At 22, Ritviz Srivastava, better known mononymously as Ritviz, has achieved what others only dream of. The Pune-based singer, DJ and music producer rose to fame when he won the Bacardi House Party Sessions India talent hunt in 2017, and his single Udd Gaye was handpicked and released along with a music video by Nucleya and AIB.
He instantly became a household name as Udd Gaye got a massive 2.5 Million views in just four weeks of its release. Ritviz's tracks have a flavour of their own, with a heavy influence of eastern sounds from his training in Hindustani classical, amalgamated with bass-heavy, techno music.
Ritviz will be one of the opening acts in the upcoming OnePlus Music Festival, headlined by international artistes Katy Perry and Dua Lipa. The rich lineup of the concert also consists of singer-composer Amit Trivedi, Hindi Rock band The Local Train and the Post-Rock/Experimental aswekeepsearching.
Edited excerpts from the interaction:
Q) You’ve said in your interviews that your mother taught you Hindustani Classical music right from the age of 6 and then you were drawn to EDM and Hip-Hop. Was that how you got the idea to incorporate the best of both worlds in your compositions?
It wasn’t an extremely conscious decision; it just came naturally to me. The actual task was to break away from what was taught to me because classical music is a very rigid and strict art form and I didn’t necessarily feel like I wanted to restrict myself to it.
Q) It has been two years since Udd Gaye became a smashing hit, but it still continues to play at every party and every club without fail. Do you feel pressure to make music that must live up to the expectations created by the first track?
I used to let that affect me at first, but at some point, you realise that it’s not about that at all. People enjoyed Udd Gaye because it was radically different and that tells me that people want different. So, I don’t look back anymore, I just look forward to what’s the next kind of song I want to make and hopefully people will like I what I have to offer.
Q) You are also one of the youngest music producers in India. How does it feel to have seen so much success and so much love at 22?
It feels good, no doubt. But then again, I don’t know what it feels like otherwise, and sometimes I wonder what it would have been to not have this. It’s funny how you always wonder about the things that you don’t have.
Q) What is the creative process of making music for you? Do you isolate yourself or is it a collaborative effort?
I’ve realized that music can happen anytime, anywhere, and I don’t try to put myself into any kind of zone. It could be inspired from the simplest things to the most complex things. Sometimes it happens when I’m by myself, sometimes it happens when I’m with other people. My creative process is not defined, and for now, I like it like that.
Q) What is the inspiration behind quirky yet extremely adorable videos of your tracks? Recently, Sage became a massive hit...
Every music video that I’ve put out so far has been created keeping in mind a larger narrative that Bacardi & I have in common, which is liberation. The concept for every video so far has been a collaborative process with other creative people – visionary directors (Reema Sengupta, Daria Gai to name a few). They come up with compelling stories inspired by my music and we work together on making it happen.
Q) Your EP VED recently evolved into a full-fledged album DEV? What was the reason behind this switch?
They’re both different albums actually. Two years ago, we set out to release VED as an album but instead ended up putting out singles with music videos – Udd Gaye being the first one and Sage being the last. Honestly, after Sage, we just felt like we wanted to switch things up and compile the next set of music under a new album and that’s where DEV came up.
Q) You recently posted on Instagram that a few tracks from the album weren’t finished yet. How is the album shaping up? Are you completely satisfied by how it is sounding?
I believe in letting my fans know what the truth is. If I screwed up, I won’t make up stories about it, instead just be honest about it. I’ve always said that I won’t put out a song unless I’m 100% happy with it, personally. Sometimes that takes time, and I apologize for it, but you’ll never see me put out something in a hurry just because I’ve already announced it.
Q) Is a career in Bollywood ever an aspiration for you?
Absolutely, I’m just waiting for the right project to come around.
Q) How do you feel about performing in the same lineup with international artistes like Katy Perry and Dua Lipa? How are you preparing for this particular concert?
I am very excited. Katy and Dua are probably the biggest international names that I have shared the stage with so far. I’m bringing down my friends and favorite collaborators – Seedhe Maut and Sickflip, who will come on stage for a couple of songs too.
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