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Exclusive Riya Liquid V Interview
Friday 15th February 2013
The crowned queen of Drum and Bass, Riya is definitely one of the most recognisable vocalists within the scene, and that's including the big hitting MCs. Over the years Riya has laid down vocals on some of the biggest and most hyped releases, showing her versatility to switch from a vulnerable, soft sound to the tough, fast paced. With huge collaborations on labels such as Metalheadz and Critical, many tracks that she has worked on are now considered classics, including Lenzman's "Open Page", Enei's "No Fear" and last years summertime roller "Piano Funk" from the mighty Total Science & S.P.Y.

Lenzman ft. Riya - Open Page

Enei ft. Riya - No Fear

Total Science & S.P.Y ft. Riya & Dåm Funk - Piano Funk

Ahead of her Live PA tonight at Liquid V alongside legends Peshay and Total Science, we sat down with Riya to find out a little more.

Cable & Planet V present Liquid V with Peshay & Total Science
Friday 15th February at Cable, London

Click here for more event info / tickets


What are some of the hits you're most well known for?

Lenzman ft. Riya - Open Page, Total Science & SPY ft. Dam Funk & Riya - Piano Funk, Lenzman ft. Riya – How Did I Let U Go, Lenzman ft. Riya - Bittersweet Pt. 2 and Riya – Seems Like

What was your first experience of Drum & Bass music?

A Valve Soundsystem night...Slammin vinyl nights...such good memories.

What are you're feelings about performing at Liquid V, Cable?

I’m really looking forward to it as I love singing my songs live and PAs in this country are not something I get to do a lot, I’m not sure why but I think promoters are generally scared to do them, preferring the usual MC or host and DJ. This is one of my biggest frustrations as a female vocalist having worked so hard on so many tunes, that you don’t get supported or promoted on label nights. It’s a shame because it means vocalists and MCs get disheartened and go elsewhere essentially and we lose good talent which is what the scene needs to keep it fresh and current. So yes, thank you Liquid V!

How important do you feel vocalists are on a track?

It depends on the type of tune or the genre of music. But we could talk all day about that so keeping it to D&B, I like all D&B tracks but for some types of aggressive, dark techy tunes I wouldn’t want a vocal on there it’s just all about the rhythm and bass etc but for the right song generally musical D&B tunes I think they’re an essential component. However it has to be done right of course, and this is what differentiates an OK D&B tune from a top class one. A vocal hook also gets stuck in people’s minds, and if something is catchy then that’s a sure fire way to selling more songs or getting playlisted on radio as well for instance. The other thing is that lyrics tell a story. All of my songs tell a story about hard times in my life or experiences, and I write them in hope it will resonate with somebody else who is going through a similar thing because most people I know turn to music during tough times and are searching for the song that explains how they feel about things or that resonates with them and vocals are really the main way to do tell the story of the track not just through the lyrics, through expression and tone too.

What are you feelings about where Drum & Bass is currently?

I guess you could run with that question in a number of ways based on my own opinions and what I hear a lot in the industry about lack of sales, egos, not being paid enough, politics, saturation of music, technology, file sharing/downloading etc but that is the same in music in general and not just specific to dnb although more apparent. Generally though there’s a lot of talented producers around and a lot of good music, some great new vocalists coming through, and it’s getting represented better (and the full spectrum of) more in media/on radio which is great but there’s some areas I feel that D&B really needs a good kick up the arse and I’m sure a lot of producers and vocalists alike feel the same. Well I know they do!
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