With the sun rays bringing with them the promise of clear-sky garden parties, we are looking to our favourite dancehall talents to deliver a fresh soundtrack for our fiesta-filled fantasies. Coming to our beck and call, Ricky Dietz return to our playlists for the first time since last summer’s “Juicy Fruit”. This time, the cross-continental duo call upon the striking vocals of dancehall favourite Busy Signal, as they create the hip-swaying banger, “Yo Rhonda”.
Sampling the duo’s penchant for mood-lifting tune-crafting, “Yo Rhonda” commands arms to be raised from the very first verse. Dropping into a beat heavy rhythm, the accompanying music video sees the artists vibe with an all-female dance troupe — getting us more than ready for the dance season of the year. On the track, Ricky Dietz explains, “We figured we’d start off the year with something fast enough to take us out of the winter slump. And it was only right that we go all the way to Jamaica to bang this one out with Busy Signal himself!”
Ahead of their latest drop, we spoke with the Berlin-based duo about their new track, their difficult lockdown experience, and the process of collaborating with other artists. To stream “Yo Rhonda” and for the full interview, head below now…
Hey guys, how are you? How has this past year been?
We’ve been here. Hanging in there like the entire music scene worldwide has been doing. You know, just waiting patiently for the next lockdown.
How did you guys first meet? What was your initial reaction?
We first met back in 1963 at a disco in the DDR, long before disco started actually, and we were quite fond of each other. However, we both felt something was amiss. A little too early perhaps. So we decided to come back and rejoin each other in 2019, which wasn’t the best timing, once again, but was the fantastic birth of Ricky Dietz.
You both come from different musical backgrounds, how do you combine both inspirations?
It’s quite simple, we run an algorithm called “50/50 Ingredient” that we designed during early writing sessions to help us keep a healthy balance of each other’s influences on every track. It’s worked out quite well so far, but has its shortcomings as you can imagine. For example, when we have featured additional artists on the track it just pretty much throws a fit.
And now you’ve just dropped your new single “Yo Rhonda”, talk us through your mindset going into the production process?
Well, as stated prior we employ our “50/50 Ingredient” algorithm, then we give ourselves a distinct time limit, such as “36 hours to fully complete production”…and then we go. But, this typically doesn’t work well for collaborations. As you can imagine, others don’t really have the patience for our antics.
And it features Busy Signal, what was it like working with him?
Busy is quick and exceptionally funny, so working with him was great. Plus, I had an excuse to go to Jamaica and shoot a video. I’m trying to find a Polynesian artist to collaborate with next.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
That’s a great question I still haven’t figured out the answer to. I used to want people to want to dance, but now, post-Corona and amid a war, well, I just hope it can put a little smile on people’s faces from time to time.
You’ve already collaborated with some amazing acts, who is next on your list?
Can’t tell you, it’s a secret.
What are you most excited for?
The little things: like not having to wear a mask anymore. Yes, as of this interview, they are still mandatory in Berlin!