Let's Hear It For The Girl

By Charelle Evelyn on November 16 2016

There are a lot of things you can call DJ Riki Rocket: drifter, teacher, filmmaker, fearless, lucky – the list goes on. But what you can’t call the Prince George native, is someone who is lacking a good story to tell. From living on a Mexican nudist beach to spinning for a Naomi Campbell photo shoot, Riki’s penchant for breaking new ground and doing away with a plan has landed her some amazing opportunities.

By the age of 17, Riki had left Prince George to live the ski-hill dream in Jasper. An avid alpine ski racer, she eventually got into snowboarding and boarder cross.

“In my mind I was going to be a pro snowboarder, so right away I booked a ticket to New Zealand to go to ride half pipe,” Riki recalls.

With no plans and no connections, Riki stepped off the plane and into a new life.

By the time she returned to Canada, she had had hitchhiked all over the south island, discovered the underground nightclub scene. Back in Prince George and bitten again by the urge to do something else, Riki and a friend headed to England with the sole goal of partying in London.

“So we end up going to this club called Heaven and to me that’s exactly what it was. Seeing it from those eyes, I felt like it was 10 floors of clubbing madness,” Riki said. “It was probably two, maybe three. There just seemed like there were rooms everywhere and everything was new and great.” One side trip to the coastal town of Brighton later, and Riki was hooked.

“My friend and I were going there just for a party, I stayed there for 10 years.”

The passion for the music that would turn into booking gigs as Riki Rocket was forged from Brighton’s eccentric, artistic environment. “It’s where I first started actually DJing. It was the first place I studied film and worked on my first films; my first school for film and for music production as well; and first loves. It’s very close to my heart.” Riki began working in clubs, watching other DJs, collecting her own vinyl. And as she got behind the decks herself, she was quickly informed if she wasn’t hitting the right notes.

“You would never really play anything sort of mainstream,” Riki said of gigs at genre-specific nights and venues. “Even if you had a funky house version of a Katy Perry song, it would be, ‘you played Katy Perry.’ It wouldn’t go down.”

Though she started out playing more hip hop and R&B, Riki now specializes in vocal and electro house, bassline, mashups and indie dance.

Unlike in Brighton where she would regularly play all-female DJ nights and in Vancouver, DJing is still a male-dominated field in smaller locales.

“It’s a lot of dudes, a lot of dudes definitely,” Riki laughed. But none of that detracts from her love of the game. “For some people it’s a job. For me it’s a passion, it’s a hobby and I get pumped on music.”

Check out https://www.facebook.com/djrikirocket/ for info and mixtapes.

CHARELLE EVELYN

REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

A2015Norm Coyne