riddo. talks ‘DREAMS > REALITY’: his space age, self-empowerment manifesto

riddo. is manifesting himself on DREAMS > REALITY, a wondrously realised EP that shoots for the stars and doesn’t miss a beat.

Ambition is something riddo. has in spades. The Sydney-based producer has been around for a few years now, but arrives fully formed on his most recent releaseDREAMS > REALITY. Using the space between genres as his playground, he uses music to etch his fantasies onto the real world, full of bravado.

To find out more about this stunning EP and the messages of self-belief and empowerment at the heart of it, we took five with riddo. himself to find out more.

HAPPY: Hey riddo., how are things? What are you up to at the moment?

RIDDO: Things are good! Just slowly adjusting to reality now that everything in Sydney is opening up from lockdown. Other than that, just trying to grow myself in every aspect of my life everyday.

HAPPY: Loving DREAMS > REALITY so far! Did you have any guiding principles when it came to putting this EP together?

RIDDO: Thank you! Well, I think making songs in a genre that somewhat combines hip-hop, electronic and pop is a guiding principle. The songs in the EP needed to showcase an interesting, creative and intense side of riddo. and I would think they did just that. It needed to sound like it’s the “opposite” vibe of my other EP falling once again which was more chill and carefree. The songs were actually not planned to be together initially, but my trusted critics told me that they should be in a collection. So I’d say this EP wasn’t collectively planned but individually thought out.

HAPPY: Are there any moments that you’re really proud of, purely from a production perspective?

RIDDO: Ah man. Too many. I guess I could say overall I’m really proud of my mixing skills in the EP. I’ve recently discovered the importance of side-chaining in electronic music and how it can make your drums hit harder, and I feel bad for not realising sooner. But with moments in a production perspective, I’m particularly proud of the two drops in INTERSTELLAR, the instrumental contrast of strings and trap drums in DEADLINES, how sporadic yet structured LOVELIKE is, and how CYBORG introduces something new electronically after every section. Then again, this EP had to showcase my production skills so I’m really happy you’re asking me this question!

HAPPY: Anytime! And on that note, are there any production heroes or references you were really keeping in mind on DREAMS > REALITY?

RIDDO: For this EP, my production references would be THE SCOTTS by Travis Scott and Kid Cudi, Paradise by Bazzi, Chess Bling by Chuck Sutton, and Black Skinhead by Ye respectively. I wanted to have the same creative idea production-wise but with a riddo. twist to it. My production heroes will always be Ye, Skrillex, and T-Pain.

HAPPY: There’s this great space theme going on throughout the record, where did this come from and what are you trying to get across by leaning into it?

RIDDO: I was always curious about space. I look up YouTube videos and articles about space sometimes and the feeling of just being on earth with millions of other stars and planets scare the hell out of me. It gets me into an existential crisis every time. But it’s not just my daydreams, it’s all the movies I watch that deal with space, time travel and the multiverse theories like Marvel and Rick and Morty. I was trying to creatively deliver my thoughts about trying to make it big in the music industry by using space as a metaphor.

@riddo.x##tpain @T-Pain reacting to my original song LOVELIKE 🔥 Replayed it 3 times and TWEETED!!♬ original sound – riddo.

HAPPY: What about space inspires you? Or inspires your daydreams?

RIDDO: We tend to think that the possibility of living in space would be impossible. The same with the multiverse and time travel. But there was a time where we thought landing on the moon, flying in a plane, and even having a conversation through a phone call was impossible. My dreams of becoming who and what I want to do with my life may seem impossible to my close relationships, but it definitely is possible if I keep going at it. So I just daydream about it until it becomes a reality. I’m scared of space because I know nothing about it, but there are people out there willing to go in the dark and achieve what most people can’t.

HAPPY: It hasn’t been overly long since your last record, BLOSSXM. Was the last year productive for you?

RIDDO: My last year was on and off especially with COVID and Uni. I say COVID because I had to find out how I would make a living if we’re just gonna be locked up, and just researched many ways I could grow myself online. And I say uni because I just needed to finish classes so I could do this full time which I have since August. So this whole project was created during these times and I guess I could say that I made time for it. So yes, last year was very productive for me.

HAPPY: What are some learnings you’ll take from this creative period into the next?

RIDDO: I’m still learning how to put myself on the market and learning what songs work and don’t work. So understanding my audience is something I’m always constantly learning about and using what I know, I could creatively make more of the songs they’re gravitating towards too. Pun intended.

HAPPY: And lastly, for anyone who’s about to dive into DREAMS > REALITY after reading this article, do you have some knowledge you’d like to arm them with?

RIDDO: From start to finish, listen to it as if you are the main character. You have a dream (INTERSTELLAR) and you realise that you can do so much more in life (DEADLINES). Sometimes reality disagrees with you (LOVELIKE), but you do it anyway and don’t give a single fuck (CYBORG).


DREAMS > REALITY is out now.