London’s Rika has accomplished more at the age of 17 than some people will in their whole lives. In 2016, she released the song ‘For Peace in Syria‘ and garnered over 800,000 views in a week. Her first official single ‘No Need’ was released last year and soon after was featured on BBC Radio 1, and it’s been viewed over 2.1 million times on Youtube since.
Her most recent single, ‘The Others‘ boasts an infectious chorus and romantic verses, made even better by the song’s beautiful music video that pays homage to some of the United Kingdom’s best in girl power-pop.
Rika spoke with POParazzi about her singles, what her success means to her, and what to expect from her in the future.
- Hey Rika! You’ve been releasing some great songs and music videos, like ‘No Need’ and ‘The Others.’ What’s it been like to be accomplishing so much before your 18th birthday?
I’m really grateful! A lot of people my age dream of doing such things. I feel very blessed and it drives me to do better everyday. I can’t wait to be 18, though.
- You started writing songs at the age of nine. Do you remember any of those songs you wrote? How have your songwriting skills evolved and changed?
My earliest writing memory is probably writing a song for my dad when I was 9 years old. He wasn’t at home for the holidays, and I wrote him a song called “The Love of Xmas” to the tune of “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey, haha. My song writing skills have definitely improved since then, I hope. As I get older, it becomes easier to get more in touch with yourself and easier to express how you feel through song.
- If you could go back and give your younger self some advice about creating music, what would you say?
To take up guitar! I always wanted to learn guitar properly, but I just don’t have the time now sadly. Also I would love to tell myself that I need to be more confident and carefree of other peoples opinions.
- ‘The Others’ is such a sweet synth-pop track with an equally pop-perfect music video. What was it like shooting it?
It was really fun to shoot! This was the first time I’ve done proper choreography and it was a lot of hard work. I worked with Suzette Brissette who had worked with the likes of Rita Ora, Little Mix, Sam Smith and more. She was absolutely amazing to work with and had so much energy to make sure the dance scenes and all the other scenes were as high energy as possible! After a total of 10 hours of rehearsal had finally sunk into my skin, it was really fun to do on the day. I definitely want to get more into dance now. It took 13 hours to shot the video, and it was very tiring. I had about 5 hair and makeup changes and a lot of fun. I think shooting music videos is one of the best parts of being an artist. A lot of the magic of the video was done in VFX and post editing, so I didn’t know what to expect really until the video was posted.
- The song and video reminded me of some of the greatest British girl bands and artists, like Girls Aloud. What artists influenced you growing up? Where did the inspiration for the music video come from?
I definitely take a lot of inspiration from pop queens such as Nicole Scherzinger and Cheryl Cole, who are both two powerful, sexy brunettes which is what I would love to achieve one day. A lot of the video inspo came from videos such as Girls Aloud and Pussycat Dolls. The colours are more youthful to show that I am still young, haha.
- Your video for ‘No Need’ surpassed 2 million views, and you’re growing quite the fan base on social media. What’s it like getting support from all over the world? How does social media bring you closer to your fans?
I love all the support I’m getting. Everyday someone new direct messages me on Instagram expressing how much they love my music and how its made them happier to have discovered me, and that is why I do what I do everyday, because I know that I have made someone’s day by doing what I love. I have just started musical.ly recently and the fans on there are so loving and so connected to me.
- What can fans expect from your future music? Will there be an EP or album coming soon?
I am dropping some more projects soon!! Stay tuned!! Follow me on my socials @rikaldn to keep up with all the latest on my music!
- Do you have any plans to perform live? What kind of a show would you put on?
I would love to do more live shows this year. Hopefully I will do some festivals and maybe a small tour after I release a bigger project 🙂 My shows would be super fun and vibrant, but raw and sweet as well. I think that is what describes me best.
- If you could record a song or perform live with any artist, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
I would love to work with Bruno Mars, he is so talented and smooth with his words and voice, its so captivating. He is our modern day legend and will be remembered for years!
- When you’re not working on your music career, what do you like to do for fun? Do you have any hobbies that help you with your creativity?
I love shopping, haha. But I also read a lot to keep my brain active. It really keeps my brain thinking. Also… does musical.ly count as a hobby? It’s so much fun and the reactions on there are so positive!
- What’s one thing you hope people take away from listening to your music?
That they can feel what I’m saying and can relate to it. I love that you can connect with someone just by the words you write and sing!