Riky Rick holding an award
By: Gallo Images

The Family of Riky Rick Releases New Song Using AI

"Stronger" was created by using Artificial Intelligence and was brought to life by Riky Rick's longtime collaborators.

The family of later South African rapper Riky Rick has released a new song constructed from words taken from social media posts. The new song, titled "Stronger," is created using Artificial Intelligence and was brought to life by Riky's longtime collaborators, including Ganja Beatz, Audio Militia, and lyricist Lebo Machudi.

In a statement, Bianca Naidoo, Riky Rick's partner, said:

"The message we're conveying through this campaign aims to honour Riky's legacy of promoting positivity. We hope it brings solace to his fans and offers support to those struggling with mental health."

Riky Rick:

The release of this single serves as a platform to raise awareness for mental well-being and generate funds to support individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting mental health. Louisa Zondo, Riky Rick's mother, emphasized the importance of the initiative, stating"

"Our hope is that the Riky Rick Foundation for the Promotion of Artivism inspires others to care for young people, mental health, and overall well-being, as well as actively contribute to the positive changes we seek in society – in essence, to 'Stay Shining.'"

Collaborating with partners such as TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris and Sony Music Africa, the foundation strives to respond to Riky's call to prioritize the well-being of young people. Riky Rick's tweet from eight days before his tragic passing echoes his message.

Riky Rick, known by his birth name Rikhado Makhado, died by suicide on February 23, 2022, at the age of 34. To carry on his legacy, his family is continuing Cotton Fest, an annual music and lifestyle festival. The event, scheduled for July 2, will take place at the Kings Park Stadium Outer Fields in Durban and is nearly sold out.

Cotton Fest aims to showcase a diverse range of popular music genres, bridging gaps between various local movements in music, fashion, and sport. The festival boasts an impressive lineup of 60 of South Africa's most talented young musicians, including A-reece, Asvnte, Audiomarc, Beast, Big Zulu, Blxckie, Danger, Dr Peppa, Elaine, Emtee, Le Soul, Moozlie, Morda, Lucasraps, L'vovo, and Professor.

The announcement of the song and the line-up for the upcoming Cotton Fest is accompanied by another significant tribute to Riky Rick. His mother, Louisa Zondo, recently released a book in honour of her late son.

Louisa Zondo shared her emotional journey in an interview with TshisaLIVE, stating"

"Even though for a long time I felt extreme longing and pain when engaging with memories of my son — images of him, a sense of his presence in various spaces, his music and material on the internet — engaging with the memory of my son was the very thing I was drawn to."

The book serves as a testament to the enduring impact of Riky Rick's life and artistic contributions, allowing fans and loved ones to delve deeper into his legacy.