Interview: British singer-songwriter Rika talks about her journey and single, Out of Order
UK-based singer Chandrika Darbari, known by her stage name Rika, started exploring music when she was nine. At 17, her single No Need topped the charts in Britain and became BBC Radio’s number one song of the week. Rika has recently released her single, Out of Order — a racy pop number. “The idea and lyrics for this track happened last October, and ever since, I was keen on releasing it as a single. The response I received when I took it to other countries for live performances was great. It made me believe in my music and also makes me want to do better,” she says.
Born to a Serbian mother and an Indian father, Rika grew up in North-West London with influences of pop, rock and Indian Classical. “I joined the school choir as a child, and always found joy in music. That was my first lesson in understanding music. That was how I explored different genres,” she shares, adding that American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey is one of her biggest inspirations. “Mariah has had an amazing career and is a living legend. I’ve been following her work for a very long time now. Also, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber — they have such a solid pop sonic and I really admire them.”
Although Rika’s initial training began in school, it wasn’t until her early teens that she decided to take up music as her career. “When I turned 16, I thought of it as an actual profession. I started songwriting then and worked on perfecting my craft. The last three years have been great, but I believe that as an artiste, I need to better my craft with each passing day,” says Rika.
In 2017, the young singer also composed a heartfelt track, For Peace In Syria, to raise concerns against the violence towards children in Syria, which helped raise funds for UNICEF. The music video garnered over 9,00,000 views on YouTube in just a few weeks with huge support from the global Indian and British-Asian community. She is also the first teen Asian-British artiste to be signed by Virgin EMI Record Labels.
Listen to Out of Order on Spotify.