Westmoreland-born beauty queen Ria Rania has made a cross over from the runway to Dancehall to pursue her first love, music. Raised in Miami, Ria Rania has recently released the very salacious single Hardcore. Spitting raunchy lyrics, Ria has shown her supporters a different side of the beauty queen.
DancehallMag caught up with the bubbly and versatile Ria Rania, to get insight on her journey to becoming a queen in Dancehall.
Tell me a little bit more about Ria Rania
Ria Rania is you know just a humble girl umm very down to earth, former pageant beauty queen, now I’m doing music something that I always enjoy doing just an all-around type of person. I mean just living her dream and using her platform to be the voice for others and just making good music.
Why the name Ria Rania?
So, my real name is Racquel but from a little age, I always tell myself my name is Ria Racquel. So umm as I said I always have this passion for music, so I always dance in the mirror and pretend that I’m singing other people’s music. So, one day I’m like yo I should go by the name Ria Rania, don’t know weh Rania come from but I think it just rhyme or something of the sort. that’s like 2015, ever since then I said I’m gonna stick with the name Ria Rania cause its different and like it will ketch ppl attention cause a lot of people don’t know how to pronounce the Ra-nia so people just go by the Ria but then its fascinating cause ppl just wanna know how do u pronounce the name.
I’m interested in knowing what was the decisive factor for your crossing over into the music industry and when exactly did that happen?
So, from a long time I had an interest in music but because I was doing pageant I couldn’t be in the music because what I wanted to say in my music it would not match a pageant girl figure or face. So I said ok because you know in pageantry you age out after a certain time so I said alright let me do that first and then afterwards if I don’t reach where I wanna get or whatever I’ll go on to my next step which is music. So, I literally start taking music seriously in like late 2018 that’s when I drop my first official song called Sizzling Summer.
What kind of pageantry experience do u have?
I was former Miss Jamaica Diaspora, placed top 10 in Miss Universe Jamaica 2017 and with that competition I won sectional prizes. I’ve had titles like Miss Miami, Miss Fort Lauderdale, Miss Miami Broward Carnival, it was like a carnival pageant more upbeat or whatever, so I’ve had quite the pageant run.
How would you describe your musical style?
Different, very sexy but classy a mixture of dancehall which is my culture, my roots but also hip hop and a little bit of pop tie into it because I was raised in the states. So even though I’m Jamaican, I was born in Jamaica, but because I was raised in the states u know sometimes u wanna talk u will hear the patois u will hear di accent, but u will also hear that mi nuh live a Jamaica. So, it’s a difference, you can hear the rap side sometimes but you can hear the dancehall raunchy reggae raw hardcore style. I mean I just think it’s different because I haven’t seen anybody who can do that as yet.
Hardcore your latest release is a raunchy delivery and flow of lyrics, is that what we should expect from Ria Rania in the future?
Not just that. That’s just sumn to pop people’s eye open like yo she could do that too. Because my previous songs were a little bit cleaner a little bit more pg13 than hardcore so when I came with Hardcore, they’re like oh really, she could get that raunchy. But I mean I have so many different projects coming I have pop songs coming, I have hardcore rap songs, I have reggae which is a good likkle vybe , relaxed and I have some more hardcore style songs coming (laughs)
What inspired the release of your EP titled Personalities, last September and how do you feel about the support you have received thus far?
What inspired me to release that EP Personalities was… I’m a Gemini so I have a bunch of personalities and I was doing a lot of body work in the studio like I had so many songs. So, I say ok even though I’m a young artist and I’m still not established as yet let me show these people that I can put together a body of work and still let it be known. Like young artist don’t need to just keep doing singles and hoping that one could breakout you could put a body of work together and show them that hey we can do it. And I name it Personalities because the type of songs is just so all over like I have a Reggae song, I have a rap song I have a Dancehall song, a pop song so its like showing all of the different personalities that I have and I’m proud of Personalities thus far.
Do you have any music role models and if so, who are they?
O my gosh, I have a lot! To be honest, I would say everybody that’s before me would be like a role model because I listen to everybody, and I listen to all genres. so, I wouldn’t wanna pick out the big-name mainstreamers cause artist that were before me but probably wasn’t so mainstream didn’t get that big break, but they make good music. So, I would just say everybody that’s before me is my role model because I get inspiration from different people.
Like now I’m listening to Wizkid that’s afro beats, some Anita Baker that’s soul and even Whitney Houston, and you know of course you listen to the current now so I would say everybody, everybody that’s before me is my role model.
Are there any particular artist who you would like to collaborate with?
Oh definitely. You know the other day I made this list and I said I’m gonna keep it because I’m gonna check it off as I get there. So of course, Wizkid would be one of them, I’d love to work with him, he’s talented very humble. I’d like to work with Drake, I think he’s just talented as well. The Weeknd I like his songs, very relaxing pop vybe, international sound, very clean.
When you touch on the Dancehall side, Dexta Daps for sure! You know di girl dem love Dexta right! I’d love to do a song with Dexta. I mean, there are so many more people on my list, I’d like to do a song with DaBaby, I think he’s just dope, Lil Baby he’s also dope, Cardi B, she’s different and umm she’s demanding, and I like that and of course Nicki Minaj, she’s the queen!
What’s next for Ria Rania?
Ria has a lot of projects coming and its gonna be a mixture of all genres, so don’t just expect Dancehall or Reggae from Ria Rania. Even though I’m Jamaican cultured, you gonna get pop, hip hop, Dancehall, Reggae, Afro beats, I have a lot of afro song coming. So just expect a lot of good, quality work from Ria and just get used to mi face cause unu ago see mi nuff!