SURREY — It’s been two years since Rykka earned $102,700 for topping the Peak Performance Project talent contest, and she’s still cashing in on the win.
“I was supposed to spend it a long time ago but I haven’t, but maybe don’t put that in,” the Surrey/Vancouver-based musician said with a laugh.
“It’s like a grant, so I usually spend the money first and then I get reimbursed, or they pay people for me,” she added. “Two years later, it’s amazing to still benefit from it so directly like that.”
The prize money has paid for things like recording sessions and videos, including the one for “Movies,” a single Rykka released in July. She and director Brianne Nord-Stewart shot the clip in an ice cave at the Rhône Glacier in Switzerland, a country where Rykka lives part-time.
“It was so insane, crazy,” she said of the video shoot. “It’s a man-made cave that’s really long, and filming inside a glacier was one of the hardest things ever. It was so cold and it was dripping everywhere all the time.… I wanted to film there for so long and I thought it was going to be a good idea, but once I was in it, I was like, ‘holy s***.’ We were in there for, like, seven hours, and it was just coats and some heat from the lights.”
Accordingly, “Movies” is an icy slice of electro-pop with a big chorus and lyrics about wanting what you can’t have.
Rykka, born Christina Maria Rieder, has been jetting to Switzerland and back for several years, and now it all makes sense: This past summer, in a ceremony held at the Swiss-Canadian Mountain Range Association’s chalet in Coquitlam, she married Timothy Jaromir, a Zurich-based musician.
“We met about five years ago, when I first arrived in Switzerland,” Rykka said in a phone interview this week. “Obviously I’m going back there for him but I’m also working and touring there. I’m signed to a label in Switzerland and it’s really nice to work with them, too.”
The marriage has yet to produce any music.
“We’re not working together (on music) but we plan to in the future,” Rykka noted. “We’ve done just a little bit (of music) together but nothing that’s out yet. We’re planning on doing something, releasing something around Christmas or New Year’s.”
A series of Rykka-recorded singles will be released over the coming months, and this week she’s preparing for a rare Vancouver concert date, on Friday, Sept. 25 at The Fox Cabaret, a former porn theatre on Main Street. The full-band gig is an early one (7:30 p.m. doors) with openers Little India, an indie rock/electronic trio whose must-see Peak Performance Project intro video riffs on the “Anchorman” comedies, for the 2015 talent contest now in full swing.
As for Rykka’s “Movies,” the Warne Livesey-recorded single will be among more pop-y songs on her next album, due out next spring or summer.
“I tried to write a pop record,” she revealed, adding, “I like pop. My first concert was The Spice Girls at GM Place. It was amazing.”
One other thing: Rykka has purchased a mini trampoline for use on stage.
“It’s for me to jump on,” she said, laughing. “It’s new, and fun. So far I haven’t killed myself, so it’s good.… It thought about it while lying in bed one night. I don’t know, it was random like that. I went and got it for the show.”