Ones To Watch: Ria Ritchie

Each week we scour the underground looking for fresh new talent on the rise, this week SB.TV takes a look at up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ria Ritchie

When Ria Ritchie sat down with her guitar to record a cover of Ne-Yo’s Because Of You four years ago nobody could have predicted what her bedroom recording at her home in Lowestoft has lead onto. From working with Plan B, to being scouted by Jay-Z’s business partner Jay Brown and signing a publishing deal with EMI, all of the pieces are now in place for the Youtube sensation to blow up when she releases her debut EP later this year.

Her initial webcam shot video attracted a positive response, and the young singer-songwriter began to record more favourites exposing diverse musical influence and has since covered everyone from Leonard Cohen and The Beautiful South to Frank Ocean and Alicia Keys in her unique sweetly grungy style, as well as throwing a few original songs in between.

When scouring Youtube one day Plan B came across Ria’s take on Warwick Avenue by Duffy, he immediately got in touch with her via MySpace and invited her out to a studio session in London, where the two began collaborating. With these tracks under her belt, as well as collaborations with producers Craze & Hoax (Emeli Sande, Dot Rotten), Futurecut (Lily Allen, Rizzle Kicks, Olly Murs) and Sam Frank (Skream), and teaming up with Ruth-Anne Cunningham (co-writer of Pixie Lott’s debut album) for a studio partnership, she is certainly in the right hands.

Since its launch, her Youtube channel has racked up over 10 million views, attracting the attention of Jay Brown, co-founder of Roc Nation alongside Jay-Z and saw a lot of potential in the young singer, expressing an interest in signing her to their Takeover Roc Nation venture which runs in collaboration with Tinchy Stryder (who has also proclaimed himself a fan, via his Twitter account).

Having spent the past year in intense song-writing sessions and touring alongside the likes of Tinchy, Example and Wretch 32, Ria is honing her craft ready for the release of her upcoming Only One EP, which is coming soon and takes it’s title from her debut single, which we recorded an A64 of back in January. With such an interesting back-story already, Ria Ritchie is an exciting talent to watch out for as she moves to the forefront this year.

Words by Grant Brydon
Edited by Natalia