Interview: pop singer-songwriter Rikki Valentina talks about her new single “What Happens When You Die?” and creative process

Rikki Valentina is a pop songstress who portrays an ethereal aesthetic, that goes hand-in-hand with her choice of musical instruments and the image she represents. With her unique sense of style, Rikki keeps her audience engaged with her realistic stories, that many can relate to. Rikki’s focus is to bring the attention towards modern day lifestyles, feelings, and emotions that most people shy away from, that are covered by angelic musical elements. She writes her music so that others can be heard and connect with her on a deeper level. We had a chance to ask Rikki about her new single and music video “What Happens When You Die?,” her creative process, and upcoming releases.

Hey Rikki Valentina! Welcome to CelebMix! For those of our readers who are not familiar with your music, could you share a few words about yourself?

Hi readers! I’m Rikki Valentina. I’m a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who isn’t afraid to get personal when it comes to music.

How did your journey with music start? What led you to become a singer-songwriter?

Growing up I was surrounded by many musicians thanks to my dad. He was a drummer in various bands and is the main reason why I am an artist now. I have been singing since the age of 13 but it wasn’t until 2018 that I started to pursue my career as an overall artist. I knew I couldn’t make it in the industry alone as just a singer. I had to act on the creative and business part of the industry as well. I just trusted myself and sure enough I made my way.

Congrats on releasing your single “What Happens When You Die?”! What inspired you to write it, and what is the story behind it?

The inspiration comes from my experiences with death. In 2019 my father was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. That was the first time in my life I had experienced someone very close to me pass away. As time went by, more loved ones around me started passing which was surreal. I was terrified but found comfort in writing this song.

I grew up in a Catholic household and was taught what happens when you die, but my grief had me questioning everything. During the funeral people would tell me that my loved ones were always with me, and that frustrated me. I wondered why I didn’t feel the presence of others and felt so alone. In a time of weakness we want to know the answers and feel comfort. I made this song to make others feel heard during the strange stages of grief.

You also shared a beautiful music video for “What Happens When You Die?” – could you tell us more about these visuals?

This video is based off of still holding onto my younger mindset when it comes to the afterlife. As mentioned, as a child I was raised in a Catholic household and was taught about what happens in the end by religion. Now that I am older and experiencing grief first hand I am questioning everything. The line “you never say hi” is based on multiple people telling me that my dad is always with me when it feels far from that at times. The shot of me laying in the grass with flowers was meant to replicate being at peace. I didn’t want anything to feel scary. I wanted to take everything that made me think of death and make it beautiful.

Sonically, you represent a unique side of indie pop with plenty of instrumentals, and acoustics. What influences your music, and how would you describe your sound?

Just living life and my constant need to share what’s going on inside my mind. I would describe my sound as dainty alt pop. I love incorporating harps and bells to give my music a dreamy feel to pair with my vocals. As a singer I envision myself as a siren with a retro twist.

What does your creative process look like? Do you first write lyrics, or work on music?

I usually start off with lyrics and a catchy melody to match. During the process of writing new music, I like to sit by myself and come up with different ideas on how I want to portray my vision.It’s so hard to explain but sometimes I can hear the whole song in my head, it just comes down to how to actually bring it to life. I usually just mess around on logic, or hum the melodies I’m hearing to other musicians working on the project with me..

All of your singles tell very personal stories that your listeners can easily relate to. Do you share your own experiences? What message do you want to send through your lyrics?

All of my lyrics are from my own experience. I find relief in knowing that I’m not alone when it comes to my hardships so I decided to take initiative and share my personal experiences with others. My hopes are that it brings comfort to my listeners.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any new releases coming up?

I don’t have anything coming out for the rest of this year but I am excited to show you all what I have coming up in the future. I can’t speak on it too much but it will be different!

Written by Magdalena

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