Sun Sep 26

RIZ LA VIE wants to make sure you’re not going hungry. The rapper/singer’s new EP Feed. is all about nourishment—satiating the mind, body, and soul, engaging with total holistic spirituality while finding one’s place in the world. Through his unique genre-blending sonic approach and his thoughtful lyricism, Riz is bringing something new to the table on Feed. , and everyone’s invited to take a bite.

The 25-year-old Lebanese musician was raised by a family of women in Sparta, New Jersey: “People always say it’s about where you’re from, but who you raises you is really who you are.” He spent a solid amount of his formative years in the nearby city of Paterson, absorbing the sounds of hip-hop and rock music through the music he was introduced to by his sisters. In school, Riz played tenor sax and sang in choir, but he didn’t feel quite like he’d located his true artistic north yet: “I couldn’t really sing, at all.”

But he discovered his true calling after hearing Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings mixtape for the first time. “It was the best thing I’d ever heard,” he exclaims, and freshly inspired, he got to work on his own mixtape and sold it in high school. After attending Drexel to study music, he started performing under the moniker Kid Riz, and as he dove deeper into his craft Riz found himself at a crucial deciding point.

Over the last several years, Riz has built an increasingly growing following through a heatmaking string of singles and EPs, drawing from musical influences ranging from Mac Miller and Spooky Black to Nirvana and Lorde. “It’s about the sharpening of the blade that listening to good music does,” he explains while discussing what inspires him. “When you’re in the studio, it’s about that flow state of knowing where to go and allowing that blade to cut for you.”

And Feed. comes from a place of following intuition by way of personal growth. “I wanted to come to fruition as a human being, and I still feel like I’m not at my fullest potential,” Riz states while discussing his thematic intentions behind the EP. “I made it a mission to make projects that cleanse my chakra alignment. I’m such a believer in divine timing, and this project has been the epitome of that. It’s about the throat chakra—the connection between head and heart.”

The opening track “night time in atlanta” is perfect evidence of Riz’s inventive melodic gifts, with a low-slung, hip-hop beat underneath grunge-y guitars; lead single “Tesla” throbs with a soft-lit electro pulse as Riz draws from his personal ruminations and aspirations. “It’s about the charge,” he explains while discussing the song. “I’ve always been a fan of Nikola Tesla. What he did was the most perplexing and beautiful thing. When I started seeing the Tesla Roadster around, I immediately became a fan and told my mom I’d get her one. Feed. is about feeding yourself good thoughts, and I’m speaking affirmations into the world.”

In the end, Feed. is the core of the RIZ LA VIE experience—a perspective that, in his words, represents the total edification of the soul. “‘La vie’ is the life, and I’m here to touch every part of the life,” he explains. “‘Riz’ is food—and good food will heal you. I want to feed your life. Music has given me the tools to understand the life I wanna live. I make the music I need to hear, and I needed to make and hear this music so badly. It’s healed me and it’s freed me, intensely. It’s fulfilled me, and I hope it fulfills other people.”