In celebration of our involvement with BBC Music Introducing hosts Amplify, during the month of September, on every Wednesday and Friday, we’ll be showcasing real stories from real AWAL members on the blog. We’ll be asking some of our members to share their stories — the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve overcome them, the milestones they’ve achieved, and where they hope the future leads.
This week we're speaking with singer/songwriter — Rika.
How did your journey first begin as an artist?
It started many years ago when I would participate in school plays and write songs from the eager age of 9. I always had a passion for music from childhood. My early influences include the melismatic likes of Mariah Carey and Beyonce, and today's cool tones of Partynextdoor. I aspire to be a successful artist with worldwide recognition starting from my hometown, London.
How would you describe the point in your career that you're currently at?
I recently took on a great management team (Whole Entertainment) and we are working towards self releasing my debut single 'No Need' through AWAL on 22nd September.
We have put together what we think is a really strong remix package to accompany the single and will be servicing through our networks to club and radio djs.
I also have a full music video directed and produced by the amazing upcoming Luke O'Sullivan which was sponsored by the Indian TV channel B4U.
I am currently doing showcases in London and spending as much time as possible in the studio, improving my craft and honing my sound.
Following this single we are looking towards the next single and potentially a 4 track EP soon after. I am half Indian, half Serbian and am fortunate to have support from friends and family in both places so for me it's about creating a buzz in those counties as well as in my hometown London. Im loving this journey and cant wait to see whats possible in the future!
What are some of the biggest challenges you've had to overcome to get to where you are today?
The hardest part of the journey so far has been finding myself as an artist, and what my sound should be. I have realised that I shouldn't restrict myself to one genre, so being experimental and free with music is very rewarding but at the same time hard as you have to break the barriers of music to find where you lie musically. Training vigorously everyday to improve my craft can be hard sometimes, but is very rewarding when you take a step back and see what you have built up from scratch.
What have been some of the most rewarding moments in your journey thus far?
Having done a music video has been so much fun to do! All the hard work you see going into a project is so inspirational.
But I think what is most rewarding is writing and composing a song and releasing it to the world through AWAL. Being a singer/songwriter enables me to express myself and show the world who I am as an individual, and in turn allow other individuals to connect to my music, which I think has such a gratification to it that cannot be topped.
What's the next big milestone(s) that you'd like to achieve?
My second single will be the next milestone. Again it will have a few remixes alongside it. I can't wait to show the world all my music as I believe I have a fresh, new sound which will be enjoyed by all!
Where do you ultimately want to end up in your career as an artist?
I would like to end up as one of the greatest artists of our generation, someone as iconic and as influential to the world of music as Celine Dion and Micheal Jackson. Someone who will be looked up to for years to come. Music is something I carry deeply within myself, and I hope to bury myself deeply in the world of music.
How has your experience with AWAL been so far?
My experience has been great! My first single has been uploaded for release for this and it's really exciting to have a platform that is helping independent artists self release. I think the music industry can sometimes make it difficult for emerging young artists to break out and partnering with a company like AWAL allows you to get your music out there to be heard!
The best outlet for artists to learn from are other artists! Sign up to the AWAL Weekly and see how other AWAL artists like Rika are conquering the grind and finding success!