Riku Lätti: foto deur Johannes Vogel
Riku Lätti: foto deur Johannes Vogel

Riku Lätti: Changing the rules
Intervention Arts   4/1/2001 

Riku Latti: “ ‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe” 

Riku Latti is young, in-touch with the music world and incredibly talented. He has been described by one journalist as an artist whose debut album is “set to change the rules and perceptions of the Afrikaans music genre”. He has been seen by many as the saviour of Afrikaans Pop music from a future that would otherwise have comprised only the extremes of Heavy Metal and cheesy Karaoke hits. His album, ‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe, is certainly unlike anything else in the Afrikaans music industry, and will appeal, like a breath of fresh air, to anyone who is passionate about Afrikaans music. 

Breaking free of the now well-worn genres of traditional gospel, cabaret, folk, schmaltzy adult contemporary bubblegum and blues-rock, Riku Latti does something very few artists (in any language) in South Africa have done: Riku makes good contemporary pop music. 

Afrikaans music has had (and continues to produce) its share of rebels and revolutionaries, as well as performers with their fingers on the pulse of current trends, but it has been a while since the genre has seen an artist who understands exactly what is happening in mainstream pop music and applies that understanding to great songwriting in the medium of impeccable, lyrically poetic Afrikaans. 

Riku Latti’s award winning ‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe does what Afrikaans music has needed for some time: it creates a place in the genre for unity between the old and new, the traditional and the avant-garde, with songs that will appeal to both the new school of alternatiewe afrikaners and old guard of taalvegters. Riku’s music is unashamedly Pop: excellent musicianship and sensitive, thoughtful, often funny lyrics combine on songs that will find a home on virtually every and any radio station in the country. Vacillating gently between smooth Jazz, acoustic rock and the electronic groove-driven experimentalism that has made Beck an international superstar, ‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe has a target market of all people of all races, both sexes, and any age between 7 and 75, with music tastes as varied as Matthew van der Want and Eminem. 

Click Here to listen to the album: 'n Pleister vir my Nerwe

‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe is a double album, sold for the price of a regular release. The first disc contains Riku’s Pop-music ballads and acoustic-electric hits; the second disc (WOKNAKWYF!), his avant-garde electronica of dance, trance, trip-hop and drum ‘n bass. Riku Latti is a man of many talents. 

‘n Pleister Vir My Nerwe won the Geraas award for beste alternatiewe album. It has also been nominated for a SAMA in the best Afrikaans adult contemporary category and WOKNAKWYF! has received a SAMA nomination in the best instrumental category. 

Already, Riku’s album has found a welcome reception (and had done, even before being signed to a record label) national Afrikaans-language broadcaster, Radio Sonder Grense, with four songs currently playlisted, “Pakpoort” and “Jas” on high rotation and “Waar is jy” and “Struikel” on medium rotation, as well as an interview on the station in peak-time. Television interviews include appearances on Geraas, Kwêla, Casper Rasper Show en Liedjies wat ons ken. 

Riku recently completed a collaborative album project with Jean Marais. The project will be known as 12Hz and the title of the CD is “nou”. The CD will be released shortly. 

Riku Latti is positive, confident that his music has a definite and secure place is the panorama that is multicultural South African Pop.