Is life as easy as snapping your fingers? So crisp, so simple, so light-hearted? Listening to Rikas’ music will make us believe exactly that. In a heartbeat, their songs turn an evening without a plan, a movie without a plot, into something unforgettable. Ferdinand plays drums, Sam is on bass, Chris plays guitar, Sascha guitar and keyboards. They all have their unique superpower, but none of them stands in the spotlight alone.
Performing over 200 shows including festivals such as Fusion Festiva or MS Dockville in Hamburg and supporting artists like Milky Chance or Parcels. After releasing their debut album Showtime via Columbia Records and a postponed tour Rikas found themselves in a writer’s block. With their latest single “Overthinking” in late 2020 they overcame that phase and are now packed and ready to release lots of new music throughout the summer of 2021.
Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?
The foundation of our group is friendship and sharing the same dream. Sam, Ferdinand and Chris met in school and coming from artistic families they always had the dream of having a band. Through the years Sascha joined us, also coming from a musical background. He used to be part of a youth ensemble performing Tarzan. By the end of school we’d been fantasizing about becoming musicians and seeing the world. Our first attempt at that was a month-long interrail train journey. By busking the streets of Europe we became a close group, formed a musical vision and accidentally started living the Rock’n’Roll dream. From that day on we somehow managed to become musicians. And learned a lot about what this really means.
How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist?
Being forced to challenge your inner doubts on a constant level feels like growing up very radical. I’d say it’s pretty consistent to the highs and lows of life itself. As an artist you‘re an observer of the world happening around you. That puts you in a distant position, a certain safe space. On the other hand, filtering these visions forms your interaction with the world. You are dealing with so many different things. Learning by watching and doing. So for me personally life as an artist feels like the ideal blending of self centrism and vibing with the outside.
Who are your all time musical icons?
With all of us being songwriters in the band we have to come up with the most obvious answer: of course the Beatles have their share on our list of icons. Virtuoso wise we love Stevie Wonder or Quincy Jones. And we’re also looking upon artists that are able to reinvent themselves on a constant level like Tyler, The Creator or Phoenix for example. And talking about voices I absolutely admire Lianne La Havas. But I guess that’s enough to cope with for now.
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
We seek inspiration from so many various things. Daily life is a huge part of it. Especially during pandemic, everything that involved real and analogue human interaction felt very moving. And because it was so rare these days I finally understood how much this affects one’s writing. Other sources of inspiration can be movies and graphics.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
I think artists who have a long legacy of records out there. Especially people like David Bowie, Pharell Williams or the Arctic Monkeys. I think they really managed to change their sound and vision in a cool way and not use the same formula over and over.
Favorite activity to blow off some steam?
I would say that sports is the thing we all love to do when everything seems a bit overwhelming. You will probably Ferdinand riding a skateboard, Chris and Sam biking and I (Sascha) love to go for a good run. And when we come together we’re open for anything, may it be ultimate frisbee, football, tennis or golf.
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about.
Our latest single “I Always Think Of You (When I Listen To This Song)” is a lazy eyed love song. It gives you romantic insight to a past relationship, which is based on a certain song that‘ll always be connected to this liaison. I guess everyone has had this experience somehow?! We love to play this one live because we can feel the smiling faces in the crowd when we start to play.
What are some things you do to deal with anxiety and creative blocks?
Personally, I need to take some time off. Taking care of myself and doing myself some favors is the most healing thing I’ve experienced. But the most important thing is not to put pressure on myself. On the days I’m really feeling the pressure, I tell myself that I don’t have to achieve everything all at once, it’s a liberating feeling which makes things easier. Having a good chat with a close friend can also bring some fresh energy and a positive state of mind. But ultimately, it’s different for everyone.
What’s the future looking like for you?
We have an EP which will be coming out in September and lots of shows around Europe. We also have some super exciting collaborations coming up.
Who inspires your style and aesthetics?
During our last Pre-Covid trip, which was New York City, we were introduced to the work of Tyler Mitchell. We’ve been following him since then. He creates such a powerful and natural environment with his photographs. We also love the mediterranean lifestyle, architecture and fashion is a big influence. We would love to record an album in South France one day.
What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?
I think it was when we started to have our own headline shows. I mean it is such a crazy thing that people are spending their money to watch us perform.
What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?
Patience and encouragement. Don‘t be afraid to take steps that might scare you. And keep on going. It‘ll pay off someday.