By Justine Apostolopoulos
VANCOUVER — European pop-star Rykka is set to be back in Canada this month with her new album Beatitudes. The Vancouver born Swiss-Canadian, now hailing from Zurich, is clearly a very imaginative artist. Her records have consistently evolved in sound and genre, reflecting how she has grown throughout her career. After graduating from the music program at VCC she shifted her focus from jazz to more folk-based music, transitioning from there into indie rock and changing her stage name to Rykka. “I was tired of being Christina Maria, with the cursive and the rainbows,” she says. “I wanted something with more edge. From there I’ve been going in a more poppy direction.”
After releasing her second album Kodiak in 2013 — a conceptual album where each song was written from the perspective of a different animal — she took home the coveted $107,000 first place prize at the Peak Performance Project that year and turned her focus back to songwriting. Over the next three years she buckled down and wrote more than 100 songs, from which ten were chosen for the upcoming album.
“It was insane,” she says about the process, in which she sometimes set a goal of three songs a week. “So I began co-writing as well, which is something I haven’t really done in the past.”
Beatitudes has been described by Rykka as an “offering to the pop gods.” The album was recorded and produced in Toronto’s Coalition Studios, co-write Warne Livesey taking instrumentation and production in a new direction for Rykka, who had a lot of fun working on the album. “He [Livesey] is really free in what he can do as a producer, and we could get really deep into production because of it. I’d say, ‘can you make this sound like a unicorn?’ And he would, because he’s been producing for years.” The single “Bad Boy,” released earlier this year, has a very energetic and effervescent feel with strong vocal melodies, synths, and catchy dance beats, elements that are guaranteed to be present throughout the entire album.
Rykka’s last Vancouver performance was at the Fox Cabaret in 2015 and she is excited to be touring Canada again, bringing her new sound back to her original home base.
“This show is really fun, a little more free than performances I’ve done in the past. I tend to jump up and down a lot when I’m singing so I decided to bring a small trampoline on tour with me this time. I’m going to be bouncing up and down on stage.”
Rykka performs at the Biltmore Cabaret on November 10 and at Lucky Bar in Victoria on November. 11.BC, Beatitudes, Biltmore Cabaret, British Columbia, Lucky Bar, Rykka