“Patience is key – Don’t rush anything.”
Meet Reno Ka – a singer, songwriter and producer, known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including House, RnB and Soul.
Reno Ka is an established musician, who took part in piano concerts at the age of seven beginning her first studio productions only five years later and exploring her passion for music during her school days, most notably with her school band.
At the age of fifteen, she was booked for several shows, and became a performing artist at several different events and nightclubs such as Pacha.
After releases on labels such as Defected, KMS Records, Toolroom, Lapsus Music, Cajual, Vega Records, Soul Heaven Records, Azuli Records, Puro Music and Future Vision World. Reno is currently working on her debut album and several solo projects, one being with British house and techno producer Josh Butler.
Read our exclusive interview with Reno Ka this month for our readers.
Thanks for your time today, Reno Ka please introduce yourself to our readers.
Thanks for having me. My name is Reno Ka, I am a singer, songwriter, producer, vocal coach and voice actress.
Tell us about your education.
I have a B.A. Bachelors degree in Media and Music Management but am currently planning my next moves to continue and extend my studies. Coming from a family of medical doctors it is definitely what I am considering to do as well. I want to expand my horizon and use my time more efficiently. I realized there is so much more I can do, that is why I want to grow another business next to my music career. Knowledge is power, nobody can take that away from you.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician? Who inspired you to sing?
To be honest my love for music started at an early age. I always felt drawn to music – not only as a way to express myself. Music makes me feel alive. It has always given me strength. My inspiration came from several artists at that time which I actually still listen to. The great ones will always have an impact on anything and anyone that comes after. I think no matter how the quality or approach to music has changed – there is music that has touched you years ago and still does the same way it did the first time you heard it. That is what makes it so powerful.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Were your family and friends supportive of this career choice?
Music has always played a big role in my life. It is important to understand any aspect and the roots of choosing that path of life. Not everyone understands it but I think success proves what can be doubted at first and loved ones always want your best so the main thing is to stay focused and evaluate what’s for you and what is not. On the long term YOU have to be happy with your life and what you do – That’s your choice and no one else’s.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part?
There were many surprises – obviously when you start you’re not as experienced with the territory so just making music for the love of it can put you through disappointment like in any other profession as well. It doesn’t matter what you do, though the entertainment industry is definitely not the easiest industry to be in – but once you’re in there is no out. How can you abandon what you love most? So it is key to find the balance between being an artist but also focus on the business side since it is called music business for a reason – as I already mentioned – that’s how any industry works – long story short – it is important to stay authentic to yourself and the rest will fall into place – the best part is still creating, making music. After all those years still having the same excitement, passion and love for it. That’s a continuous process. That is what I meant by saying once you’re in there’s no out – at least if that’s what you’re serious about. My musical journey, has been beautiful. Of course we all have our ups and downs but I have been very dedicated, lucky and humbled to be able to work with such amazing artists. It is awkward to actually reflect and remember, those artists I used to listen to on my iPod, I am working with today. It is good to take a step back to evaluate and reflect how truly blessed you are as an artist sometimes. Which is not the typical thing to do – once we achieve something we tend to want more and forget to acknowledge how far we have come. It’s important to stay humble and focus on what’s the real reason of making music. Nothing else matters.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe my music as soulful, deep and passionate. I don’t like to put myself into a box because I feel good music always comes from different sources and influences – otherwise everything would sound the same and what’s more boring than that?
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?
My writing is inspired by my personal life, my surroundings and definitely by other artists I listen to.
Tell us about your musical journey. Which was your first single, how many albums have you produced and what are some of your favourites?
I started playing piano concerts as a kid and had my first studio session at the age of 12. Back then I was doing Hip Hop and Soul. I had the chance to dip into the genre of Drum and Bass at the age of 16 and started doing House music in 2010. My first release “Finally” was in collaboration with Terrence Parker and has been a huge success. It was an honor to have Louie Vega and Carl Craig contribute as remixers. I am currently working on my album “The Journey” and I am very excited to be once again working with a great team. I don’t want to give too many details for now but I can promise it is going to be special.
Tell us how are you keeping busy and musical these days during this crazy Covid-19 pandemic? How are you staying connected to your fans?
I am actually using this time to work on my album, collaborations and on different projects that have nothing to do with music. Due to the pandemic I realized that I can fill up my time even more – I like to stay busy and improve in any field I am involved in, otherwise I get bored.
What kind of music do you think is going to come out of these crazy times? Are you working on anything new right now?
To be honest I respect anyone who’s motivated to create in those difficult times. In the end it is all about expressing yourself. I am always working on new music besides my album. I have several tracks coming out this year. My next upcoming release is the collaboration I did with the legendary Roni Size which will be part of Roni’s latest album. I am very excited for this one!
What do you think motivates you day in and day out? How has that changed over the years?
I guess my love for music is my biggest motivation. Of course we all have more and less productive days. That is why it is important to take breaks sometimes, to be able to get the best out of your work.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
My hometown has only influenced me in my classical music taste. My biggest influences are definitely from the US and UK. I have always been into Soul, Hip Hop and RnB. Thats where my roots are.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I enjoy being able to live my dream and biggest passion. Not everyone gets the chance to do what they love.
How do you feel about social media? What do you think social media has done for your career so far? What is your favorite way to connect with fans?
Social media has both positive and negative aspects. I think it has changed our society in many ways but is still a great tool to promote yourself as an artist and stay connected with your fans.
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future? Who has been inspiring you and the music that you make?
There are way too many to mention but I would love to work with Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Mary J. Blige, Anderson Paak, just to name a few.
What would a dream music video look like for you?
Well, that always depends on the song topic and what kind of message you want to deliver. It has to look professional and authentic.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope my music helps people understand who I am and where I come from. I want them to enjoy and relate to my creations the same way I used to – and still do through other artists.
Your message for us at CiiN magazine.
Thank you so much for having me here this month. Until next time 😉
Favourite binge show right now: Power & Power Book 2: Ghost
If you weren’t a singer, you’d be: A lawyer or a doctor.
Best career advice you’ve received: Patience is key – Don’t rush anything
Three qualities that got you where you are today: Discipline, empathy and being determined
The moment you knew you had made it: Well, I think “made it” might be a bit exaggerated. I guess celebrating your first releases shows the effort paid off and you’re on the right path.
Favourite perk of the job: Being able to do what I love most and to see the hard work is appreciated.
Worst pitfall of the job: The uncertainty that comes with it at times. There is a lot of ups and downs but it is worth it.
Favourite food: I enjoy good food so it is hard to narrow that down to one favorite but the Italian cuisine is probably what I like most.
Favourite activity to stay healthy and fit: That would be jogging and working out in general. I love working out!
Book that’s left a lasting impression on you: 48 Rules Of Power by Robert Greene.
Name one thing on your bucket list: Create my own fashion line.
Photo Credits: Berner Panti (@bpqd.raw.ing)