Q. RIolanza is a new persona for you. Tell us about the name change.
I was using my birth name Mario Lanza which was actually after a famous Opera Singer from the 1940’s and 50’s. As a solo artist I had music written and was performing before I really had an identity or brand. I started running into issues with having the same name and was forced to change it slightly creating Riolanza. The brand has been easier to navigate and will be easier to remember so I’m stoked! It’s also helped me create more of a direction for myself and the music itself.
Q. The debut of your new moniker coincides with the release of your newest EP “Come to View”. What has come into view for you with this new period of your artistic career? What are you leaving behind and what are you racing toward?
Come to View was written about finding yourself and the work that goes into that. Finding inner purpose and understanding ones self takes patience and we’re all working towards that higher being. For me it’s been finding a light or more so actually letting light in. I realized I was only distracting myself from certain traumas I had tucked, underlying issues that kept me from being happy. So come to view is about being able to step into that next chapter. What I’m racing towards is self love and the realization that I have the tools and everything I need to be successful,I was just in my way and blaming the world around me.
Q. The new EP is called Come to View but in the Album Art – which is awesome, by the way –you are covering your eyes with your hands? Tell us about that. Does this indicate that that come to view references internal reflection? Or is the view deeper and more spiritual than the material world capable of being experienced through the eyes?
Honestly I think it represents both of those perspectives. During this photo shoot I wasn’t meaning to do that but I was digging for any emotions I was feeling to show. It just worked out that way. I’m a transparent person who puts my dirt into the music,it’s like my diary. So with that comes a vulnerability,although uncomfortable it’s very freeing and theirs beauty in that.
Q. What song by another can you not stop listening to right now?
Running in the night-FM 84 They are a synth wave duo that have this 80’s synth pop sound with this EDM/House edge to it so sick and this song is insanely catchy and powerful.
Q. You are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What do you love about the music scene there? What aspect of the scene could you do without?
Yes I am! The music scene here is full of diversity from many different genres and blends. There is so much talent here derived from all mediums and that’s so refreshing. MKE wants it weird and artsy this city appreciates uniqueness and originality’. An aspect I could do without is the scarcity mindset,it’s definitely improved now that we have more platforms available to locally perform,grow,network and collaborate but people here seemed to be closed off in fear of having something taken from them,when really the more we can work together we can go much further. I myself experienced that until I started burning out realizing no one can do this on their own! Support and inspiration can really help us thrive together so let’s do it together!
Q. I have been lucky enough to have your talents on 3 of my songs so far and I’m always feeling out my material for places where you can hop on the track. You’ve also collaborated with noise-rap group Guerilla Ghost. What do you like about collaborating or guesting on other artists’ tracks?
Which has been so awesome by the way your songs have been so easy to vibe to and that’s allowed maximum creativity on my end! So thankful to have that opportunity! Same with those guys, I’m just so flattered when people want me on their stuff in anyway. The music is one thing but the connection and relationships are a whole other fullfilment. Music is a universal language and hearing what can come from different minds is beautiful!
Q. Do you record at home or in studios or both? How do the experiences differ?
I’ve always demoed and written at home. Sometimes I write on the fly in the studio. Until recently I always recorded the final product in a studio. In the last few years I was able to upgrade equipment and really develope my ear. Now I’m putting out music that I recorded at home with the exception of mixing and mastering but it’s been nothing but progress. Now I’m writing and producing for other people and that is a dream becoming reality. Just takes time and patience! Usually I can really adapt and vibe out in any studio and sometimes it can be a bit nerve racking because you don’t have UNLIMITED time to record. At home I write and record. Listen to it put it down. Come back hear different things and can change and adjust,also when you have an idea you gotta get it before it leaves your mind! This way I can get it down ASAP.
Q. What’s next for Riolanza? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Man to the moon really. I feel like I finally snapped in and locked in. Things are much clearer, I’ve overcome a lot of personal internal issues and now I’m just green lit. Bigger shows with some bigger acts,hot songs I produced for myself and others on a major scale. I’m just ready to really show the world what I got so I see myself making a name for myself and looking back at these moments and just thinking wow I pulled through I kept on going.