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Next Big Thing: Ryki

Text: Janna Joseph, Nicola Davidson, Eloise Brink; Photography: Waldo Pretorius

Next big thing: Ryki

If you are one of those people who believe in destiny, you’ll love the story of Pretoria singer-songwriter Maryke van Wijk, aka Ryki.

“I’ve always loved performing,” she recalls. “But it was when I saw an ad for a vocalist that everything really changed for me. I responded immediately, but accidentally contacted the wrong producer. Strangely, however, it turned out that his group also needed a vocalist! Then, when the group punted their tracks to Universal Music SA, I got discovered. And so, one day after my 18th birthday, I signed.”

Within weeks of inking the deal, Ryki was collaborating with house music guru Kyle Watson. “My debut single, ‘Such a mess’ “didn’t do amazingly, but it did introduce me as an artist,” she says.

And she used it as a base for developing her electronic pop sound and sultry voice with the help of industry legends, including Sketchy Bongo, Timo ODV, Deemo and Noble. The result was an acclaimed 2017 self-titled EP, featuring radio hits ‘Bad Intentions’, ‘Time’ and ‘Please try’, and the lead track ‘Throw you down’, a dark, textured number with hip hop influences.

“The feedback has been wonderful,” says Ryki. “But for me, true success means improving all the time. Honesty, wisdom and hard work make things real.”

Follow Ryki on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

See all the 2017 GLAMOUR Women of the Year winners here.

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