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RIIKI REID Took Over the Stage at Jim Beam Homegrown 2024

Fresh off a performance at Jim Beam Homegrown 2024, RIIKI REID discusses her latest EP, ‘Skin’, and how she connects with friends and fans

In Partnership with Jim Beam 

RIIKI REID knows a thing or two about heartbreak. 

The New Zealand-born artist – who performed last weekend at the epic Jim Beam Homegrown 2024 festival – has spent the past five years writing about it, through the long process of releasing her latest EP Skin

Featuring three emotional, stripped-back ballads, Skin is a record you’ll want to belt out in your car. Reflecting on the release of the tracks, Reid shares with Rolling Stone AU/NZ how the project served as a cathartic process. 

“This EP is all about bringing walls down and being more vulnerable,” she says. “It’s really just sharing experiences like a diary. I hope other people will hear it and maybe say, ‘I’ve been thinking that in my head and hearing it out loud from someone else makes me feel like I can also release those feelings too.'”

In fact, having an impact on people through creativity is her number one goal. Why? Because she wants to continue the positive cycle music can have. “I think about the people in my life who inspired me, and if I can have the same impact for other people, that would be such a win for me,” she says. 


With the strong belief that ‘people are good for you,’ Jim Beam sponsors key events like Jim Beam Homegrown 2024 to help artists like RIIKI REID connect with fan communities around the world and bring people together through the power of music. 

Connecting with people is something REID does naturally. She’s an open book, revealing pieces of herself through her music, which is especially true on the EP’s title track.

“It’s been cool hearing that people are connecting with [‘Skin’],” she says. “I’ve been playing it live in all my shows since we first made it, so it’s special for people to go, ‘I remember you playing, that song has stuck with me from that show four years ago.'”

Skin is the final instalment in a series of three ‘mini EPs’ that signify her rebrand to RIIKI REID and reintroduce her sound to fans. “The first one was a lot more alternative and grungier,” she explains. “The second was a dance EP, where I did a music video dancing, which is another thing I’m really passionate about. Then this third EP showcases a more vulnerable, honest side that’s purely about the songwriting.” 

Her performance at Jim Beam Homegrown on Saturday, March 16th marked the start of a new era for the artist. Fans got to experience REID in her element, bringing energy to the whole crowd with a full band, dancers and choreography. 

Yet, as she focuses on the future, she still credits her family, friends and upbringing in Aotearoa as a major influence on her love of performing. 

“I’m so grateful to have grown up in Wellington because it’s such a creative, diverse place. We were lucky as high school students to have music venues we could go to  as underage people,” she says. 

Jim Beam Homegrown

Her first stage was at local mall talent shows, she remembers, singing cover songs alongside her older brother. Connecting with people through creativity, clearly, is something Reid has always loved. 

“I grew up doing music with my brothers. We would go into the garage and have a smash on the drums and the piano and learn cover songs together,” she recalls. “And my best friends are dancers. So, we’d go for a play date after school and all we’d do is choreograph routines.” 

According to REID, that’s why people are good for you – collaborating to create something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do alone. “Something I love about this industry is how much you connect with people because that’s how I remember it from when I was young. Hanging out with my best friends, creating something fun together and connecting on that level,” she says. 

Now that Jim Beam Homegrown 2024 is over for another year, REID is back in the studio, writing for her next project. As for what’s next? “It may be a bit of a ‘watch this space,’” she says. There’s no doubt, we’ll all be watching. 

Check out highlights from the festival here and see how Jim Beam is bringing people together to celebrate the very best of New Zealand’s music and culture.

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