GRL GANG Radio 002: risik
Risik is not your average electro trash vampire freak next door; the Ohio-based DJ/producer/graphic designer has been blaring her dark bass sound through the ears of unsuspecting listeners for several years.
The genre-disregarding artist recently released her debut original single, “BORING,” and has gone on to garner support from names like YourEDM, NastyNasty, DOMEOFDOOM and more.
Curating a dystopian world out of her music, risik incorportes a vast array of genres into her heavy experimental sound, taking influences from dubstep, drum and bass, midtempo, leftfield bass and more. She has also shared the stage with an impressive list of names, including G Jones, Kill The Noise, Bleep Bloop and REZZ.
GRL GANG member risik is also the host and organizer of a women’s DJ workshop where women are given an opportunity to learn DJing and production in a hands-on environment designed to make them feel comfortable and confident. In addition, her AIRPLANE MODE playlist series is designed to showcase music that helps risik and her friends cope with stress, depression and anxiety with 25 collections to date.
Listen to risik’s guest mix and check out an exclusive interview with her below.
April 27th - opening for Yheti (Tour Deformed) w/ EAZYBAKED & FRQNCY in Columbus OH
May 17th - Sidestage in Columbus OH
July 7th - Headlining Gnarbeque Music festival in Columbus OH
I’m so excited to have you as a part of GRL GANG! How and when did you initially get into music production/DJing?
I’m so excited too, thank you for organizing this community! :) I started DJing early 2012, shortly after I discovered electronic music and started going to local shows every week at this bar called Dub Land. My best friend at the time started DJing, bought a controller and told me I should try. I was super hesitant at first but after he said it was “just like guitar hero” I gave it a shot and next thing I know I’m up till 4AM mixing songs and messing around. I was hooked. Production took a bit longer though, I kept telling myself and others that I just didn’t have the “mind” for it, without even trying in the first place. I had friends tell me over and over that I should try but I never did, until I was handed a little drum machine, a korg volca beats, and I couldn’t put it down. This was late 2016, and I started getting more serious about learning production in 2017.
I’ve been a huge fan of yours ever since you dropped “Boring” and I can’t wait to hear more original music. Who are some of your top musical influences?
Oh wow thank you! I’ve been a fan of yours since I first heard NINTENDO so that is a huge compliment! My top influences are Bleep Bloop, G Jones, Zeke Beats, Sayer, NastyNasty, Noer the Boy, Tsuruda, VVN, Aphex Twin, Lapalux, Boys Noize, Clark, Goth-Trad, and Lorn. I’ve also been listening to catslash and kai whiston a ton lately.
You aren’t confining to the SoundCloud mentality of forcing a steady flow of releases just to stay relevant, which I think makes your releases much more impactful. Is that something you are consciously doing?
It’s something I’m consciously doing in the sense that I don’t want to release music I’m not 100% confident in and proud of. I write a lot of music but I’m really shy with it. I think it needs to completely reflect how I’m feeling or what I want it to sound like before I’m ready to show anyone. I don’t really see the benefit in releasing music just for the sake of releasing it. I’d rather do something meaningful, something that people will remember, and take my time than just post half finished tunes.
You recently hosted a women’s DJ workshop in Rochester, New York, which is incredible. Do you have plans to host similar events in the future?
It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I definitely want to have more events like this in the future. The workshop was the biggest project I’ve ever taken on and one of the most meaningful, and I discovered how much I love to teach. I want to gain a bit more experience under my belt before I host the next one so I can help answer more questions and give a broader range of advice to the attendees. Right now there are no planned events, but this is a big long term goal.
Being that your day job is a graphic designer, do you find that experience to be helpful to your music career
Absolutely, making music to me is a lot like designing with sound. I use a lot of the same thinking patterns, theories and concept building skills in both areas of my life. It’s also really awesome to be able to design my own stuff. I worked with this designer Nat King on my logo, and being able to expand his work into my entire brand architecture is a lot of fun. Graphic design inspires my music everyday, and vice versa.
Your DJ mixes are always extremely unique and it seems like you find a lot of hidden gems. Where do you look and what do you usually look for when putting sets together?
I pretty much never stop looking for music, mostly on Soundcloud and Spotify and occasionally Bandcamp. I’ll listen to the algorithm generated music first and then I’ll scroll through my Soundcloud feed. I try to only follow artists who post music that is interesting to me, and this helps to keep my feed content that I actually want. Sometimes I’ll go through those artists pages, because the ones I follow generally repost and share a lot of music too. I’m also in several discord communities and artists are always posting music, both theirs and stuff they listen to, and all of these groups are completely different so it really opens up pathways to discovering new music I probably never would have discovered without them. My friends are my biggest resource when it comes to new music, I am so grateful for people sending me stuff all day, especially the people who know me best and know what I’m into.
What will we be hearing in your mix today?
You’ll be listening to some of favorite songs, new and old, tunes I’ve never used in any other mix. I’m also debuting my new tune ‘WUT’ that I wrote with Clyde, coming out on his EP with Dome of Doom this summer. And you’ll be hearing the voices of all the amazing humans who helped make such a ridiculous intro happen (thanks sons love yall)
Finally, what does GRL GANG mean to you?
GRL GANG is strength, inspiration, friendship, support, and empowerment. I am so thankful for this community, thank you!
St. Beethoven - Mars (risik intro edit)
Burns & NT89 - Traffic
Sayer - Vials
Catslash - Parents
Woolymammoth - Nofknway UMTME (ft. Bleep Bloop)
Tyler the Creator & ASAP Rocky - WHO DAT BOY (CHEE'S 'DOUCHE FLUTE' FLIP)
Defsharp - Omni
LeKtriQue & Seek N Destroy - Atomic
Havok Roth & Party Thieves - Chronos
Cyberpunkers - We Want to Believe
HYPOMANIACS - Fu Up
Proko & Ethan Glass - Akuma
Bleep Bloop - Encounter
Clyde - WUT (ft. Risik)
Chynna - The Conversation (CharlestheFirst remix)
DELAY. - F8
Neurotic - The Decider
PURGE & Whipped Cream - Pull Up
MM - 9th Ritual
Lil Pump - flex like ou (ethan glass remix)
Holly & DJ Ride - Fuk it
Botaz - Parálisis
Bandoum - Sand
Isqa - Fluster Fuck
Oski - In Check
Brainrack - I’m Like
YDG - The Demise
Moon Rush - APEX
Sevion Lions & Kill the Noise - The blood
TYNAN - Ing
Kill the Noise - Talk To Me (CRaymak Bootleg)
AVANCE - HECKLE
Moody Good - SIXTYSIXTY
Røhaan - Program Error
Bleep Bloop - Worship
ION & Zero Cool - Space Trash
Shades - Faultline
Tobacco Rat - Snarl
Joker - B.I.G
Rockwell & Roni Size - Easy
NERO - Innocence (Shagia Metric Bootleg)
Luxide - Mobius Strip
1788-L - A S T R A Y / R
LICK - Over
REZZ - Green Gusher