How did the RiSi project start? Who is Risi? Where did the name come from?
RiSi is me. This is a nickname derived from my last name… Torrisi … which turned out to be too ethnic for American audiences. Since her mother was a single mother when she was young, she has her mother’s name which she was oddly proud of. My toughest or funniest friends love to yell “Torrisi” in their Goodfellas accent to get my attention. My first release was a singer/songwriter EP under my full name that got my name misspelled in the headline and got so many great reviews.
How would you describe your sound?
I call it Dream Pop. That’s because I tend to record cool, sexy sounds… indie pop… queer pop (it’s not a song, but it’s definitely an atmosphere). Sometimes I tell people, ‘Heartful songs with electronic beats and lots of synths. Most of the time I write songs on piano or acoustic guitar. And trying to take it out of that realm results in a mix of earthy, essential, naked, and cool, weird soundscapes. I’m originally a drummer, but above all, I really feel the rhythm and lyrics.
Your new single “Invitation” is very infectious. what is it about?
It’s about that deep craving that we all have to embrace, by the gatekeepers of the industry, by the cool kids in the cafeteria, by the crowd. Someone we associate with likeness, power, prestige, belonging, etc. – something we desperately want. People we think can lead us to the life we ought to have. wasteful. I wrote the invitation with her best friend Jimi Fish. It’s the first song I wrote during the pandemic. We are all stuck at home and most of what was there is gone. And you better get yourself right. I have always been a dreamer, a tracker and a hard worker. This chorus is about realizing that if you don’t feel free to be your weird and quirky self, getting in feels like a straitjacket.
Which artist would you like to tour with?
My music borders on pop. It’s hooky, dancey, and fun, but, as one reviewer put it, “in a sort of doomed way.” I tend to adore other artists like that too… King Princess is a motherfucking dream. K Frey. Marat. Grace Ives. Troye Sivan. I’ve come to realize that my true self is serious but edgy.
What are your favorite hobbies when you’re not playing music?
Honestly, I could always make music. But when you do what you love, you have to balance it with other things. Looking at the ocean, getting your toes wet, doing yoga, taking a hip-hop class, dancing with your dog in the living room… Are cheating and sex off limits? I try to do things that stay in my body.
What’s next for RiSi?
The project is only a few months old, but 7 more songs are ready to be released or in post-production. Also, I’m still new to Los Angeles, so I enjoy meeting different producers and seeing what we can create together. I would die to write for Kacey Musgraves, Jesse Reyez, Charlotte Lawrence. But if there’s anything I’ve learned, getting back to what an Invitation really is can be very alienating from getting where you want by trying to be like someone else. There is. The right people will come to you when you are not afraid to be yourself.
How can our readers keep up with you?
Follow me on spotify plz. That way, I can hear each song as it drops, and the algorithm can make sure my music is actually good. There is so much noise on social media. All I really care about is making great music and getting it heard by as many people as possible before I die. Of course, as an indie artist, I need all the followers I can get. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, tiktok @thisisRiSi…and actually reply to every message I receive. Trying to get a million likes can be depressing, but I love hearing from people who appreciate my music.