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Headliners

LD Systems Live Sessions: RIKA performs at Signal House Studios

In this eleventh LD Systems Live Sessions, powered by Headliner, rising international pop artist RIKA performs original song My Fellow Showman live at Signal House Studios. Her unique sound, which fuses electric guitar, cello, and an impressive lead vocal, is highlighted here as she performs through an LD Systems MAUI G3 rig and MON 15 A G3 Stage Monitors. Headliner caught up with RIKA after the performance to learn more about her artistry…

What have you been up to recently?

The last few months have been super hectic. 2024 in general has just been working nonstop. I put out my EP, had my first headline show, and I started putting out podcast episodes regarding the EP. The EP is called Conversations I've Never Had, so I thought, well it’s about conversations - why don't I do a limited podcast series talking about the EP and some of the themes with some really interesting people.

I've been on tour around Europe and the UK with Jamie Miller, who sang Longshot with me. Most of the shows were sold out, and I was so excited to perform to a bunch of people in a bunch of places I've never been before. It's just been nonstop work, work, work, and I love it. I love a fast paced life. So I'm definitely very grateful for the sleepless nights and the constant hours in front of the computer editing podcast footage. I didn't have that on my 2024 Bingo card, but here we are. I'm really really grateful.

How did you first get into music?

I didn't start speaking until I was four, but I was always singing. There's footage of me somewhere trying to sing Barbie Girl by Aqua. Music has always just been a part of me and my life, and just a way for me to communicate and express how I feel. It's like my version of journaling. If I feel emotionally distraught or overwhelmed or anything, I just go straight to the piano and I write and channel it through there. It's the only place I feel I can actually say what I want to say properly. It does what words don't, music. I started songwriting when I was about 16, when I was really starting to go through it in life. I've been doing it ever since, and I'm in love with music, honestly!

Can you give us some backstory to the song that you just performed?

My Fellow Showman is, I think, the epitome of vulnerable moments which I have on the piano. I wrote a lot of the song alone in my room. Being an artist in 2024 means being on social media a lot, and a lot of that means you can't always really say how you feel. Even if I’m broken, I still have to put on a happy face and be like, ‘hey guys, stream the new single’.

This song saved me over and over again.

I’d had it up to here that day, and the song basically came out itself. That song is really special to me, because from the genesis to the finished product – musically, visually – just everything about it, I was so involved in it. It's taught me so much about myself as well as just about life, and it saved me over and over again. I was going through my first ever breakup while working on the song, and it was the absolute worst period of my life. I didn't really tell anyone that I was going through this breakup; I only had the music to fall back on which is why it’s really special to me. I think it sounds the best live with the cello and the guitar and the sound system. It just has so much raw emotion which really comes through live.

Tell us about your experience being signed to Warner Music.

I'm the first ever artist who has signed to Warner Music India. Being signed to them is so beautiful. My family manages me and Warner Music India is also an amazing, very family oriented team as well. They really believe in the music and the craft, and they're so supportive in ways which I couldn't have imagined. They just let me be and they appreciate the creativity. I feel really lucky to be signed to them.

What did you think of your vocal being cut through the Earthworks mic, and what are your thoughts on the LD Systems setup?

Hearing my voice cut through the Earthworks microphone and played back through the floor wedges in the room was great. A lot of dynamic microphones cut off the highs in your voice, and I feel like my voice has a lot of highs. But with the Earthworks mic, I genuinely felt like I could hear my voice very authentically. It genuinely sounded like me. It was nice, because usually when I'm recording my own vocals at home, I have to up the high frequencies because I just don't feel like a lot of microphones pick it up. But this one genuinely sounds so nice and sweet, and very well rounded. It's very, very, very good, and I might need to take it home with me!

The LD Systems sound system sounds so clear. As musicians we’re so particular about how a song sounds, and sometimes it doesn’t come across that way, but I genuinely feel like it sounded like how it was meant to sound, the song and my voice - just everything. Even having the guitar and the cello come through on the speakers; all the instruments were sounding proper, everything had a space and it was just really good. I definitely would recommend them to anyone.

Images: Olivia Brytz Media