'Tapping into new energy' - musician reinvents herself for new EP

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Having stepped out into the music scene as RIIKI in 2019, the Ngāti Porou artist (real name Raquel Abolins-Reid) has now reinvented herself as RIIKI REID. Part of that reinvention includes a new mini-EP called Newer Oxygen that reflects her love of Indie and rock music.

Originally from Pōneke, RIIKI REID says her love for music came when she was young, with her parents pushing her to do talent quests in Porirua.

“I always say my family has been the biggest influence for me,” Reid says. “My two older brothers grew up making music in very different areas from each other, and my parents have totally different music tastes as well. I kind of say I’m just a mixture of my family’s product.”

Reid, of Māori, Samoan, Latvian and Scottish heritage, has had a year to reflect on the transition from RIIKI to RIKKI REID, saying her mixture of cultural backgrounds has “totally played into the music” she is making.

“I’ve got a theme of colours that I use which are red, black and white – that’s to represent my Māori culture. My logo weaves and intertwines and that’s to do with my Latvian, Scottish, Māori and Samoan heritage. Weaving is a massive & similar design form between them.  

She says she reinvented herself as RIIKI REID after maturing into the next stage of her music career since she began in2019.

“Along with the lockdowns and Covid, I’ve had so much time to reflect and figure out what my identity actually is. Rebranding the project was about creating this fresh new energy going forward with who I am today."


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