Teen pop sensation RIKA (aka Chandrika Darbari) is making headlines with her music. We speak to the 18-year-old British artist of Indian heritage, about her music creation process, travel bucket list, favourite holiday spots and, of course, things she never travels without! By Priyanka Chakrabarti
How consequential has travelling been for you as an artist?
I travel a lot as a singer, to record new music, to do shows or just to have a quick break. It’s a heavy part of my job, travelling places to get things done!
Has any vacation or destination inspired your music creation process?
I love the sea and the beach. The serenity of it always inspires me. Nature itself is very inspirational but when you’re in a completely different environment, it stimulates your senses to a whole new level, and you feel different.
Do you remember your first holiday?
Honestly, no! I was quite young so I only remember bits and pieces from it. We went to Paris for a day and I barely remember anything. I have better luck remembering my more recent trips though.
What has been your best 2018 holiday?
I went to Rome for a couple days just after Christmas, and it was one of the best places I’ve ever seen. The city was so vibrant and full of life. The food was so spectacular. It was very relaxing and joyous. I walked around the whole city, and every part was scenic. A close second would be Croatia though. That place is stunning, too. Plus the sea is so clear I can see my feet at the bottom of the ocean! So cool!
Who is your favourite travel buddy and why?
I travel a lot with my brother. He’s really goofy! I’m like his mom when we travel because he can be so forgetful. But we always have a great time.
Are you a beach person or do you like the hills?
I’ve never been hiking before, but the ocean is my calling. I would love to try it out someday for sure.
If you could pack only five things for a vacation, what would they be?
Clothes, sunglasses, moisturiser, my wallet and my lipgloss!
What kind of music do you enjoy while on a road trip?
I like taking road trips as a time to listen to new music or catch up on albums I’ve missed. It’s a good place to listen to a whole body of work.
Are you a fan of solo travelling?
Since I’m only 18 I’ve never done that before, and honestly, I’d be quite scared the first time, but I think it would be a completely different and cool experience.
Do you believe in the concept of slow travel?
I think it’s cool! I wouldn’t want to breeze past all the tourist attractions and be left with nothing to do. I like seeing art in small things and buildings. When I’m abroad I love walking everywhere, no matter how far away something is. It’s so much more joyous.
What’s your take on conscious travelling?
I think it’s great to support the local community and give back. It provides the traveller with a real authentic experience of the place they’re at.
How would you contribute to the trend of green-travelling?
By walking rather than taking a taxi!
What does travelling mean to you?
A lot. I love seeing and experiencing new places and things. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t travel!
Which are your favourite cities around the world?
I really love Rome, and Mumbai was also really special and unique.
A destination that you want to visit this year?
The USA! I’ve never been and its always been my dream.
The most awkward experience you’ve had while travelling?
Leaving something at the hotel and remembering that you did when you’re on the plane already! We had to get it shipped back to my house.
What does luxury travel mean to you?
I love luxury travel. It just makes the holiday better and more worth it. Not just because the accommodation is better but I feel safer staying as there’s more security.
Your top three luxury hotels around the world?
I always look at my ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ book for guidance when booking a hotel, and the top ones I’ve stayed at are Bahia Del Duque in Tenerife, Hotel Quinta do Lago in Portugal and Hassler Roma in Rome!