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Premiere: Riz La Vie Covers Minimalism & Maximalism With "Napkins"

Give “Napkins” a first listen, and you’ll likely pick up the good vibes from Riz La Vie; “Life is good who’s asking / wrote my number down on too many napkins.” He’s cruising through the song, and the beat matches the mood. But a deeper dive takes us down a more melancholy road; Riz is telling us the story of giving himself away too many times, and wondering what he’s left with. It should come as no surprise, then, that the artist describes “Napkins” as a song about juxtaposition; specifically, “the juxtaposition of knowing better, and not always being able to do better.” It’s a struggle we can all relate with, and one that’s been articulated effortlessly with the new track. Listen to “Napkins” below, premiering exclusively on Milk, and keep scrolling for more insight from the artist himself.

How do you hope “Napkins” will resonate with people? 

I hope that people find and dwell in the balance of the record. I think the whole point was to really create a whole balance of minimalism and maximalism all at the same time. I hope people just take from it whatever they want, and that they’re stoked on it. I think whether you just want to listen to it on a surface level and have something cool and fun to listen to, or pretty sounding or dope sounding or whatever, or if you want to dig into it one level further and one level further, I made sure there are plenty of Easter eggs, so you can literally take from it whatever you want. If you want to get really deep with it, you can. If you want to listen to it just to listen to it, you can. That’s a common thread with all my music.

What was the inspiration behind the track?

The inspiration behind ‘Napkins’ is kind of balance, like all of my songs. I try to represent a balance. So ‘Napkins’ is kind of the juxtaposition of knowing better, and not always being able to do better. ‘Life is good, who’s asking/wrote my number down on too many napkins’; it sounds really nice and cheerful, but it’s a little more melancholy—you know, you trust all these people, you give away too much sometimes, and it’s kind of just a reflection of instead of giving yourself away to all these people around you and this empty place.

‘She ask in Spanish/Can’t understand it/Still somehow it’s magic,’

‘She bought me Nikes/we went hiking/we got Popeyes after redeye’

All these nice things this girl could offer, but instead of just understanding being content and happy with a great thing, a lot of times we’re left wondering if we should strive for more. Maybe not strive for more, but just do more. It’s kind of about being lost in the city and remembering what you’re missing out on. I met too many people. Gave my number away too many times.

What was the recording process for “Napkins” like?

It was pretty wild. I wrote it and recorded it in the same day, I was driving from Jersey with my buddy Daniel, and I had a studio session in Brooklyn, so we were just playing the beat on a loop for an hour and a half, and we just drove, and wrote. I got to the studio, still didn’t have a second verse, I just wanted to record, and it was really effortless. It just kind of happened, like I try and make everything. I think what’s really important about this record and everything I do is sometimes, it’s kind of unhealthy to sit there for 40 hours and write and try to make it impactful, but I think the best way to go about it is to look at your life, a situation, which when you can hear the rumbling of creativity far off in the distance, you’re in a frame of mind where when that creativity gets closer to you, you’re in the right place at the right time, with a pen and a microphone. Trying to do all that is just timing. So this song is all about timing. It’s pretty funny.

Images courtesy of Tawfick; styling & clothes by Morgane Press

Stay tuned to Milk for more first listens.

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