As a Singer, Songwriter and Producer born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Rikia Chanel grew up listening to different genres and eras of music. She started at the age of 12 working diligently on perfecting her vocals, writing and producing skills to create an original and great sound for her music content. By doing this, it allowed her to become a more serious and dedicated artist. Her vocals, lyrics and music express what young people today can relate to. Rikia Chanel’s deliverance tells her story in every song, whether fact or fiction, and is coming straight from the heart and soul. Her sound is on the level of music being played by top artist and musicians today. Rikia Chanel’s goal is to get a major record deal and is currently promoting her First EP titled The Preview and currently working on her second EP not yet titled. Rikia is also being played on NordstromRack.com Phone queque and Hautelook, and with lots more to come! Enjoy our interview with Rikia below!
Entertwine: You’ve been performing since you were twelve years old, right? What inspired you to begin writing music?
Raikia: To be honest… I was singing at the age of 6, but didn’t realize I could actually hold a note and possibly make a career out of it until I was 12. I come from a big musical background, and my at one point was singing abroad and back in the 80’s was offered to be apart of the Mary Jane girls that Rick James put together, but she turned it down to work on her solo career. So being around my mom and Uncle by the name of Kenny Kingpin who raps has had several major label deals over the years and that also inspired me to want to be in this business. Writing came a lot later for me, I didn’t feel confident in my writing until the age of 18. I was scared of writing because I didn’t think I was good or had anything to say. My mom who is also my manager, gave me the confidence in writing music because she remembered how good I was in school when it came to writing essays and short stories, and told me to apply the same work ethic into my music, and once I did that it was no looking back.
What is it like living in Los Angeles? You grew up there as well, correct? What has been your experience with the different music scenes of Los Angeles?
Being born and raised in Los Angeles is definitely a different mentally, you have to make sure you don’t get caught in the Matrix. Staying focused and building healthy relationships is what will make you shine above the rest. It can be a rat race because it’s so many different music scenes, but everyone is fighting for the same thing.
What life experiences and events led to the writing and recording of your debut EP “The Preview”? Could you walk us through each of the featured tracks?
I went through a lot in the last 2 yrs of my life. My father passed, I was in between jobs, and my dating life sucked, and musically no one knew who I was… that can really put a damper on you as an artist, but instead of getting depressed or irritated, I wanted to write and sing about whatever is was I was feeling. I told One of the producers I work with “NICE” that I want to get back to work, but under one condition… that all the songs on my EP be recorded as snippets. I wasn’t ready to give all of me just yet but I wanted to give just enough to let people know what I was capable of.
The first track I worked on was “Born Again” which I produced. even though its a sexy song, I was more focused on the title relating to how I felt. I felt a re-birth of me and my music happening. My style was starting to change, and felt myself being a lot more open.
Than there was “Wish List”. My Producer NICE played me the keys and I feel in love! I immediately starting free styling the melody “Hey you” that starts in the beginning, and I started playing around with the Kanye Lyrics from his song “Theraflu” and I switched the words around to fit a woman’s stand point and ask the “can a young chick get money anymore, tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor? Can I have a bad dude without no flaws? Come to meet me without no drawls? lol Yes I took it there, but it felt fun and effortless and that’s all that mattered to me.
The 3rd track “Not Your Man” was me speaking for all us girls and telling the non respectful ones ” I’ll beat a chick down round for round cuz that’s my man” lol yes it’s a little harsh, but good girls get tired and want to stick up for themselves too!
The 4th track on my EP “Run N Hide” is one of my favs. It’s a little aggressive and dare I say… crazy, BUT! it was more about the flow pattern that made that song,and the feel of it.
The 5th track is titled “Come On Baby” and its a sample from the early 90’s group 69 boyz, My producer had the track already made and we were like lets just have fun with it, and not take it too seriously. It’s definitely for the clubs.
The 6th track is a little personal for me which is titled “Untold Hook” I produced it and I was dating this guy at the time I wasn’t sure I completely liked, and I couldn’t convey that to him so I put it in a song. That song is actually being played on Nordstrom Rack.com and Hautelook’s phone line. That’s been my good luck song… Ironically. Last but not least the last track on my album “No Problems” I stopped dating this guy and the way it ended was immature and ugly, and I needed to get it off my chest how he made me feel, and I think I conveyed it pretty well lol.
Who are your biggest musical influences? Why?
My musical influences range but I will say the artist that were constant for me as a child is Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder just to name a few. Such great musical legends, and they’re all songwriters as well.
You’re currently working on a follow-up EP, correct? What does 2015 hold in store for Rikia Chanel?
I’m working on a new EP… Well as of Yesterday it’s now 2 new EP’s, but the first EP is going to be 4 songs with one of the my producers I work with with named D. Shy, and the 2nd Album/EP is going to be Me producing with NICE and D. Shy as well… So it’s going to be a monster and I can’t wait. I’m have so much more ahead and 2015 is going to be the year I really create an amazing buzz, and finally let the world know exactly Who is… Rikia Chanel.