EARLY TALKS W/ RIZ LA VIE

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EJ SAFTNER: HOW ARE YOU TODAY?

RIZ LA VIE: GOOD, EVERY DAY IS NEW. I FEEL BEAUTIFUL AND BLESSED.

EJ: HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR ARTISTRY REPRESENTS YOUR PERSONALITY? IS IT A REFLECTION OF YOUR LIFE OR MORE OF A PROJECTION OF YOUR EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS?

RIZ: I USE MY ARTISTRY TO EXPRESS… ACTUALLY, I JUST EXPRESS. YOU KNOW, I’M A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS, MY ART TENDS TO BE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS AND DIFFERENT STYLES. SO, I FEEL I’M ABLE TO USE IT A LOT LIKE PEOPLE CAN USE THEIR DREAMS. YOU CAN GO INTO YOUR DREAMS AND KIND OF EXPLORE AND SEE POSSIBLE OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE. THAT’S WHAT DREAMS ARE FOR SPIRITUAL TECHNOLOGY, IT’S FIGURING OUT WHAT THINGS IN YOUR FUTURE MIGHT BE AND HOW YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS IS DEALING WITH THEM. SO I KIND OF USE MY MUSIC LIKE THAT, IT’S HALF REFLECTION AND HALF PROJECTION. MAYBE LESS, LESS THAN HALF PROJECTION.

EJ: IF YOU COULD LISTEN TO ONLY ONE OTHER ARTIST FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

RIZ: HMMM, MAN, I LOVE NINA SIMONE. I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD JUST LISTEN TO NINA SIMONE… I WOULD CRY ALL DAY. MAYBE NIRVANA… I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE FAIRUZ. THAT’S A REALLY HARD QUESTION, I LOVE IT THOUGH. MAYBE KINGS OF LEON? I DON’T KNOW. MAYBE KANYE, KANYE HAS A GREAT DISCOGRAPHY.

EJ: IF YOU COULD PLACE YOUR MUSIC INTO A SOUNDTRACK OF A TV SHOW OR A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

RIZ: I LOVE THAT. MY HALF JOKING ANSWER WOULD BE ‘FAST AND FURIOUS,’ MY OTHER HALF JOKING ANSWER WOULD BE ‘HOCUS POCUS,’ AND MAYBE MY SERIOUS ANSWER WOULD BE… AND ONLY BECAUSE WE WERE WATCHING THIS MOVIE YESTERDAY, CALLED, ‘FANTASTIC MR. FOX.’ OH! I GUESS, NO, THAT’S A PRETTY GOOD ONE. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, I CAN’T ANSWER THAT. HOLD ON. HARRY POTTER, THAT’S SO EMBARRASSING. THESE ARE GOOD QUESTIONS THOUGH, THOUGHT-PROVOKING. 

EJ: THANK YOU. OK, TELL ME ABOUT AND WALK ME THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS. DO YOU HAVE A ROUTINE OR DO YOU WAIT FOR INSPIRATION WHEN CREATING MUSIC?

RIZ: I TRY TO BALANCE PROFESSIONALISM WITH CREATIVITY. SO, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL IS, IN A LOT OF WAYS, WAITING FOR INSPIRATION TO HIT IS KIND OF AMATEUR, AND IN A LOT OF WAYS, SITTING DOWN TO JUST WORK ON YOUR CRAFT IS MORE PROFESSIONAL. SO, I TRY TO BALANCE JUST MAKING TIME, LIKE I THINK TIME IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE HAVE, IF NOT MOST IMPORTANT… SO, IF I JUST MAKE TIME FOR SOMETHING, I USUALLY DO IT. MUSIC ISN’T MADE UNDER, LIKE GOOD MUSIC ISN’T MADE UNDER A TIME BARRIER. IT’S MADE UNDER A QUALITY STANDARD. I MAKE IT FOR QUALITY, NOT TO MAKE IT IN 15 MINUTES, YOU KNOW… EVEN THOUGH SOME SONGS DO GET MADE IN 15 MINUTES. 

MY PROCESS IS REALLY JUST REFLECTION, JUST LOOKING AT HOW I FEEL, WHAT I’M SEEING, WHAT I’M OBSERVING, WHAT’S REAL TO ME, AND WHAT FEELS SMALL AND BIG AT THE SAME TIME. DETAILS. THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IT… AND MEDITATING AND MAKING ROOM FOR SILENCE. I THINK SILENCE MAKES GOOD SOUNDS. JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET BEHIND THE MICROPHONE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

EJ: SO TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ONGOING TOUR. YOU ARE QUITE LITERALLY ON THE ROAD RIGHT NOW, SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF TOUR LIFE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT SEE WHEN THEY ONLY SEE YOU ON STAGE?

