Sometimes all it takes is the right song. Quite suddenly last fall, newcomer producer ROKKY dropped a single that would single-handedly put her on charts, in festival lineups, and land in an Esprit commercial. The song, “My Lips,” is a thumping clubby electro-pop banger that quickly caught the attention of dance music blogs and lovers alike. Having recently released her second sensuous track, “Deux,” she’s all set to take the stage at Secret Solstice.
The mysterious yet buoyant Berlin-based artist, who prefers to simply be known by her alias, was born in Oxford to Icelandic parents, and raised in several cities around Europe, as well as Iceland. ROKKY started her current project two years ago while living in France as an au pair, dedicating her down time to music. “I had my recording stuff with me and when I had time off I would always just record,” she says. “I recorded a lot of the songs that will be on my first EP, which is coming out later this year.”
Put something down
ROKKY was encouraged by her friends in the dance-pop group Sofi Tukker to send them her music, which they threw their support behind and briefly negotiated a possible record deal. “That really gave me the confidence that people seemed to like my music,” she says. “I didn’t have that confidence before. In the end I didn’t sign, but then I decided to release my first song independently. Then I got the Esprit thing and the ball started rolling.”
Despite the time it took her to gain confidence, music came to her early from both her parents and she developed the urge to produce very young. “I just always wanted to record,” she says. “I would make songs with my sister when I was seven or something, and I’d be writing stupid lyrics. I finally got a Mac when I was 13 or 14 and it had Garage Band so I was like, ‘This is amazing! Now I can finally put something down!’”
Written on iPad
She started off teaching herself recording using the built-in samples in Garage Band and subsequently taught herself guitar—but she was primarily hooked by electronic music.
“I used to use my electric guitar more to record and I’d just plug it into my iPad,” she says, adding that she wrote “My Lips” entirely on her iPad. “Now I’m mostly just sitting at the laptop. I don’t have any gear so I’m just making all the stuff on my laptop.”
ROKKY moved to Berlin six years ago and started absorbing first-hand the music that inspires her the most. “I love the music here,” she says. “I love going out. I don’t go out as much but if I do, I go out until 10 am. I do a whole night. It’s never just two hours. You’re in or you’re out.”
Her music reflects this sort of all-in vibrancy, highly energetic and sensual. “If I want a song to sound better I just listen to some of my house techno stuff,” she says. “I would say that it’s just happy dancing music. I’m just smiling the whole time on the dance floor and that’s what I want for my music as well. Just have fun. Don’t think about it too much.”
ROKKY’s “Deux” is out now. Follow her on Facebook here, and see her play live at the Secret Solstice Festival 2019.
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