Rikki Lee is a rock guitarist based in London! With an “unfair advantage” of being born into a musical family, she picked up music at a young age. After graduating from the University of Westminster, she went on to perform on iTV’s Game of Talents, Later with Jools Holland with Priya Ragu, and Hillsong Carols at the Wembley Arena! Now, Lee is currently a permanent touring band member for Priya Ragu and Martin Smith, and a musical content creator on both YouTube and Instagram. Her biggest piece of advice to young artists? “Get used to showing your work to others on social media.” Read on to learn more about Rikki Lee and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Rikki Lee
Heritage: Malaysian Chinese
Hometown: KK, Malaysia
Current City: London, United Kingdom
Current project: Going on tour (Priya Ragu and Martin Smith); and a couple of shows booked for SXSW in Austin, Texas this March!
What are some of your favorite credits/projects:
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
Get used to showing your work to others on social media.
How did you get your start?
I guess my unfair advantage is being born into a musical family with instruments lying around the house. This gives me the chance to play music as a kid.
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?
To be honest, there are a lot of worthy highlights in my career. One of them being an artist that I listened to when I was younger, Martin Smith, called me up one day to join him to go on tour!
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
I’m not the most patient person. Building a music career takes a lot of time and effort. My main challenge has been being patient in the process.
Who do you admire?
Currently, I really look up to Steve Lukather and John Petrucci in terms of inspirations for playing the guitar. I admire Simu Liu for actively voicing up for the cause that he’s passionate about.
Did you always want to be in the arts or did you have another path before you got here?
Yes, I don’t think I’ve thought a lot about being in another sector.
When did you know you wanted to have a career in the arts?
When I was 18, I went to the sixth form college just to fill my time. I guess I wasted a few months there before I decided that it was not for me and I went to a music college.
Did you have any interesting “odd jobs” you worked at between gigs to pay the bills?
I have a part-time job at a luxury chocolate company in the UK called Hotel Chocolat. It’s not an extremely tough job, and my boss is incredibly supportive of my music career. That’s how I got to go on so many tours!
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to promote your art and be friendlier!
What skills did you find to be the most helpful in your career?
Other than playing the guitar, I think my management and research skills have helped me so much in running campaigns, promotions, setting up websites etc.
Where did you study?
University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
People loving and enjoying what I offer (on the guitar) has been my greatest achievement.
What are some goals you hope to achieve?
I really hope to be able to be featured on an artist's record and film scores (I have a few on my mind 😉) Also, I would love to release an album!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to perform on different stages in the world.
Do you have any self care practices you do to stay focused and sane?
I won’t call it a practice/routine, but I try to relax and do what I feel like doing at the end of the day (watching an episode of Suits or just scrolling a little bit on TikTok).
If you could name one point in time when everything changed for you, what was it?
There’s one point around 2020, when everything in the world was shut down. I had the time to think about what it was that I wanted to do with what I do. I made up my mind to get into the pop music industry. That’s when I started creating content for Instagram and YouTube. Since then, I started getting calls and projects from people I never knew, and I’m proud to say I’m in the pop music industry now!
To find out more about Rikki Lee, please visit her at:
If you want to support Rikki’s work, check out her Patreon page and YouTube memberships here:
YouTube Membership: https://youtube.com/rikkileerocks/join
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