RIZ: YEAH, SOME OF THE HIGHS HAVE BEEN THAT WE SOLD OUT SOME SHOWS AND IT’S JUST BEEN AMAZING TO SEE PEOPLE SING THE WORDS AND FEEL LIKE, HEAR PEOPLE’S STORIES ABOUT HOW MUSIC IMPACTED THEM. I DON’T KNOW, I REALLY HAVEN’T PROCESSED IT YET BUT IT IS REALLY AMAZING. I’VE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MYSELF THROUGH THIS PROCESS. I’VE BEEN REALLY HARD ON MYSELF, I’VE BEEN REALLY EASY ON MYSELF, AND I’VE BEEN TRYING TO EXPAND AND GROW. FIGURING OUT HOW TO DO THAT IS HARDER THAN DOING IT, SOMETIMES. YEAH, I MEAN, THAT’S REALLY IT. THE LOWS ARE REALLY JUST… MAYBE LIKE, CONSISTENCY IS REALLY HARD TO MAINTAIN ON THE ROAD. REALLY, REALLY CONTROLLING YOUR TIME IS REALLY HARD BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS GOING ON THAT YOU KIND OF HAVE TO BE THERE FOR. YEAH. TIME AND SPACE. 

EJ: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR STAGE NAME, “RIZ LA VIE?”

RIZ: I DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT IT AS A STAGE NAME, I THINK ABOUT IT MORE AS AN ENTITY. YOU KNOW, I DON’T KNOW HOW DEEP EARLY RISING IS TRYING TO GET WITH ME, BUT YOU KNOW, WE’RE GIVEN MORE THAN ONE SOUL ON THIS PLANET. THAT’S JUST ONE OF MY SOULS. IT’S JUST A PIECE OF ME AND ONE OF MY PERSPECTIVES OF THIS WORLD. IT ALLOWS ME TO PUT ON THIS LENS OF REALLY SEEING THE LIFE FOR WHAT IT IS, NOT JUST TO ME, BUT TO THE WORLD AND MAYBE SOMEONE… YOU KNOW, IF IT HELPS ME, MAYBE IT MIGHT HELP SOMEONE ELSE. SO, THAT’S KIND OF WHAT I THINK ABOUT A LOT THROUGH MAKING MUSIC FOR RIZ LA VIE. IT’S WHAT FEEDS ME AND FEEDS THE WORLD OUTSIDE OF ME, IT’S NOT JUST FOR ME… BUT IT IS, IT IS REALLY FOR ME. I’VE MADE MY MOST HEARTFUL, WELL, I THINK ALL MY MUSIC IS HEARTFUL, BUT LIKE A ‘PISCES,’ OR ‘POWER LINES’ … ALL THOSE SONGS COME FROM THE URGE TO FEEL AND GROW MYSELF AND FREE AND FULFILL MYSELF AND INNATELY, BECAUSE OF RIZ LA VIE, IT HELPS AND FREES AND FULFILLS OTHERS. I THINK THAT’S KIND OF THE SUPERHERO FEELING FOR RIZ LA VIE. 

EJ: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY, EITHER ABOUT YOUR MUSIC OR SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO YOU?


RIZ: HMM, WHAT HAVE I BEEN THINKING ABOUT, I GUESS… ALL THINGS ARE POWERED THROUGH THE BREATH. SO, THAT’S SOMETHING WE DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT AS OFTEN AS WE COULD. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TELL YOU TO MEDITATE AND STUFF, BUT IT KIND OF GOES OVER YOUR HEAD. JUST BREATHE TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR RIBS, INTENTIONALLY, FOR ONE MINUTE. SET A TIMER ON YOUR PHONE FOR ONE MINUTE AND JUST BREATHE. STAY WITH THE BREATH AND DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE. WE COULD DO A LOT OF UNLOCKING. I THINK THE HUMAN, NOT ONLY BODY, BUT ENERGY BODY, IS CAPABLE OF SO MUCH AND WE DON’T REALLY ALWAYS USE IT. SO, TODAY, BREATHE TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR RIBS, GIVE YOURSELF GOOD THOUGHTS.

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