FAULT Weekly Playlist: RYDER

Rising LA based R&B pop artist RYDER feels like a kindred spirit, a girl who you just met but you know immediately that you need to be best friends. Writing deeply relatable lyrics and coming from NYU’s music program that has shone a light on talents such as Gallant and Maggie Rogers, it seems RYDER is primed for success.

Her thumping single “King” showcases her vocal range that has a smoke-y quality akin to Amy Winehouse, but with a heavier pop bent. It’s a celebratory song about how love can be this power another human has that reigns over you.

We asked RYDER to share some of her current favorite songs, including the absolute monster hit “Somebody Else” by The 1975. Stream on!

My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade

One of my favorite songs of all time. The video and the song are just perfect! It has this epic & emotional beginning production and writing wise, it follow’s no structure and becomes an almost different song midway through, every second is just mind-blowing. It just keeps building and is so well thought out from start to finish. It feeds the emotional teenager in me.

Florence + the Machine – Shake It Out

When I read Florence Welch’s lyrics I feel as if I’m reading poetry, her use of language truly knows no bounds. Shake it out acknowledges darkness and regrets and yet is inspiring and uplifting, it has a little bit of everything. Her voice is just stunning; this record continues to be a constant inspiration and influence for me throughout my writing process. I saw Florence Welch perform live at Coachella a few years ago at the show where she famously broke her foot and it was by far one of the most incredible performances I’ve ever seen on a stage. She really brings everyone into the world she’s created.

The 1975 – Somebody Else

This song was my introduction to The 1975 and yes I know I was late to the party, but now I’m hooked! I remember a friend said to me “You have to listen to this band, you will be obsessed with their music” she played me “Somebody Else”, I ended up listening to it on repeat for the next few weeks and still put it on all the time. Everyone can relate to Truman Black’s narrative in some form and it puts me in this amazing nostalgic mental space. The concept and production is so simple and it doesn’t need anything else to be epic. That’s something I always try to remind myself that when simple feels good, it can be the best way to convey a song.

Greg Holden – Boys In The Street (Seeb Remix)

I don’t think I can even get through this song without crying, it’s pretty new I just recently discovered it but it has truly touched me. It’s a story about a man whose father wouldn’t accept him for simply being himself and being different until he is finally on his death bed and see’s that perhaps he really didn’t know best from the start and that in love there is no right or wrong. This song tells a real story with layers from start to finish in the way that old time records or country songs do. The remix Seeb did really compliments the melody; it’s an amazing collab.

MIA – Paper Planes

First off, the music production and the use of that guitar sample by Diplo is incredible, he is a definitely a dream collaborator of mine. M.I.A. is this fierce female who uses her commanding voice to tell stories about real world issues and isn’t afraid to get honest, she is another inspiration to me. I remember becoming obsessed with this record back in high school and I think its one of those songs that always stays relevant no matter how much time passes.

Amy Winehouse – Valerie

I mean where do I even start, Amy winehouse was such a legend it breaks my heart that she is no longer with us. Her music touched people. Her honesty and pain laced with a whole lot of sauce came through her lyrics and is what made her so unique. Also for the time the production and jazz infused soul was a genre she reignited in the popular music space. Amy tells her story combined with a voice that just has so much power and depth. I love all her music it’s quite hard to pick, so I chose my two favorites. Mark Ronson who produced these records to me is just mindblowingly talented, I’ve been lucky enough to meet him in passing a few times. He is another dream collaborator of mine. I always put on Amy’s music when I’m at home relaxing or just having me time, I truly enjoy all of rich texture and lush instrumentation.

Santigold – Chasing Shadows

I’m a big Santigold fan she’s such a creative soul, her wild melodies and bold left-winged production are pure ear candy. The low vocal tone she has in the verse is so rich and her highs have so much character. I love listening to her, her music feels like real art.

Fun. – We Are Young

I’m such a sucker for epic melodies and acoustic leaning production, Fun. and Jeff Bhasker are brilliant on this tune.

Robyn – Dancing On My Own

First off, the whole “body talk” album is unreal I’ve probably listened to every song a million times easily, voice, lyric, production, melodies it’s all just so on point and delicious! You can’t hear that intro and not want to dance, such an empowering tune, a true girl anthem!

