Written and photographed by Steven Shepherd.
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of hanging out with the incredibly talented and absolutely gorgeous Christina Maria, or, as you may know her, Rykka. The day was a bit wet, but the sun prevailed for most of our encounter. We took some photos, walked around her old neighbourhood, stopped in at a cafe and played a game of twenty questions. It was like hanging out with my new best friend! Well, if you’re ready for a deeper look, read on.
Starting off our interview we took a walk around the Mount Pleasant area. We went around talking about this and that, from her time spent here in Vancouver, to the time she has spent in Switzerland (she’s a dual citizen. Cool, right?) and the times in between. I was lucky enough to get to see the house she spent three years in while she was in music school, back when she performed as Christina Maria. A little farther down I also got to see the house she spent of lot of time in as Rykka while she was recording with Ryan Gouldemont of Mother Mother. It was a neat stroll down someone else’s memory lane.
So you may be wondering, why the transition from Christina Maria to Rykka? Because Super Sexy Band of Awesome was already taken? Maybe. But in her words it was to do with the evolution made in the new record. The music has changed from her days as Christina Maria, and that change was the push she needed to put the new name in motion. With a more aggressive mood to the music came a Scandinavian baby name generator. Though picking one of the least popular names form the list, Rykka has been gaining some heavy popularity.
The album itself also seems to have a more popular message. It deals with the economic issues we all face today, but from a different set of eyes: it takes the listener into the perspective of an animal. Rykka says that we’re living in a world where we damage the environment every day and we aren’t really able to help it. It is just something that happens no matter how hard we may try to go against it, because it’s how we’ve been conditioned. By writing it from the perspective of other creatures she hopes to try and bridge the gap between our two styles of living, so that we can see just what it is that we’re doing and hopefully better understand the urgency to change the world we all reside in and rely on.
The album is going to be produced independently under her own label. After a year or so of talking to some more major labels, Christina decided it would best to do for Rykka to be an independent project as it would give her more creative control. It has been a lot of work though. Even though she has lots of help, she still does the majority of it on her own from promotion, booking, and many other tasks. It really is her project. Rykka is truly its own entity.
And now for a game of twenty questions:
Some inspirational words? – Don’t try, just do. Go out and do it!
Is that heather? – No, it’s lavander. I like it.
Favourite holiday? – Halloween.
Favourite colour? – Red, now that you’ve got me thinking.
Favourite vegetable? – Celery…?
Favourite person? – You! (She was talking about me, don’t get too excited.)
Favourite type of wood? – What do – uhm, cedar.
Favourite Pokémon game? – Uh, zero. (I know, I was shocked too.)
Favourite type of cup? – Big.
Favourite music? – Rock.
Favourite palce? – Vancouver!
Favourite plant? – Uhm, plant plant?
Favourite letter? – X.
Favourite stone? – Oh, I don’t know that many stones…
Favourite type of muffin? – Cranberry with white chocolate chunks, mmm.
Favourite thing? – Avacado.
I’ve run out of ideas… – Good!
Overall it was an exciting day and a very informative one as well. After wrapping up our game of twenty (sixteen) questions we said our farewells. Be sure to check out her album when it comes out, and go to her show on June 1st for the launch party so you can see Rykka play live! She’ll be there, I’ll be there, and you should be there too. See you all at the Vancouver Fan Club on June 1st!