Rikalet is an independent composer, contralto singer-songwriter, pianist and lyricist from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), South Africa.
Growing up in such a culturally diverse space, she takes listeners on a colourful sound journey exploring various moods and textures in her music, focusing mainly on fusing dark cabaret, art rock, jazz, blues and alternative elements.
She started playing piano from the age of 5 and subsequently did training in classical and jazz piano, voice, music composition and performance. A curious multi-instrumentalist, she studied various instruments over the years including pipe organ, accordion, acoustic guitar and violin. She now focuses on piano, voice and synthesizers.
She has performed locally for the most part and played at the Makhanda National Arts Festival with a 6 piece band, ‘The Anachronauts’ in 2019.
She is influenced by artists such as Tom Waits, Lhasa de Sela, Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Fiona Apple.
In January 2019, she did the debut show for her first EP release, ‘Mother Tongue’. This was a collaborative work by 10 different musicians in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The initial recording process started in Cape Town at Freshmeat Studios and was completed, mixed and mastered at Crescent Recording in Gqeberha. The main idea for this release was an unrefined, acoustic, analogue sound. Recorded on her slightly detuned childhood piano with vocals as the central focus, it is filled with elements of jazz, blues, reggae, manouche, dark folk and cabaret.
Her 2nd EP, ‘Dreamtime’ was released in 2021. In contrast to the previous release, this 4 track journey is filled with cinematic, alternative, dark rock and classical overtones, but still contains the unrefined, human element she is known for.
Her first album ‘Whiskey & Honey’ was released in 2022 and this was a more formal recording of the tracks done on the ‘Mother Tongue’ EP as well as 2 extra tracks, adding more jazz and latin influences to the complete work.
During the lockdown in 2020, she started working on a dream pop/shoegaze project, Wasabi Club, with her husband, Matthew de Lange. They recently released a 5 track EP, ‘The Last of the Dreamers’.
She is currently in studio, focusing on arranging, recording and producing her 2nd full album with more jazz and blues smoke to look forward to.