Check out our interview with singer, songwriter and producer Rikki Valentina who just released her new single ‘Paranoid’ – a record armed with Rikki’s stellar voice and infectious lyrics that exudes her prowess and nerve. A dangerous yet seductive track that encapsulates the feeling of mental isolation and fear; giving us intangible chills and thrills.
“Paranoid” follows Rikki Valentina’s previous releases of luxurious pop records and it’s her first single release following her debut EP, “Daddy’s Girl”, that was released in June of this year.
Rikki Valentina is the kind of singer/songwriter that walks into your home and has no intentions of leaving – just when you were about to draw an easy comparison to Lana Del Rey or Lily Allen, Valentina’s voice pulls the proverbial rug right from under you – she is one to watch in 2021.
Follow Rikki @rikkivalentina
Rikki Valentina - Paranoid (Official Music Video)
Hi Rikki, please tell us a little about you?
Hi, thank you for having me! I’m Rikki Valentina and I’m a singer, songwriter, producer, pop culture enthusiast and sometimes a cat whisperer. I was born and raised in the city of angels, Los Angeles! I just released my latest record and music video “Paranoid” – it’s the perfect song for Halloween and I’m super happy with the response from my fans, it’s catchy and a lot of people can relate to the song, everyone should check it out!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
This is a hard question, I would say: Creative, Sentimental, Loyal!
How did you get started in the business?
I actually started out as an actress at a young age. My first big project was a comedy show for Animal Planet starring Dave Coulier – I always knew that I wanted to be in show business, this is all very natural to me.
How has this changed your life?
It’s helped me understand myself better and also taught me how to overcome obstacles. I actually color graded my “Paranoid” music video, I had to teach myself how to do it and I now feel invincible when it comes to learning new things.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I have been surrounded by music my whole life, since my dad was a drummer. Growing up and seeing my dad play with his various bands was very inspiring; he actually was the one that recommended me to go to youth rock band programs when I was 13. That paved the way for me to want to further my career in music.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
I would say that my sound is dreamy, timeless and captivating. I always make sure that my music has my essence, that’s what makes it so special!
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I have been influenced by many musicians such as Lana Del Rey, LIGHTS, and The Beatles. But the person who truly influenced me to continue my journey would have to be my dad. After he passed I realized I wanted to make music to continue his legacy – he has been my biggest inspiration and I will always look up to him.
Do you play any instrument?
Yes I do play instruments, I play the piano, Ukulele, and Omnichord. I wouldn’t imagine my life without them.
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes I do get nervous, especially when I have to perform in front of a live audience. I’ve been getting better at it recently, I just sit to breathe and let the music play.
Tell us about your new single “Paranoid?”
“Paranoid” is about the struggle of social anxiety. Molded into a Halloween song for anyone who has experienced feeling uneasy by others around them. It’s one of my most personal songs and definitely one of my favorites. People have come up to me to tell me how much they resonate with the song and how much they relate to me – it’s an amazing feeling.
What’s the story behind the song?
I’ve had my fair share of parties that I have been invited to, but I never felt like I ever belonged. Parties seemed so strange to me and I just felt like no one there truly cared about who I really was, so I decided to write a song about how it made me feel in hopes that it would resonate with others and make them feel more at peace that they aren’t the only ones going through these similar anxieties.
And about the success of your debut EP “Daddy’s Girl?”
“Daddy’s Girl” will always have a special place in my heart, it helped me heal and overcome grief. Every song on this EP tells stories of the person I was before I tragically lost my dad. The only song that came from the aftermath was “Daddy’s Girl”. It had made sense to title the EP based on my youth. I’m not old, but when you lose a parent you definitely change the way you view life and things become unnerving; it’s almost as if now it’s up to me to fend for myself. Reverting to my childlike self was something I found comforting and I hope the EP helps others as well.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is sharing the finished product and hearing how others related to it, it’s the best feeling in the world.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I love this book called “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, everyone should read it!
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned are to be more empathetic and not be afraid to be my true, authentic self. In the industry, it is really easy to lose sight of who you really are, so holding true to myself has been an important part of my growth as an artist.
How would your best friend describe you?
I think my best friend would say I am comical – I love to make my friend laugh! I also am loyal, I think those are good qualities to have.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
I think the book would be titled “Isn’t She Odd?” and it would be a pink hardcover. I feel like I don’t belong a lot of the time and the way I approach things is not always the way everyone was taught – I always think outside the box and tend to be ahead of my time.
What’s next for Rikki Valentina in the last months of 2021?
I will be enjoying my Christmas song “Sugar Plum Baby” and preparing for a new release in 2022 – so keep an eye out for that!
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love asparagus, they are super yummy!
And your favorite cheat food?
Thai Tea Boba – it’s to die for!
How would you explain your fashion style?
I would say that my fashion style is retro-cute with a hint of dred. I love to go through old magazines for inspiration.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is comfort and love.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Audrey Hepburn, I’ve always admired her and felt connected to her in a special way – she was an incredible woman.
Best advice ever given?
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is that you can’t expect people to change – all you can do is change the way you react to it.
Do you support any charity?
I’ve always been interested in philanthropy, especially when it involves children and animaIs. Now that the holidays are almost here, I would love to invite everyone to donate a toy to Los Angeles’ Children’s Hospital. It’s an incredible feeling to put a smile on a child’s face and see their eyes light up.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
5 years from now, I see myself in a house with a yard for my dog, having the honor to work with talented icons and bouncing ideas off of one another and making history in the arts Industry.
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite song is “Elenor Rigby” by The Beatles. I never get sick of it and it’s such a meaningful song, I could listen to it no matter what mood I’m in.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media is great to connect with people and share your creativity, it’s amazing the amount of inspiration that you can find on Instagram and TikTok.
Where can we follow you?
Book: Mouse Soup
Now: Of Mice And Men
Quote: “If you don’t like something change it if you can’t change it change the way you think about it” -Maya Angelou
Movie: Sabrina (1954)
TV Series: Black Mirror
Favorite Food: Sushi
Travel Destination: Tokyo
Sports Team: Angels MLB
Photo Credit: @cosmic.romantics