Ryki is pop’s hottest new voice

2017-04-02 06:02

Johannesburg - At the age of 16, an Afrikaans music label offered Maryke van Wijk a record deal. The pitch: She’d be “the Afrikaans Adele”. Luckily for us, Van Wijk (known musically by her nickname Ryki), turned it down.

A few years later she would be discovered again singing on a track sent to Universal Music by a producer hoping to punt his music. The label didn’t want him, they wanted Ryki, and they signed her on her 18th birthday. Since then, the 19-year-old, Pretoria-based artist has brought us sultry electronic hits that are elevating the quality of English pop music in South Africa. She laughs when I tell her that during a phone interview.

“Wow, that’s such a nice compliment. I feel like I just make music that’s really true and from my soul.”

Like many other local artists, Ryki collaborated with Sketchy Bongo.

“When I just got signed at Universal, the label said they just wanted me to find myself and my style of music. So they hooked me up with a number of producers to work with. Sketchy Bongo was one of them – this was when he’d only had one track out.

“We skyped and he sent me a folder with tons of songs. Then we met up in Durban, and in three days we made seven songs. So, it went really well. We just clicked and had so much fun.”

The hit born out of that collaboration was Please Try with a rap verse by Durbanite Aewon Wolf, an infectious feelgood banger that’s been dominating local airways.

Watch the music video for Please Try here:

Ryki says she’s influenced by local hip-hop, House, R&B and trap soul.

“I have a lot of respect for music and every genre. I also love artists such as Matthew Mole, Tresor and PHFAT.”

Her eight-track EP – which took two years to complete and features collaborations with Bubele Booi, David Balshaw, Wolfpack member Deemo and deep House heavyweight Kyle Watson – is now available.

“It’s not only self-titled because it’s my first EP, but because this is me,” she says.

“This is how I sounded in each phase from 2015 to 2017. Yes, there are many songs that I wanted to add, but these ones are Ryki. I want people to know that this is only the beginning for Ryki.” Indeed.

You can get Ryki’s EP for R69.99 on iTunes.

Debut EP Coming Soon

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