Mourning with RITTYBO
I really do live for good, new, underground talent. Raw talent. Talent that just is, what it is. No gimmicks, and ease that only comes to an artist that isn’t trying to do anything except create. That’s exactly what I got from listening to RITTYBO’s new EP Mourning.
I actually stumbled upon her years ago on twitter, singing and strumming along on her ukulele. I’ve been following her ever since, and luckily I caught wind of her debut EP. The 6 track EP features a variety of R&B and blues sounds enhanced by RITTYBO’s quietly soulful voice.
Stand out tracks include “Like I Do” featuring Jammy, “Love”, and “Push Me Away”. If I had to describe the EP in short I would say it’s 16 minutes of mourning, storytelling, vulnerability, and honesty. After listening I naturally took a shot at getting an interview with her, and she happily took some time to answer questions I think a lot of her listeners would love to read!
Start with your name, age, where you’re from.
My name is Rittear, pronounced Ritt-Tee-Ah. I’m 23. I was born in Fresno, California, raised in both Fresno and the Bay Area.
When it comes to music, what are your career goals and aspirations?
My current music career goals are: be on a tv/film soundtrack, tap into different genres, get a festival placement. I’d really like to tour.
How would you describe your new EP? What was the inspiration behind it?
“Mourning” is like my baby. I wanted my debut project to really show who I am as an artist and individual, and when I first started it I didn’t even know exactly who I was. I guess the inspiration behind it was just real life heartache. I went through a lot in my love life in the past and it had me messed up for a long time.
What was the process like creating your EP?
Although the project itself has a sad theme, the creative process was really fun and wholesome. I teamed up with Thomas Jordan, who executive produced the project, and he really brought it to life. I would go to his house with songs I wrote to my ukulele, lay down vocals, and he’d build the instrumental from there. Sometimes my friends would come to sessions and their goofy energy and feedback kept the creative flow organic. The whole thing was recorded and produced at Tommy’s house in Vallejo, except for “Love,” which I recorded with one of my professors during my 2nd year of college at San Jose State.
Why did you decide to name it “Mourning”? Were you mourning something with the creation of this EP?
I named it “Mourning” as a double entendre; “mourning” signifying loss and “morning” signifying rebirth. I am mourning myself, and becoming a new person in the process. In my cover art I am lighting an incense for my reflection, referencing a Buddhist tradition where we light incense for the dead.
What would you want your listeners to take away from your music?
I want my listeners to feel like they are being listened to, if that makes sense. Even though my lyrics are personal, it’s really universal. Everybody gets hurt, everybody feels alone sometimes. We all be going through it. I want my listeners to know it’s ok to mess up and lose sight of who you are and what you stand for. And that I’m here growing with y’all.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I really struggle with describing myself as an artist, genre-wise. Sometimes people say I make R&B and I really don’t know if that’s really what I am. I don’t like being boxed in. I’d probably say I’m like Norah Jones meets Carlos Santana. (Wishful thinking)
What led you to music?
As a kid I wanted to be a novelist. I liked to write stories and poetry. In high school I had a phase where I wanted to be a rapper and that really didn’t go anywhere. At the end of high school I bought a cheap ukulele and started turning poems into songs. I didn’t know how to sing or read music but it just came together somehow.
I noticed that you are in school. What is the most challenging part of pursuing music, and establishing yourself in other areas such as education?
I love school but I’m honestly the worst student. The most challenging part about being in school and making music is time management, which I suck at in general. I feel like when I’m doing well academically, I’m not doing enough creatively. And vice versa. While I was putting in hours chasing this music bag, I actually got on academic probation. So in the end I’m fumbling my bag anyway paying for an extra semester of school. It’s all very humbling.
What keeps you encouraged or let's you know that this is what you were meant to do?
The crazy amount of support I’ve gotten keeps me leveled. People go out of their way to show love and that amazes me. Sometimes I get messages telling me how I inspire them and I never thought I’d be in that position. I know this is what I’m supposed to do because I feel like I’m living my best life even through my struggles.
What’s next for you? Anymore projects to come, or other creative ventures you are working on?
I have a general plan for projects to release this year, but my ideas are always all over the place. I do want to put out some country/folk inspired tunes but I don’t know if anyone’s ready for that. I will say that I’m putting out music videos soon. It’s gonna be a fun year.
Is there anything you could tell us about yourself that your listeners probably don’t know?
Random things about myself that listeners probably don’t know: I’m a black belt in taekwondo, I used to own a restaurant, I’m an anime nerd, I like building model kits, and I work as a production technician.
Make sure you check out Mourning on all of your favorite streaming platforms, and follow RITTYBO on her social media by clicking the links below!