Riky Rick on Cotton Fest & taking back his power: I didn't become an artist to be a slave

22 January 2020 - 07:00 By Masego Seemela
Riky Rick says he's on a 'new path' as a businessman.
Riky Rick says he's on a 'new path' as a businessman.
Image: Riky Rick Instagram

Rapper Riky Rick is a new man since deciding to refocus his music career - and he's  promising big things for his much-awaited Cotton Fest.

Riky's Cotton Fest music and lifestyle festival was a massive success last year and the star is bringing it back to The Station in Newtown, Johannesburg, on February 1. The concert will showcase over 100 acts on various stages.

In an interview with TshisaLIVE, “Mr Boss Zonke” said fans are going to love it.

“This year we will be elevating the musical experience, first because last year we had two stages, hence we decided to have three stages, where we have tried to share different vibes in those stages," he said.

“So it's going to be quite the experience for people, as they will be able to move around and ... go in and out of the different stages a bit more and enjoy different styles of music.”

Long an established player on the local music scene, Riky said he was grateful for being able to do what he loves and for the opportunities he's had in his career.

Although fame hasn't always been easy. In 2018 the star revealed that he was “not in the right space mentally” and would be more selective about where he performed going forward.

Riky explained that he wanted to choose what he felt like doing, rather than be pushed to do something that made him unhappy.

“We have still limited ourselves ... We don't do club shows, we don't perform in clubs ... We pick and choose what we want to do, [rather] than what we are forced to do," he said.

“I came to a realisation that money is not the most important thing. The most important thing is sanity and your freedom. I didn't become an artist to be a slave for people or perform at places I didn't want to perform at.”

Riky explained that the secret to not letting his anxiety get the better of him was to learn to acknowledge his issues and make time for himself.

“It's very important to give yourself attention. It's good to recognise that you're not balanced and try to find out the reasons how you can live a balanced life. I think I've been taking steps on how to live a balanced life as best as I can.”

While some feel that amapiano has killed hip-hop, Riky isn't one of them.

“I get happy when we invent a new genre as South Africans. Every time SA comes with a new sound for the continent, I get happy.

“I don't really look at what's killing what ... What I know is that as a businessman, I'm on a new path. Whether it's house music or amapiano or Afro-pop or whatever, it doesn't really affect my path.”