Ronika releases new single ‘Automatic’21 May 2012
“Ronika might be your next favourite pop singer…you have no excuse not to be very excited by this” Popjustice
“Immaculate…the sort of effortlessly confident, natural pop sensibility that labels spend years and millions of pounds trying, in vein, to manufacture” NME
“Her handling of the source material is so adept, and the results are so fab and imbued with understanding and affection” Sunday Times
“Infectious…[Ronika] knows what it takes to make a truly great pop song” Notion
“Destined for pop greatness in 2012” Guardian
Ronika released her new single, ‘Automatic’, on April 9: the follow-up to her acclaimed ‘Only Only / In The City’ EP. Having kick-started the new year with live and DJ sets at the likes of XOYO, 93 Feet East and The Nest, she recently played a homecoming show at Nottingham’s Bodega Social Club, and will now headline the Old Blue Last tonight. Many more dates will be confirmed shortly, though Ronika has already been given a highly-billed slot at this year’s Lovebox Festival (alongside the likes of Nile Rogers & Chic, Azari & III and The Rapture).
‘Automatic’ is an assured and infectious turn from Ronika, who has assimilated an array of classic influences into her own unique take on modern pop. Side-stepping the hedonistic house sounds of ‘In The City’, ‘Automatic’ is a self-confessed summer jam, more inspired by the groove-driven sounds of Prince or Daft Punk, together with the early hip-hop strut of Tom Tom Club (or even Blondie’s ‘Rapture’). It is an evocative, escapist mix, worlds away from the small Sneinton bedroom in which Ronika wrote and recorded the track. Hers is an unfettered, DIY aesthetic that can be felt in the crisp, choppy production, can be seen in the self-directed music video, and comes to a head at 2:49 – Ronika’s first ever synth solo. Or, as Nile Rodgers himself tweeted her: “Automatic is pretty dope.”
Ronika has quickly won extensive support for her revisionist twist on classic disco, which has influenced her from an early age. She started out writing soul tunes inspired by Curtis Mayfield on an acoustic guitar, and went to her first techno all-nighter in Brixton at the age of 14. This led to a trainspotter love of dance, years spent sneaking illegally into nightclubs, and an obsession with how to transport these newfound influences into her own material. A chance googling of ‘Ronika’ found that there was a planet of the same name in Star Wars (a common exile for criminals, Ronika was home to both stinger moths and ultraviolet levels of radiation). Back on earth, a pop star alias was born.
As with the bulk of her material, ‘Automatic’ was written in Ronika’s hometown of inner-city Nottingham. She was even recently chosen for the cover of The Guardian as part of a feature on Notts’ rising music stars (see also Dog Is Dead, Jake Bugg, Liam Bailey). Having put her official debut EP online in the summer of 2011, Ronika has since received significant attention from further afield. She spent October representing the UK in Madrid’s esteemed Red Bull Music Academy, taking a master-class from heroes such as Nile, Peaches and RZA, and finding a personal, lively fan in Bootsy Collins. The end of 2011 also saw Ronika play in what her disco-infused sound suggests may well be her spiritual home: New York City. A rammed-out set at the legendary Webster Hall rounded off a breakthrough six months for this “Madonna of the Midlands” (Electronic Rumours).
‘Automatic’ comes backed with remixes from the likes of Lovers & Gamblers, Citizen and Fire Flowerz, together with a brand new Ronika song, ‘In Side Out’. A darker, lyrically-surreal twist on Arthur Russell or the forgotten Italo greats such as Sinnamon, it leaves an intriguing question as to where Ronika will go next. In the meantime, she now continues to complete work on her debut album, which is expected to be released later this year. Collaborations for Ronika’s own output and other TBA projects are ongoing with the likes of Hervé, Pascal Gabriel (Ladyhawke, Little Boots), Javelin, Dimitri Tikovoi (Nicola Roberts) and MNEK.
April 10 London Old Blue Last (Single Launch)
April 21 Glasgow Death Disco @ The Arches
June 17 London Lovebox Festival
July 21 Nottingham Splendour Festival