Rykard Q&A

We’re very excited to be welcoming downtempo electronic artist Rykard to play for us at Emotion Wave 12 on Saturday 10 March. Here’s a primer for the uninitiated…

Photo credit: Paul Harris

Can you give us a bit of history on how Rykard came about?

Well, I’d been making electronic tunes for a few years, mainly just for fun. Then back in 2006, a friend of mine who called me Rykard as nickname, said I should set up a myspace profile and get some of my stuff up for people to hear. So that’s how Rykard came to be.

Your track North Cormorant Obscurity became a sleeper hit on Soundcloud with over 30k listens — how did that feel?

Very humbling. It still blows my mind now.

What sort of things influence your music?

A lot of things. Music I’m listening to, life experiences, places I’ve visited and even folklore and urban myths. I like my music to tell a story. My first album had a lot of stories which would tie in with the track names.

Run us through your productions setup — what’s your usual creative process?

The process isn’t always the same, though Ableton is my main tool for production. Normally when I start making a tune I’ll write the chords first to encapsulate whatever mood I’m feeling first and construct the rest of the percussion and melodies around them. I mainly record with hardware as I feel it gives my music a more earthy feel.

Tell us about your new album

It’s called Night Towers. I finally got to visit New York last year and loved every minute of it. When I got home I just wanted to create something with a night time city vibe. I love the way a big city looks at night, with light reflecting from one glass tower to another and being able to explore it in a totally different way than during daylight. My family originate from Liverpool so I thought it would be cool to have it on the album art. Also I didn’t want the album to just be about New York, I just wanted it to have a city theme.

What are you listening to at the minute?

At the moment It’s been mainly instrumental hip-hop. Letherette, Dischord, Teebs and Dibiase to name a few. I adore sample based hip-hop. Letherette’s work is pure gold.

Have you got any more plans to play live?

Maybe in the future perhaps. I’d always liked the idea of playing live, if there was ever another opportunity to I’d would definitely consider it.

What’s next for Rykard?

Well, I’m always working on new material. I’d like to maybe revisit some more ambient sounds again, we’ll see. I also have quite a big back catalogue of old material that’s not accessible anymore, so I’m looking into making some of that available this year.