“Quickly becoming recognized for her powerhouse vocals, whimsical metaphors, and mischievous charm, Riiki’s head is typically situated comfortably in the clouds.”
Launching her new project RIIKI REID symbolises an exciting new chapter for artist Raquel Abolins-Reid. The multifaceted artist’s knowledge in both music and movement has allowed her to create catchy and intriguing music influenced by a range of genres – which is brightly highlighted in her new and upcoming releases.
Her first project, RIIKI, was released in 2019, where listeners were quickly hooked on her sugary, indie-pop sound. Her single High Heights has had over 2 million streams, while singles One Day, Share Your Luv, Good Times (#1 on the Hot NZ Singles Chart), In the Moment, One Day, have also had streaming, playlist and radio success.
The project has had over 3 million streams on Spotify; thousands of views on YouTube; commercial and independent radio airplay; local and international playlist placements; media and blog attention; and industry recognition and representation – including a signing with WME – the world’s longest-running talent agency, and Warner Music.
She has also worked with award-winning producer and engineer Simon Gooding (Dua Lipa, Pink, Drax Project), Wells* (Navvy, Thomston, Paige) and Alex Wildwood (The Veronicas, Broods, Earth Tiger).
Along with her band, she has played a number of successful live shows. These have been at a range of venues, including music festivals and sell-out arena’s, alongside some of NZ’s biggest names - L.A.B, JessB, Katchafire, The Black Seeds and Dave Dobbyn.
Single In the Moment (2021) is the first track where the artist starts to add alternative-rock into her indie-pop releases. She wrote this single in LA at the beginning of 2019, just before returning to New Zealand with manager Isaac Adams, and entering the countries first covid-19 pandemic lock-down.
While wishing the pandemic never happened, she says it turned in to a beneficial time of discovery and growth – of herself and her music. It also resulted in her new project RIIKI REID – an electrifying furthering of craft by the young artist.
From the first note of single Meet U Again, she draws the listener in and states her intent by simply saying ‘hello’. The hook soars ‘I wanna meet you again’ and then worms its way into your head. The melody is catchy, and the songwriting, musicianship and production continue to be impressively solid. RIIKI REID says she’s been channelling her love of alternative, edgy, 90s indie-pop-rock. Think Radiohead, DIIV and Björk.
Throughout all creative elements of the project - fashion, font, video, and music - there are contemporary glimpses of the 70s/80s and 90s, all brought together by a talented artist who continues to surprise. The visual elements of this project are a nod to her Māori, Samoan, Latvian and Scottish heritage - with weaving font and a colour palette of blacks, reds and whites. The music video was filmed in Wellington, and highlights some great architecture within the city, as well as giving it a grungy, UK, Trainspotting vibe.
From a young age, the accomplished singer-songwriter-producer and dancer-choreographer, knew she wanted to be a performer, so would position herself in the spotlight. The Wellington-based artist has gone from school shows to Rockquest, to showcases in Los Angeles and sell-out stadiums across Aotearoa – and there is much more to come - RIIKI REID is one to watch.