It's not often that people debut in dance music at the age of 15. Even more rare, although validating in a sense, is to do so on John Digweed's Transitions Radio show. Enter Montreal's experienced, now 20-year-old, Richey. Formerly known in the tech-house community as Richie G—an alias he created at the even younger age of 14—a change of moniker comes along with a change in perspective. "I'm finding my own style and as I'm growing into an adult I guess I'm more comfortable with what I'm doing now," he says. "Hence, the whole name change and a new strategy."
Richey says his introduction into electronic music was early and swift. His friends and more importantly his older brother had been showing him interesting music, but it was a mix compilation by Sven Vath that Richey cites as the pivotal moment. "That was a different kind of electronic music style, more underground. I found it really found captivating and I started to venture into the more underground fields." Although he has a natural affinity for music, Richey says his interest was spontaneous. In his earlier childhood, piano lessons came and went without much interest, along with the guitar. It was mixers and electronic keyboards that really spiked Richey's curiosity.
Around the same time, Richey encountered the one and only, John Digweed. "He gave me the opportunity to mix for his transitions radio show and also he gave me the chance to release a couple of EPs on his record label," Richey tells THUMP. His following singles and EPs garnered a reputation for the then youngster Montrealer. Since then, Richey has seemingly made an attempt to explore all options, producing acclaimed tracks from progressive to techno and house. In a series of early achievements, Richey won a competition to remix Guy Gerber's "Steady" single in 2012, something he says he did just for fun. "I got this email from Beatport saying that I won the competition and I was not expecting it at all."
Following his music's evolution, Hot Since 82 and Booka Shade were next on the list of remixes. "I guess it's a metamorphosis in a way," says Richey of his changing sound, most notably on his Fix That Sound EP, released on Mood Records. "I was in that phase where I just wanted to make club bangers, so I did that EP for Nicole Moudaber." As a big fan of performing at Stereo in Montreal, Richey is aware of the value that his city and Stereo hold in dance music. "I think it does have a magical touch to it I know that the sound system is amazing, it's a custom made and, the vibe is very euphoric. It's perfect."
Even while studying business in Montreal, Richey is taking no breaks ahead of the release of his Call Cali EP, which he is self-releasing on June 16. "I'm literally eight to ten hours a day or even more in my studio basement," he tells THUMP. A mixture of analog sounds and software, Richey has no bias on the argument of what produces the greatest sound. "The idea behind this EP is to showcase my versatility and styles," he says. "By that I mean that I really do not want to be labeled as a producer that is limited to a specific style or genre."
The EP's five original tracks demonstrates a different side of the producer. Ignoring those who instructed him to stick to one style, some tracks are even garnished with a west coast chill-wave vibe. Part of that freedom of direction extends to the artwork and marketing of the EP. He's not seeking the assistance of a label, although, drawing attention to his work naturally through the music and art. The cover of the EP is by May Lin Le Goff out of New York and tells a certain story. "It is a narrative and it is this girl who is covered in gold, she's corrupted in a way when she goes to California for the first time."
is a true example of Richey doing what he wants—something an artists should cherish these days.