I’m not even sure if anything I know about Fatima Yamaha’s hit What’s a Girl To Do is real. Apparently the track dates back as far as 2004. The girl on the record sleeve isn’t Fatima. Because Fatima isn’t a girl. She isn’t even called Fatima Yamaha. She’s a he and he’s a Dutch DJ called Seymor Bits (though I suspect that’s not a real name either).
The story has it, this track wasn’t a hit in 2004 when it was first released to clubland. Apparently that was on purpose though. Nor was it a hit when repressed in 2010 though it was done to meet phenomenal demand for ‘that track’ which had been turning heads in the post club chill out spots. It was kept purposefully limited. Nor (to my knowledge) had it been a hit when my mate Dan played it to me a couple of summers back enthusing about some ‘lost club classic’ that never really was, but had somehow quietly assumed classic status.
There’s a bandcamp link at the bottom of the page where you can check out the whole album that followed years later… but it’s only available as a free download.
Over the two keyboard refrains and the odd Vangelis parp there are 7 minutes of ambient electronica. Only once, is it punctuated with human noise. More exactly it’s punctuated by a sample of Scarlett Johanssen in the Sofia Coppola movie Lost In Translation. Just two lines of dialogue un-tethered to the track in almost every way (except for the fact they’re obviously meant to be exactly where they are) right in the middle of all the chillaxing.
“I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be. I’m stuck, does it get easier?”
You can see why this wasn’t a hit. You can also understand the longevity and the demand for the thing after it has aborted it’s destiny to be a hit. I like the awkwardness of the whole story. The refusal to work within the rules. And I really like the track.
Don’t be scared. There will be another rock song along tomorrow.