JackO talks to rhirhi, a bedroom-based self-produced artist, who admits she’s learnt through a process of trial and error and ‘pressing a lot of wrong buttons’
‘I want my music to help heal and speak to the people who have gone through heartache and sadness, just bringing more love into the world, you know?’ (rhirhi, 2023)
Heartache is certainly a recurring theme in rhirhi’s music. From an opening set at the Troubadour to a cosy pub gig in Twickenham on every stage I’ve seen her, there’s always at least one crowd member brought to tears. That isn’t to say her tracks are a wallow-fest or indulgent self-pity, there is a comfort that never fails to shine through.’
A bedroom-based self produced artist, who admits she learnt through a process of trial and error and ‘pressing a lot of wrong buttons’, acknowledges she’s still growing and has a lot to learn. Tackling the interpersonal struggles a growing number of us all tend to face at one point, this is music with a lot to say.
The cadence is almost conversational. That chattiness coupled with the raw authenticity of the lyrics strike almost like a familiar friend opening up to you. The track Listen When You’re Better, off the EP, The Rush Isn’t Real, promotes that retrospective identity, that begins almost fearfully yet crescendos into a courageous outburst blasting dodgy partners, societies’ attitude towards mental health issues and the damage caused by low self esteem.
Writing through her early teenage years, progressing to open mics and busking in and around Saint James Square, rhirhi is fond of her hometown. She is now reaching for new heights after her relocation to South London. As we spoke she chimed in that she feels she’s come a long way since getting noise complaints from a nearby Poundland as she ‘sang Riptide for the fifth time that morning.’
‘I feel lucky having grown up on the Isle of Wight: the music scene, The Festival and the people I’ve met who have nurtured my passion.’
Having played the iconic Isle of Wight Festival three years in a row, and counting, rhirhi is already standing on the shoulders of giants. It’s a music festival steeped in history, platforming hundreds of music’s greats ranging from Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon, The Rolling Stones and Blondie.
Demonstrating the autonomy of her craft, a BTS feature uploaded to her youtube channel – The creation of Teddy’s Song humanises an immensely compassionate song. Perhaps her most reactive song, a desperate cry to those on the edge to save their lives one more time dedicated to a friend who’s said outright that it saved their life. It recorded minimalistically but that’s no reflection of its powerful sound.
‘Similar to Fiona Apple and Dodie yet equally inspired by the Velvet Underground and The Cranberries,’ she reckons.
There is a valid sense of genre ambiguity to rhirhi, a possibility for her to go in a great many directions. The Indie hallmarks are there in the low budget and alternative appeal, although there is a sense of the abstract in the dreamy vocals and reverbed instrumental. Across her three EPs there is already a trend of increasing experimentation that should definitely excite us for what’s to come.
With her debut full length, Getting Older, Getting Older releasing on December 15th and an upcoming shows at the Cavern Freehouse and the Mascara Bar, rhirhi is one to watch.
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rhirhi.co.uk/
Website – https://www.rhirhi.co.uk