Copyright: RIIKI

Hello! What’s your name? Introduce yourself!

RIIKI: Helloooo derrr I am RIIKI, I’m a New Zealand gal and I’m 20 years old.

The pandemic has been pretty crazy? Where are you now and what have you been up to lately?

RIIKI: I am currently in my hometown in Wellington, New Zealand with my family.

It’s been such a mental time the past couple of months, but feeling super grateful that NZ is back in level 1 now with very little cases. So I’ve been catching up on life with pals, getting back into music routine and keeping myself busy with hopeful future plans now that I can!

How has the pandemic shifted your creative process? Have you been writing differently lately? Communicating with your collaborators and fans in any new ways?

RIIKI: It definitely messed with my mindset for a lil bit! Just very new ways of living/thinking/dealing with things. At first I was super excited to have lots of time to write, and I did for the first week solidly, but then I had a patch of feeling pretty unmotivated and uninspired due to circumstances. It totally challenged me, but I’m super grateful for it because it has forced me to think and create in different ways I didn’t realise I was capable of. For example, connecting with others and creating completely online. I’d planned to make this the year for playing live shows, but it was super cool to connect with people all around the world through live streaming, I did a couple of those.

Your latest release Share Your Luv is incredible! Tell me more about it!

What inspired you to write it, what’s the overall backstory?

“I would love to see people cross boundaries and make whatever music they want to without thinking if it sits in one playlist or the other.”


RIIKI: Tis very kind of ya, thank you! Basically ‘Share Your Luv’ is about sitting on the receiving end of a friendship/relationship where the other person unexpectedly turns their back on you. I’ve stumbled across a couple of experiences with this which has caused a bit of heartache. You’re shown a side you didn’t really know existed and it hurts because you loved that person and it may suck for a while, but the track is also a celebration of realising that you’ll get by without them. The narrative seems like something a lot of people have gone through. I’m usually the person helping others in this situation, but experiencing it first hand just makes it so real and fully understandable. I want others to know that if you’ve been through something like this too, you’ll come out on the other side stronger.

What/who are your greatest musical influences?

RIIKI: I have a list that is waaaay to big holey cows – Beyonce will always be a childhood fav, same with Jeff Buckley, James Blake and Radiohead. Currently listening to a lot of Steve Lacy, Toro y Moi, Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, The Japanese House, The 1975, DIIV, Tom Misch, The Booyah! Kids… If I keep going I’ll have a list of 2000 artists.

So much is changing lately! What do you miss most? Do you have any favorite live shows from the past?

RIIKI: I reallllly miss being around people all day while working! And meeting new people face to face! I performed in a lil gig in LA back in Feb which was pretty magical. 121 Festival was a new festival which debuted a week before lockdown, so playing that and being there before the craziness, I will always remember it.

What would you like to see change about the music industry?

RIIKI: I would love to see people cross boundaries and make whatever music they want to without thinking if it sits in one playlist or the other. Crossing genres is becoming more common nowadays, which is so sick. I would love to see more females owning itttt behind production and the mixing desk – there is such high demand for it and I too am trying to better myself at these things!

What is your advice to aspiring creatives?

RIIKI: Focus on having bundles of fun! Take in the joys of everything!

Remember why it is you wanted to do what you are doing, you should get a credible amount of satisfaction, release and happiness and by doing this you’re set up for achieving to crazy high heights. 🙂 How exciting!

Any other fun stories or things you’d like to talk about? Surely, there’s a funny story that the world must know.

RIIKI: I was in a hotel last week and somehow accidentally ordered a ham and cheese toasted sandwich which got delivered to my door at 3am and woke me up…

very random and weird and probably not that funny lol.

What’s the creative industry like in New Zealand? Any concert venues, record stores or restaurants I should check out when I visit?

RIIKI: New Zealand has the most vibrant creative culture! Where I live here is known as the creative capital of NZ, so there is always lots of colour and extravagant events tucked around the city. It inspires me a lot! If you were to come to my hometown in Wellington, you’d have to check a gig at the venue San Fran on Cuba Street, pop into Slowboat records and eat as much as you can at the restaurant ‘Chow’, so yommmm.

See Nicholes’ most interview with Pollyman!

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Nichole Heller