RIZ LA VIE’s “Feed.” is a Cosmic Tool for Higher Introspection

RIZ LA VIE’s “Feed.” is a Cosmic Tool for Higher Introspection

RIZ LA VIE’s fourth studio EP released on June 4th is an exploration of the link that binds heart and mind in a sonic manifestation of raw vocals, precocious production, and restorative lyricism.

In this unprecedented age, our circumstances of quarantine and isolation have offered a richly vacant space for introspection and creativity. Alongside introspection comes the disagreeable side effect of confronting parts of ourselves we may wish were not there – or at least wish to not acknowledge. Alongside creativity exists the negative inverse that is the lack thereof. A loss of inspiration in the mind of a creative is a jarring disconnect from self – for a visual artist it manifests in a dullness of colors, for a dancer it’s an inexplicable stiffness of bone. For a writer like me, it’s a classic case of writer’s block. In its goal to incite the spark of creation, RIZ LA VIE’s Feed. has already succeeded in giving me something I was sincerely excited to find words for.

With the release of EPs Found., Keep., Breathe., and now Feed., RIZ LA VIE has taken the widely-pursued passage to self-actualization and deconstructed each pace in that direction into a highly intentional piece of art. In various interviews and most recently in a cryptic Instagram post, Riz designates each work as a vessel to explore and affect a center of spiritual power within the human body. Feed. pertains to the linking of the heart and mind, better known as the throat chakra. “Feed. is about the energy it takes to move forward – charging oneself among the world around us, turning the gritty, exciting, and even sad moments turning into our fuel. It’s about engaging the mind, body, and spirit, about freeing, fulfilling, and healing while finding one’s place in the world.”

New Jersey-born and NYC-based, Riz’s sound is a genre-transcending blend of dark hip-hop, R&B, and soul, underscored by raw emotive vocals and evocative lyricism. Feed. offers an apropos and progressive elaboration of both sound and discography, with nuanced ambiance reflective of its creator’s own personal and spiritual growth. This latest installment in a series of RIZ LA VIE EPs is doubtlessly darker, creating space for a powerful dive into contemplation and entrancement. Headed by “Nitetime In Atlanta”, Feed. opens with lo-fi cymbal crashes and grainy vocals before descending into the quintessence of a late-night drive through a latent metropolis – silent apart from your own inner deliberations. The car accelerates with a fervent rhythmic accompaniment as we escalate to a more cosmic realm of Feed. on “Tesla”, which was  the EPs first single.

Named for the engineer credited for the development of the modern alternating current electric supply system, “Tesla” is the spark that instigates the overarching theme of creative ambition. The track is the charge representative of, “Speaking out and bringing thoughts, dreams, and visions into existence”, in Riz’s own words. A music video released in conjunction with the single features hazy trans-dimensional imagery doused in neon hues of amethyst and blue, forecasting later atmospheres of unworldliness on track, “Something Cosmic”.  

A brief divergence from the hypnotics of “Tesla” finds us reveling in the poignant minimalism of “She Said” – an alluring retreat to the elemental facets of Riz’s voice we’ve fallen for time and time again. The track is a regard to the power of voice in the context of those around you, and particularly the impact of those words when fallen on the ears of the people you love. Simplistic instrumentation following a four-chord piano progression (“She Said” was apparently Riz’s first song written on the piano) was conserved post-production to heighten the relevance of the lyricism to the theme of the track.

 “Last night I almost crashed my car, saw your name glowing in the dark

You thought of me in the nick of time

It’s almost morning in New York, and it’s been a minute since we spoke

You talk me like you’re by my side. 

Don’t talk like that she said, she said

She said it makes her sad

Don’t talk like that she said, be glad, cuz you got what you have.”

In contrast to the stripped nature of “She Said”, “Something Cosmic” presents the paramount success of Riz’s latest with an opulent display of production. Thickly-coated vocal reverb and ambient sub-textures fashion a lush soundscape which complements sweeping vocals that are as stirring as they are grounding. Even without visual accompaniment, lyrical imagery (“Probably planetary too, it comes into your orbit”, “Comets coming to get clean”, “Meteors showering just like me”) adds to the Feed.’s otherworldly aestheticism (it seems almost too fitting that the EP was released in conjunction with June’s full moon).

In a collaboration with rapper Caye and producer Andrew Luce, Riz concludes his latest EP with converging elements of trap, rap, and electronica on “hold555”. This effort aptly encaptures the seamless sonic-blend that differentiates Riz’s sonography. In its entirety, Feed. is a triumphant installment to join the ranks of successful RIZ LA VIE EPs designed to unlock and heal both their creator and listener. It presents not just a dichotomy, but moreover the connection between two ruling forces of our consciousness in order to move forward and find inspiration. Artistically paralleling this notion is the greater listening experience that spiritually grounds the listener while sonically casting them to celestial heights. Via Spotify, Riz leaves the note, “To anybody listening to my music today, I hope it gives you the confidence to go within yourself and find the light that u’ve been hiding from you” – a sentiment we could all benefit from internalizing during times of adversity.

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