Indian singer-songwriter Ritviz is a genius when it comes to doing things beyond the ordinary. Whether it’s creating amazing beats that fuse traditional elements or coming up with unique music videos, this Pune-based musician consistently produces chart-topping tunes. No wonder, then, the record producer is considered the highest-streamed Indian indie artist on Spotify in India! Post the launch of another sensational album called Mimmi, an eight-track album that is an ode to his mother, Ritviz speaks to Travel+Leisure India & South Asia on how the album came into being, the memorable venues he’s played at, his bucket list destinations, and more. By Ralan Kithan
Excerpts from the interview with Ritviz:
T+L India: What was your inspiration for Mimmi, your latest eight-track album?
Ritviz: Mimmi is my mom’s nickname, and this album is a reflection of the conversations I had with my mom earlier this year. The album is my quest to find and understand love as an adult. It’s like a parallel between adult me and child me. The album is like my quest to find unconditional love because I’m craving what I received as a kid. As the album progresses, I go through a set of epiphanies.
T+L India: Which is your favourite song in this album and why?
Ritviz: My favourite song on this album would be the title track. It’s got my mom’s alaap in it. I think that’s what makes it really special. We’re both performing the song, so I think it’s the perfect song to really summarise the album.
T+L India: Your music video Aaj Na shows us a relationship of a mother with her child. Tell us more about it.
Ritviz: It is a big summary of my relationship with my mother. I think the bond that we see in the video is a reflection of the bond that I share with my mom. Whatever the subject might be or whatever the problem that my mother and I deal with, we’re transparent about it with each other. We share things with each other and talk about problems. I remain motivated because of my mother’s support.
T+L India: Your music videos are always unique and interesting. How do you come up with the ideas for it?
Ritviz: It’s really[because of] the set of people that I work with. Working with CATNIP for Aaj Na was amazing — and so was coming back together with Reema [Sengupta] after Udd Gaye, which was my first big break. Also to mention Dar Gai from Jugaad Motion Pictures, who’s responsible for the brilliant video of Sage and Liggi.
Working with awesome like-minded people brings in trust to what we’re trying to put out as an experience. I think when we work with like-minded people, we are selling an all-in experience for people watching my music videos and listening to the audio.
T+L India: Your songs have been featured in the Ms.Marvel series. Can you tell us about the collaboration?
Ritviz: That was a very epic experience for me and my team! Just diving into the conversations around Ms. Marvel, trying to understand the character Kamala Khan and then designing was really epic. I made the song Aavegi for the series. It was a really epic experience. Apart from that, I have to address the soundtrack was so brilliant — and to have South Asian representation, on a global scale! I was just really glad to be a part of it.
T+L India: Have you made music on the road?
Ritviz: I was a very introverted person. I was very not used to travelling and producing or making music on the road. So it took me a little while, but I think in the last five years—when I started touring extensively—I adapted. It’s become a really exciting journey to make music in different places.
T+L India: A bucket list destination where you would love to perform?
Ritviz: I have always wanted to perform at Coachella—that would be really epic! I’ve always been a fan of the festival, and I want to attend it.
T+L India: You’ve been performing live around the world. Which venue has been the most unique experience?
Ritviz: I think the first set of shows were the most exciting. The first time I remember playing at NH7 Weekender, it was a week after Udd Gaye, my first big single, had come released. I remember being so delusional about the show and was not expecting anybody to show up. But right before my set, at around 5 or 6 pm, 3,000 people showed up!
The shows where I invited my folks on stage was also memorable. It was special because it was in my hometown and having everybody there, including my family, was amazing.
T+L India: How did your hometown Pune shape who you are?
Ritviz: The main influence is my house, the people in it, and the world that I see from my house. But my main influence would be my folks at home.
T+L India: What kind of a traveller are you?
Ritviz: I’ve always wanted to do solo travel—that’s on my bucket list! But it has become a bit of an issue right now, considering that whatever limelight I’ve walked into, I don’t know how solo travelling looks for me. I enjoy travelling with my folks. I think I am really an all-around family guy.
T+L India: Is there any destination that you would love to visit again?
Ritviz: I’ve always wanted to explore Kerala; I think Kerala is a beautiful state. I’ve been to Kochi once, and I think that it itself was a big sign for me to explore the place. It was five-six years ago. We had done a small show there. I’ve always wanted to go back and I think I might actually do that soon.