Name and Surname: Rikuvera Kauapirura
Stage/ Artist name: Riiku
Occupation: Finance Management Student at I.U.M (International University of Management
Location: Windhoek, Namibia
Genre: Hip Hop/Rap
How did you get into music?
Well, it started at my primary school Emma Hoogenhout. We were on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa, and as drove down to SA two friends of mine (Mike Sinvula and the late Aleck de Kock) started freestyling.
I wasn’t really into rap music before then. They asked me to join in their freestyle and I did.
I started “doing my thing” everyone was feeling it. I probably just got “groot kop” but from that day onwards I knew me and Hip Hop were just made for each other, like a thirsty guy and water.
What is your message?
I believe in my lyrical capabilities very much, the messages that I deliver in my music usually has to do with the everyday life stories going in my life and in the lives of those close to me. Some people tell me I’m a gospel rapper, but I think it’s only because I include God in my lyrics, I only do that because he is and always will be a part of my life.
- Always be you and never fake that for anything in the world.
What other talents do you have?
Well I play football very well and I’m a very good dancer, please don’t test me.
I can ride a horse, is that a talent?
So you sing, rap and Produce, how do you balance the work load and maintain an objective ear when mixing/mastering your tracks?
Producing is a newly acquired skill, so I haven’t done very much producing, for myself or for anyone else. However, that is still in the line of work for the near future.
Mixing and mastering I have done on the songs ‘Me & My Thoughts ft. CB’
‘Reality’ (https://soundcloud.com/rj-the-teacher/reality-rj ) the others I have worked on will be released soon.
When mixing and mastering I believe that the Equalizer, compressor and reverb play the biggest part, cleaning the vocal and making sure that it stands out and the recording artist’s words are all clearly heard and understood are priority.
The effects and all that other stuff that I don’t see as very important or the things I add on just to spice up the song and make it more fun and enjoyable come in after. Every song should also be mastered according to its mood and the artist opinion is taken very much into consideration.
What are some of the challenges you faced/ are facing now?
Initially I had a problem with the quality of Namibian produced beats but that has changed drastically over the years and many improvements have been made. The guys have stepped up their game, now they know it’s not all fun and games.
Secondly, there was a shortage of studios but this is no more. Almost everyone has a studio in their bedroom now.
The recording quality is still not so good but there are a few people out there that have that quality, but nothing is free. Since I don’t work and I’m on that student life zone, it’s difficult for me to come up with those funds. I’m a solo artist with no manager or team to work with, I do this alone, but that’s the cost of being a loner in the industry.
What makes your music special compared to the others?
I believe my music is very youthful and still has a very old soulful feeling to it.
It is very cultural and yet modernized at the same time, with a very clear aspect of who I am, what I stand for and what I believe in, and that is something no one can ever take away from me.
My music has no specific time or place as to where you can or cannot play it, any place anytime, it’s great for the ears and listeners mind.
A lot of the youth nowadays are going into the entertainment industry, what can you comment about that?
Well entertainment is fun and at the same time when you “make it” you get cash… Who doesn’t want to make money while having fun? Not saying that the other industries are not fun but entertainment is just the one. It, for me, is also a very good thing that a lot of youth are going that way because we need enough people of our own to tell and spread our own stories from home.
I think the more the world knows about our history and daily lifestyle the better for us, I believe in National Pride. So when we do this entertainment thing, it’s not just for us, there is a whole lot more to it.
What keeps you going?
My Family, I have a big one. My dreams and reaching great heights and being synonymous to great Namibian Musicians.
I would like to get married and raise my children in a comfortable lifestyle.
Most of all, if someone out there hears my music and feels better about themselves or their day that makes me happy too. Being able to make someone else smile or happy that is hundreds of kilometers away from me through this music is a blessing.
Who do u hope to work with one day?
Flexx Fillimon Nangolo,
Mos Def/Talib Kweli,
Donald Clover, Just to name a few.
This is in no particular order, I would prefer to work with people from home first, but which ever opportunity presents itself first, I’ll go for it.
Tell us something interesting about yourself? Anything at all…
I once starred at the moon and started crying, and I think I’m one of the many people (I don’t know of anyone else) that has Trypophobia.
Oh and when I was born the doctor cut me on the head with scissors and scarred me for life.
Check out Riiku on SoundCloud, Facebook and YouTube at Rikuvera Riiku Kauapirura.