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Cover art for 'Neptune Diamond' by Clara Gámiz and Daniel Benza.

Music

A One-On-One with Rakky Ripper — Spain’s Rising Hyperpop Princess

Though you may not be aware of it, the hyperpop movement is one that has been making waves for almost a decade now. Since the creation of the record label known as PC Music, this genre that includes but is most certainly not limited to bubblegum-y, overly-produced, euphoric, industrial beats has been cultivating a huge fanbase all over the world of enthusiasts who are certain they are listening to the sonic future of pop music.

The list of artists who have experimented with hyperpop — although this is a fairly recent term that still lacks a concrete definition — includes Grimes, Charli XCX, and even Madonna. More often than not, however, its most popular stars are the producers themselves, which is rare in other genres.

In comes Rakky Ripper, a 24-year-old girl from Granada, Spain who up until the first few months of 2019 was making trap music that was getting over 100.000 views on YouTube. Although she was slowly building a strong fanbase on that lane, it was all just a beta phase. In October 2019, Rakky released ‘Glossy Club,’ a glitter-y track that could’ve been made in the same session as Aqua’s smash hit, ‘Barbie Girl.’ A month later, she released her first full-length project titled ‘Neptune Diamond,’ and she started getting a whole new group of fans who now hold her at the same standard as other PC Music stars such as Hannah Diamond or the Grammy-nominated SOPHIE.

Rakky Ripper is one of the first artists delving into the genre of hyperpop in Spanish, along with the brilliant PUTOCHINOMARICÓN. Even if her career has just begun, she has a lot to say as one of the most interesting forces to be reckoned with in the industry. We had the pleasure to sit down and talk to her about her path, her present, and her future.

Affinity Magazine: How was it for you to switch lanes from trap music to hyperpop? How do you go from making a song like ‘ENGANXAOS’ to ‘Fresa, Chocolate y Crema?

Rakky Ripper: To me, it was a natural process. I’ve never limited myself to anything, and when I started making music it was easier for me to just get some beats from the Internet and do what everybody else was doing, even if my aspirations were set in pop music. For instance, I recorded ‘Thai Food’ in 2016 under the name of Bananas, but the beat was so bad that I decided to go for something else. It was, and still is, very difficult to find pop producers. Once I found producers that understood my sound, such as Eurosanto and Illink, the music was flowing on its own — because I already had it inside me.

AM: Oftentimes, it might seem that Spanish-speaking artists are limited sonically by the rest of the world to making reggaetón or latin pop. You are doing something that is practically unheard of in Latin America and Spain, and your music has been very well received by the fans of the genres you’ve been diving into. Does that make you feel pressured at all?

RR: At the moment, I’m very comfortable. I know I can continue to create music based around these ‘hyperpop sounds,’ but I also want to keep experimenting. My audience is pretty open-minded. I’ll admit, though, that sometimes I’m afraid of not being able to rise above myself or simply getting stuck…like everyone else, I guess.

AM: A few months ago you were invited by Charli XCX, who you have cited multiple times as a very prominent inspiration for your work, to join her on stage at her show in Madrid. How was that experience for you?

RR: It was surreal. It also happened very quickly, because I only found out it was happening earlier that day. It was actually thanks to Chenta (PUTOCHINOMARICÓN), because Charli reached out to him and asked him to bring some artists to jump on stage with her. Performing with her, and being able to talk to her and give her my album in person was incredible…I still can’t believe it!

AM: ‘Ultimátums’ and ‘Me Olvidé’ are two of my personal favorites out of your latest project ‘Neptune Diamond,’ and both of them were produced by Eurosanto — who’s not only your collaborator, but also a close friend of yours. How has it been for you to be able to find someone who shares your vision, taking into account that it is not one you will typically find on the mainstream part of the industry?

RR: Finding Eurosanto was the breaking point in my career. I needed him. Singers need producers, as much as we’re doing solo music and we claim we’re independent. We’re actually like a band, right? A rock band would be nothing without the drummer, the guitarist and the bassist. Well, this works the same way. To me, ‘Neptune Diamond’ is mine as much as it’s his — and I think that generally, in pop music, the work producers do isn’t recognized enough.

On the other hand, what was and wasn’t popular here did not matter to us. We simply needed to do this because it’s what we enjoy, and we knew we were running the risk of making no noise — but we still jumped into the pool, because we had nothing to lose. He was starting from scratch, and I had been lost for a long time.

 

 

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Una publicación compartida de eurosanto (@eurosanto.eu) el

AM: We’ve recently found out that you and Eurosanto are working on a song with PUTOCHINOMARICÓN. Is there something you can tell us about that?

I can’t tell you anything about that just yet…but I will say it’s quite catchy.

AM: ‘Neptune Diamond’ was not only available digitally, but it also had a limited physical release that sold out in a matter of hours. How does it feel for you to be cultivating a fanbase of people who admire you and follow your work with such passion?

RR: I still can’t believe it. When I put the first batch on sale, I saw that in like two minutes there were already 10 copies sold. I was shook, specially because everyone says that physical album sales are dying, and you just don’t expect people to spend their money on that. I’m very thankful.

AM: Since the release of this project you’ve been doing some shows, but have you been considering touring yet? 

RR: I can say there are a lot of shows coming, with some dates in a very short period of time. In and out of Spain.

AM: We’ve been able to witness how easy it has been for you to radically switch your sound and the overall course of your musical career. Do you plan to continue diving into hyperpop after ‘Neptune Diamond,’ or should we expect something completely different for your next project?

RR: There won’t be any more radical changes, fortunately *laughs.* My goal was to be able to make pop music, and right now I will continue to do so in the lane of hyperpop and bubblegum bass, but I don’t know if it will evolve into something more mainstream later on. At the end of the day, what matters to me is that I find it motivating, and that I’m making music I want to dance to myself.

You can now stream Rakky Ripper’s debut full-length project, ‘Neptune Diamond’ on all streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

This interview has been translated and adapted by the author for clarity. 

Featured image: Rakky Ripper’s ‘Neptune Diamond’ cover by Clara Gámiz and Daniel Benza.

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Written By

Federico Bongiorno is a 20-year-old from Argentina who's deeply in love with pop culture, politics and people.

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