Listening to Little Planet, you can’t help but feeling like you’re travelling. Rvdical’s latest EP easily transcends the ability to be defined by a definitive genre and weaves between Alt-afro, hip-hop and R&B. Rvdical is part Nigerian, Beninese and Ghanaian; born in Nigeria, raised in Benin and Baltimore, and he’s recently settled on living in Accra, Ghana. All these identities have influenced his nomadic spirit and his eclectic sound. I asked him how he finds channelling all parts of his identity into his music, “I’m definitely global. I feel like I allow all those parts of myself to express themselves naturally without putting too much thought into it. “I have so many influences so being more of a musician, I feel like I’m a sound curator. I like when you listen to a song, you feel a dejavu type of moment. I do not know if it’s informed from all these cultures, I just know it’s coming from me”.
But Rvdical hasn’t always made the music he makes now. Just like his migration journey, his sound has been one that straddles continents. “I started making music just after high school. I listened to a lot of French rap and Southern Music. Trick Daddy, YoungBloodZ, Too $hort, 3-6 Mafia, Cool and Dre, 8Ball, MIG, Fat Joe when he was working with Cool and Dre, The Runners. I learnt a lot of drum programming and bounce from them”. It wasn’t till he started studying at the University of Maryland did he begin to journey to his current sound. He later linked up with the likes of Tech Lume and EU-iv to melodically find his feat.
Despite living in the DMV area, Rvdical never ventured into Go-go, the funk subgenre and distinct soundtrack of Washington D.C and wider areas within the DMV. “I never really got it into Go-go. I liked it but it felt very much culturally, I just felt like I didn’t belong”. Go-go is a very regional sound birthed in Washington so for an African migrant, it was understandable why he felt it difficult to slot himself into this cultural experience without feeling like an intruder.
The global pandemic brought the entertainment industry to a standstill. Even 6 months since countries around the world went into lockdown, there is still no certainty as to how concerts and the industry as a whole will operate. As Rvdical explains, the lockdown brought a much needed respite from his round-the-clock schedule “It [lockdown] felt like a break. I didn’t have to create, I didn’t create. I didn’t just do anything, and when I got back to it, it was as if I had renewed energy".
Much of Little Planet was birthed out of Rvdical’s own dissatisfaction with the world and his interactions, and was birthed from a yearning to escape. “It really goes back to my interactions on a daily and in real life and how dissatisfied with them”. Another inspiration of Little Planet was the refuge he found in the collective Flo-Fi. “I was a part of this collective in 2014. We were close online friends who never met each other. It was in this world that we sat online, spoke and immersed ourselves in”. Through Flo-Fi, Rvdical found a world in which he was with people who understood him.
Having not released music for a number of years, Little Planet feels like Rvdical’s re-introduction. Little Planet is a true embodiment of its name. In a mere 5 tracks, Rvdical invites listeners into his own little planet “I have been able to build strong connections with so many different people across the world, and for me, that’s my Little Planet. I want people to listen and immerse themselves in my world". The sounds on his latest EP are as genre-bending as the sounds which inspired him in his early music years. When asked how he’d describe his sound, Rvdical responded, “It’s blend of that is mainly rooted in hip hop and R&B. It has some electronic influencers, some house influences, some lo-fi tendencies.
Have a listen to Rvdical’s Little Planet below: