By: Vanessa Tam
VANCOUVER – Each person has a different maximum point of saturation when it comes to the Houston, Texas-born artist Riff Raff. For some people, their tipping point was reached early on during the beginning of the artist’s career on MySpace; for others, it was with the Neon Icon album. There are still people out there who can’t get enough of Riff Raff, and maybe never will.
A physical manifestation of how popular culture and music can shape a human being, Riff Raff was born as Host Simco into a family of four where he experienced a complicated upbringing before finding commercial success after being cast in the MTV reality show From G’s to Gents. Often recognized for his flashy outfit choices and his intricate hairstyles, his viral singles “DOLCE & GABBANA,” “TiP TOE WiNG iN MY JAWWDiNZ” and “AiR CANADA” more accurately define his overall vibe as an artist.
After a two-year hiatus from releasing new music after his first LP Neon Icon came out in 2014, Simco decided to drop a whopping three records over the past seven months, the latest of which is titled Aquaberry Aquarius. “Sometimes music is fun,” Simco says about his music making process. “But sometimes it’s not even fun and I don’t stay in the studio, actually. I go in the studio probably like three times a year. Or I only go to the studio when I have to do a feature or, like, do an album. I don’t just hang out at the studio.”
Amidst the nine tracks on Aquaberry Aquarius that talk about partying, luxury goods and making money all day, there are couple tracks that shine a light on what’s happening in Simco’s life as a person. Specifically, the track “I’m Not Waiting on the Summer” touches on the time where the artist lost his father late last year. “Yeah, sometimes I’ll make a song talking about things that are going on in my real life that I normally wouldn’t do,” he shares over the phone. “The last time I did that, I made the ‘Time’ song and that was a long time ago. Now [with] ‘I’m Not Waiting on the Summer,’ that’s like [referencing] my real life. I don’t like to make a whole album based on what’s going on in my life because I think that’s, like, too, like, sad or depressing, so I don’t know.”
Currently in the midst of releasing his first action movie where he will be acting in the lead role, Simco seems more self-aware than ever when it comes to his work and career. “I like to be in a good mood sometimes so that’s why a lot of my songs are, like, more high energy and stuff,” he says. “When I’m on stage I’m not sad or thinking about what’s going on in my life; I’m thinking about just partying. So that’s where I’m in my element, I guess.”
Riff Raff performs April 14 at the Harbour Event Center.Harbour Event Centre, Riff Raff