Purity Ring – Fineshrine

One of my favorite productions on a song ever! The intro in this too is brilliant.

Son Lux – Flickers

Ryan Lott of Son Lux is one of my absolute favorite artists, his voice is hauntingly beautiful and his music is stunning. He started as a film composer and so you have this dreamy fantasy production with operatic sounds. He also uses instruments like oboes and uncommon sounds to create these amazing musical cascades.

RYDER Socials:

FAULT Focus: Kia Garriques, exciting new young adult novelist, discusses her creation – ‘Innovera Yakov’

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Pinstripe skirt designed by Derek Lawlor

Jamaican born Kia Garriques is currently proclaimed as the one to watch in the literary sphere. In February 2013, she released ‘Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes’, her first fantasy novel in the ‘Worlds’ series, after a string of short story success. Within its first few weeks, Innovera Yakov received free downloads of over 62K. Kia and Innovera Yakov have also developed a wide following on Twitter amongst various celebrities and other media personalities. Young people call Innovera Yakov “a world of captivation and intrigue beyond the everyday imaginings of our own…but one that we can connect with.”

This early success encouraged Kia, who also has German and French roots, to inspire more young people through her first mini-tour across London and the north of the UK. Within a few months, Kia spoke to over 600 students over the UK and this year, was contacted to speak to an entire school in London, in February. Her highlight of 2013 was selling out at the Waterstones branch in Croydon and other bookstores in the north, as a new author. In 2014, she plans to broaden her audience by presenting Innovera Yakov to further bookstores, Universities and colleges which will also include a tour of the Caribbean.

Critics are calling Innovera Yakov a cross between Avatar, because of its creative alien world, X Men for of its colourful super human characters, The Matrix due to its secret, symbolic messages, and Twilight as a result of its complex love triangle between three main characters.

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FAULT: Tell us about Innovera Yakov

Kia: Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that revolves under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set.  In this world, loss makes you powerful, love makes you weaker and death is seen as something regular. The characters have amazing powers; they can fly, communicate through ‘thought-words’ and their minds can travel to other worlds. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate, the forbidden forest of the Dimmer Zone swallows trespassers and at of the edge of Innovera Yakov is Verheer, a terrifying watery world that laughs in the face of hell. Fans have tried to decode what they call ‘the secret message of Innovera Yakov’ and all I can say is that this will be revealed soon.

Does the book stem from your Carribbean upbringing?

Innovera Yakov is loosely shaped around my childhood years in Montserrat in the West Indies, an island that I left after a volcanic eruption. As well as living in Monsterrat, I also lived in Jamaica, Anguilla and St Kits amongst others with my mother, who was a great explorer. This tour was inevitable as I want to go back to the place that shaped my view of the world and everything I have come to love.

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Who are the key characters in the book?

We have Ayana, a healer and lonely outcast with a scarred face; Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look; Krave and his powerful brother Skylar; Ryder with his crystal spear and the murderous Ice, who feeds on young Innoverans.

How exciting was it to get your first book signing appearance at Waterstones, as a new author?

Very, although, I thought no one would turn up! But, before I knew it, all the books available were sold out and additional orders were taken from customers. My favourite moment was meeting this 12 year old girl who burst out saying “I can’t believe I am meeting you. My sister loved you so much after reading your book.” This was very moving and made me want to inspire the young even more.

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What did you sacrificed for your dream?

Last year, I juggled full-time job with other work projects and activities. It was hectic and I kept thinking, “Gosh, if I am to do this, something has to give.” So, I saved like crazy before I sacrificed my job for my dream.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the next book?

I received a lot of angry reader emails when I killed Ryder off. So, in the second book he might come back.

What’s a secret wish for Kia Garriques?

To work with the Cohen brothers and Steven Spielberg very soon.

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Mohair dress designed by Velvet Johnstone

Stylist: Tasha Leslie-Badu from splash styling
Makeup: Magda Koriat
Photographer: Karl Lake from Set Photography
Hair: Ms Kee aka Keke Hamilton
Artwork by Kia Garriques based on the main character, Ayana, from her novel Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes