"Let me add that Nujabes and J. Dilla are here. Somewhere in the afterbeat, looking over their legacy."
Rikesh Chauhan, known as RKZ (pronounced Ricks), is a Luton-born recording artist, photographer, writer and creative, currently based in London.
RKZ began recording music in 2008 and released his first two-part single, Be Mine/Renegades, the following year. The Raxstar-assisted songs began circulating on BBC Asian Network, which propelled him into the core of the British-Asian rap scene where he became a mainstay for the following years.
Between 2009 and 2012, RKZ went on to release several singles including Defeat Me, How Are You and Gonna Be That. A remix of the latter would feature a host of prominent rappers including Swami Baracus, Lost Souljah, Raxstar, AC, Menis, Kaly and Waqas Ali from Outlandish. Gonna Be That also featured in rapper Bashy’s film, The Man Inside. He provided feature vocals on tracks including This DJ by DJ Dips and The Other Man by Raxstar, the latter surpassing 1.5 million views on YouTube. He released a YouTube series called CoverSessions, which featured his popular covers of Frank Ocean’s Swim Good and Usher’s Nice And Slow.
In 2013, RKZ transitioned into R&B, spoken word and soul. His first release of the year proved to be one of his most popular, Superstars featuring Shawn Sanderson. Influenced by the Soulquarian-era, RKZ frequently worked with producer Gifted on several mixtapes and EPs, most notably SOULar and Science X Soul.
The next few years RKZ released music less frequently, with his time now being split between video, photography, fashion and art direction. The songs Visionaries (his best-selling to date), They Don’t Know Nothing featuring Chino XL and Notes were stand-outs in this period. He intermittently featured as a guest artist on songs including EGO Remix by Raxstar, A Song I Wrote by Bedroom, and released covers of popular songs including Work by Rihanna, Girl Next Door by Musiq and Return of the Mack by Mark Morrisson. The tail end of 2018 saw his official return to music, with the singer releasing the singles Magnificent and Impossible featuring Sonni Mai. His debut album, Somewhere In The Afterbeat, is scheduled to release in 2019 and is executively produced by long-time collaborator, Handbook.