RKZ (pronounced ‘Ricks’) is a singer-songwriter, and rapper from Luton, England. He began his career in 2009 as a rapper, influenced by Hip-Hop from the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. As his career developed, he began focusing on vocal delivery and range, and is now recognised for his singing and song-writing abilities.
It was in 2010 with the release of mixtape Dark Night of the Soul, where he really began gaining popularity. Songs including Needing Me, How Are You and his remix of Deuces became popular online as well as on radio with DJs Nihal, Bobby Friction and Kayper being the first to champion him on BBC Asian Network.
Now aged 23, RKZ has already released several singles, four mixtapes and three EPs to date, with a fifth mixtape scheduled to release in 2014. He has been spun on radio stations including BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, BBC Radio 4, 6Music, Asian Network, KISS and Bang Radio, and has performed around the country – from acoustic venues such as The Water Rats and Hoxton Bar & Grill to festivals including T In The Park, Reading, Leeds and BBC London Mela.
On 10 August 2013, RKZ released his four-track EP, SOULar – produced by Gifted The Great – on iTunes. He is currently preparing the release of his fifth mixtape (Science X Soul) and debut LP (Wanderlust).
Philanthropy & Additional Work
In 2012, RKZ was announced as Ambassador for CALM: the Campaign Against Living Miserably. The charity aims to reduce the suicide rate with young men in the UK, particularly London. Suicide catalysed by depression and stress is the single biggest killer of young men aged 15 to 35 in the UK.
RKZ is a prominent writer and regularly contributes to CALM’s website and monthly CALMzine, where he touches on topics including depression, society and youth culture. He has self-published an online series called #MotivationalProse, which is dedicated to instilling a positive mentality and outlook in the youth of today. He bases his entries on what people want advice on, and has so far written about Positive Mental Alchemy, Writer’s Block, Self-Maintenance and Life Balance. He also contributes to Hip-Hop blog, Sampleface as a music reviewer and featured writer.
RKZ – who is slowly becoming a jack of all trades – has directed all of his music videos since 2011. He has gone on to direct music videos for artists including Cashtastic, Skott Summerz, Preeya Kalidas and more. He also produced all video content for emerging arts talent platform, Be Discovered, which featured artists including Shakka, Little Simz, Tawiah, Chasing Grace, Will And The People, Jasmine Solano, MeLo-X, Little Nikki, Kojey Radical, Sophia Thakur and more.