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Jazzfunk band Very Cool People surprises with Latvian folk song

Latvia’s most active music hooligans, Very Cool People, together with the young singer Paula Saija, have surprised again and released a new, completely uncharacteristic single for the band called "Rikšiem" ("In Trot"), which was inspired by a Latvian folk song.

It is kept in the grooving tradition of roof and bass systems rousing folk-electro-jazz. In the song, singer Paula is joined at the vocal microphone by trombonist Laura Rozenberga of the band Very Cool People, who counts the rhymes in a very technical, even rap king-like skill, and also in folk moods!

“Rikšiem is an ode to the strength and perseverance of human character”, comments Laura. “For life to move forward and growth to happen, you have to take the reins and just do it. Waiting for miracles sometimes has to be left to the world of fairy tales.”

“We were so inspired by the text and sound of the summer wedding folk song that we left the most effective accents from it in our version – the first two lines of the text and two measures of the original melody”, emphasizes Elvijs Grafcovs, the co-author of the arrangement and the leader of Very Cool People with a guitar in his hands.

A video was also made for the song, created by Arvis Belovs. The authors of the script are the band members themselves. The video is also made on the subject of marriages – the girls Paula and Laura go to the streets of Riga to look for grooms with their trusty two-wheeler, meeting all kinds of groom stereotypes on the way.

“We are from Latvia and we are always very proud of it”, says Elvijs. “We have noticed that playing with ethnic codes in music often appeals to listeners of different nationalities, so this time we focused on pseudo-folklore. It is a style in which our creative expressions in the direction of Latvian folklore are mixed with the most authentic folklore and electronic music plus live energy of Very Cool People!”

“Creating Rikšiem was a very exciting process for me, discovering new aspects of myself and my voice”, adds Paula Saija. “In the song, Latvian ethnic culture is of great importance, which has acquired completely new colors this time.”

The song was created by Elvijs Grafcovs, Māris Jēkabsons, Paula Saija, Laura Rozenberga and Jānis Kalve, using the motifs of the folk song "Rikšiem bērīt’ es palaidu" ("I Let the Horse Trot"). The producers are Elvijs Grafcovs and the legend of Latvian dance and electronic music of the nineties, Jānis Kalve. Despite the wide presence of electronic instruments, everything is played live, without using previously prepared loops and backing tracks.

The song was recorded at Very Cool Studio, Labo Ierakstu Studio and Ciemupes Production. Mix and master versions were created by Jānis Kalve and can be heard on the most popular music streaming services. 

With a solid backbone in jazz, funk and soul, incorporating influences from surf, klezmer, rock, and hip-hop, Very Cool People have been putting jazz & funk back on the dancefloor since 2007. Hailing from Riga, Latvia, the band has lit up clubs and festivals from Estonia to Romania, from Spain to South Korea. Always open to new experiments, Very Cool People have collaborated with plenty of guest artists from a bunch of countries. Even if they are a live band more than anything else, they have nine studio albums behind their belt, well-received critically, and nominated for awards as well.



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