What do you like to listen to?

I love listening to musical shows, gospel, R&B, neo-soul, rap, pop, and jazz.

2. What was one thing that surprised you when you first joined choir?

Because I had been exposed to classical and choral music my whole life, I wasn’t really surprised when I joined, but I was pleased and grateful to be part of the ensemble.

3. What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?

My favorite thing about Philly is the food. I really love the Philly pretzels, restaurants, water ice, and cheesesteak. I also love the activities in downtown center city with its concerts, musical shows, museums, and the fashion district.

4. What are some differences and similarities between expressing yourself through music and dance?

Some similarities between expressing myself through dancing and singing are doing it with my mind, body, and soul and letting the music lead me. The main difference is that when I dance I let it all out physically, and when I sing I let it out emotionally.

5. What was it like to write your own song?

I didn’t think I would get this far in completing my song and actually performing it at my job and in front of my church last summer. I felt really empowered and accomplished! It was a new experience, and I can’t wait to record it in a studio and share it with the world.

6. What or who do you consider to be your musical community?

I consider everyone in my family my musical community. They are always pushing me to become the best musician I can be and always helping me and providing me with the things I need.

Vocalist Ifika Rowe
Joseph V. Labolito
Vocalist Ifika Rowe

7. Who have been the greatest champions of your career so far?

Outside of my family, Mrs. Schmauk (my elementary school music teacher), Dr. Parker (Pennsylvania Girlchoir Director), Ms. Yaj-Jhu (Pennsylvania Girlchoir conductor), Mrs. Thomas (CAPA School Choir Director), and Liz Radigonda (Jazz instructor at University of the Arts).

8. What do you enjoy most about being in the Pennsylvania Girlchoir?

I enjoy singing choral music and being with my friends.

9. What was an experience with a teacher or peer that was impactful to you in your music education? 

This summer, when I took a pre-college program at the University of the Arts, I got to sing in jazz ensembles with my peers. It was a great experience performing with other musicians my age.

10. Do you have any advice for people just getting started with singing or learning an instrument?

My advice for people wanting to do anything in music is, if you really enjoy music, make it like a job; you have to work at it. Music can get you anywhere in life. Never give up, and always have fun! That’s the main thing.

Ifika's Recommended Playlist:

Donate now to champion and expand WRTI's education initiatives!

Lydia Veilleux has worked in music education and arts administration for the past 20 years, and has taught students of all ages in various community settings. As WRTI's Education & Outreach Manager, she oversees educational partnerships, sponsorships, events, and coverage.