Good afternoon pals and welcome to another wonderful ‘Beneath The Surface’ instalment. Today I am joined by the rapper, singer & songwriter Richie Gathu! We had a really interesting chat regarding all things music and even touched on his newest Summer single ‘Cosa Nostra’ out now. SO get comfy and let’s dig in to the good stuff below!
What would you say first sparked your interest in music/who inspired you to make music?
I was definitely inspired to make music largely by Timbaland’s music, especially during the mid 2000’s. The intricacies of his production always caught my ear, especially his music with Justin Timberlake/Nelly Furtado. Kanye also played a huge part in falling in love with music, his innovation made him my GOAT from early. I also remember writing my first verse which I wrote to his feature verse on Nicki Minaj – Blazin.
How would you describe the music you are currently creating?
I’m definitely experimenting with sounds, I want to make innovative music that pushes barriers and shows my creativity rather than just sticking to what’s popping. I’m making music that is 100% true to myself whilst making sure it’ll be memorable to the listeners.
What does your creative process look like?
It can vary, in the last year and a half I’ve learnt to produce which has changed my approach. During lockdown, I’ve handled the majority of production on music that I’ve worked on. I tend to first start with the production, melodies usually come first then the drums and additional instruments. I then record a few full vocal takes for different flows/melodies that will work, I’ll then listen back and start to piece the song together. Sometimes I have to sit with a song for a while before the inspiration hits, those are the worst when trying to write but the most rewarding when you come up with a banger!
Who would you most like to collaborate with? (let’s send it out to the universe and make it happen!)
This is a hell of a question! If we’re talking rappers, it’s gotta be Kendrick/Drake/J. Cole/Isaiah Rashad/Travis Scott/Rapsody. A Jay Z feature is also rare nowadays but nothing wrong with dreaming! With singers, I would love to collab with Jorja Smith, SZA, Kehlani, Scribz Riley, Ty Dolla $ign, Justin Timberlake. Now if it’s producers, I need Timbaland, Pharrell, HitBoy, Boi-1da, Metro Boomin, the lsit could go on forever!
What is the one message you would like to send out to your fans?
All the love & support that I receive doesn’t go unnoticed, I appreciate every single person that’s out there supporting me and my music in any way. There’s nothing like being on stage and having an entire room sing your words to you, those are the type of moments that reinforce that this is what I want to do for life and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!
What’s your top tip to rejuvenate your creativity/get over writer’s block?
Take a break if you hit a wall. Do something different that you enjoy. There’s nothing more frustrating that writer’s block but sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to refresh your mind and ideas. Also, when making music make sure that it represents your artistry, if you’re making a certain type of song in order to chase a sound/trend then people can tell. Take time to know yourself musically and that will give you more of a direction and hopefully reduce writer’s block.
What’s next for you, what do we have to look forward to/ what are you currently working on?
Aside on working “Cosa Nostra” to be the song of the summer, I have more singles in the works that will be released through the remainder of the year. The next single is unbelievably catchy and has a real funky 70’s feeling that I can’t wait for people to hear, I’m looking to release that towards August. In the meantime, I’m also looking forward to live performances and I will be performing this song at the o2 Islington on the 24th of July, supporting YXL.