On the Record: Richie Gathu talks his latest single, ‘Cosa Nostra’, pride in Kenya & future plans…

Joining us on the record today is new kid on the block Richie Gathu, a newcomer UK rapper & producer who is poised and ready to take the world by storm with his latest summer banger, ‘Cosa Nostra’. Born in Kenya and raised in Bristol, this young up and comer fully embraces both his African heritage and his British home, with many of his musical influences inspired by his d

– Your brand new summer single ‘Cosa Nostra’ was/ is set to be released this week… how are you feeling about it?

 I’ve been counting down release day for a while now, it’s definitely the song that I’m most proud of yet. I just hope people enjoy it and attach a whole lotta memories to the song through the summer.

– For our readers who may not have heard of Richie Gathu before, could you describe your sound and style?

– I have a very diverse sound, I would find it hard to pin my sound to one specific genre but I would say it is a hiphop sound that’s heavily influenced by RnB and also some pop elements. I love to incorporate melodies into my music, bring some hard hitting bars/flows and always aim for the hook to be memorable. 

– ‘Cosa Nostra’ is a super vibey summer track with a killer guitar hook, what was the inspiration behind the sound and production?

 Thank you! I came across the guitar melodies in a sample pack but as soon as I heard it, within seconds I knew how the hook would sound, the exact vibe of the track from a production standpoint and as well as lyrically. The guitars made me feel as if I was in paradise and having the time of my life with my lover, so I had to bring that energy to the entire song which I think I did quite well (if I say so myself!). 

– You wrote and produced this single, as well as your past two releases,  ‘Championships’ and ‘Euphoria; which skill would you say you found the most difficult to master rapping, songwriting or music production & why?

Production without a doubt, the foundation of every great song is the production and I’d say it is a bit more important than lyrics when making a song. Also, in order to improve on production I self-taught music theory, playing the keyboard via Youtube and mixing. Aside from the technical side of learning to produce, it can be extremely frustrating when you’re having an off day and everything is sounding wack!

Richie Gathu.

– Your Kenyan heritage is said to play a big part in your music, in what ways does your culture influence your creative process and choices?

I’m a very proud Kenyan, aside from constantly reminding listeners of that fact in songs I’ve also started to incorporate Swahili into my music. I can’t believe I didn’t start sooner, you could say I’m biased but I think it’s the most beautiful language in the world so it makes sense to sprinkle some Swahili in the music. I also grew up around Kenyan music which I still listen to now. That sound has definitely influenced me in how I perceive music and want my music to be perceived. I would also love to collaborate with some Kenyan based artists in the future, anything I can do shine a spotlight on Kenya and it’s talents!

– What do you hope fans and listeners will take away from ‘Cosa Nostra’?

I want people to understand that I am really serious about pursuing a music career and I’m putting the work to prove it. I can hit you with some bars, some melodies or even both and create something incredible whilst doing it. More importantly, I want people to connect with the music, enjoy it and make a whole lotta memories. And if this comes on at an event, I want you to know that it’s alright to hit the Salsa to it!

– Name some artists you’d love to collaborate with and why?

I’d love to collaborate with Ty Dolla $ign. I love his sound & tone, we would definitely create something super smooth! Jorja Smith would also be an amazing collab, I love how soulful and intimate her music is, I also love creating music and drawing inspiration from intimate moments. I’d also love to trade bars with Isaiah Rashad, he’s been one of my favourite rappers since Cilvia Demo.

– A song you’ve been feeling at the moment? (not any of your own)

I’ve been feeling “K3ANDZ – Weight” for a while, he’s got such a unique voice/delivery and this song is a hard hitting banger, littered with crazy football metaphors.

– Lastly, what can fans look forward to next from Richie Gathu?

Aside on working “Cosa Nostra” to be the song of the summer, I have more singles in the works that will be released through the remainder of the year. The next single is unbelievably catchy and has a real funky 70’s feeling that I can’t wait for people to hear, I’m looking to release that towards August. In the meantime, I’m also looking forward to live performances and I will be performing this song at the o2 Islington on the 24th of July, supporting YXL Ayo’s set.

Listen to Richie Gathu – ‘Cosa Nostra’ here


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