As winter descends upon the Southern Hemisphere and days become colder, a longing for companionship and the warmth that it provides emerges. It is often the casual partners that fill this void and it is this ambiguity of feelings that is explored on Sydney-based producer Ribongia’s latest release ‘Before the Winter’.
Playful, with tropical rhythms and an infectious groove, the track features the signature melodic raps of Sydney emcee and long time collaborator Jannah Beth, and a tempo-flipping verse by our own YoungstaCPT. The two met after Ribongia watched YoungstaCPT perform at a friend’s insistence. “I was a bit dubious at first, but once he started performing I was hooked. The next day we were in the studio!” he explains of their collaboration.
Born in Italy, Ribongia moved to Sydney in the early 2000’s. Starting his music career as a drummer, he produced electronic music as a hobby and only took the electronic path by chance. “It was thanks to a local radio station here in Sydney. They showed support for my music early on so I decided that I was going to drop the band that I was in and concentrate on production.”
His music includes a wide array of indigenous sounds which are inspired by his travels. “I think the world has so many amazing sounds, cultures and traditions that often are overlooked. This inspires me deeply.” On tour Jannah Beth joins him as vocalist. Explaining how they met Ribongia says “I saw Jannah perform for a local collective and was blown away. She’s a good rapper but I think there’s something real special in her voice.”
Speaking of the writing process for ‘Before the Winter’ Jannah Beth says “that [the] first version was very different! I’d say we developed a lot of the structure, melody and mood of the song together” with the lyrics driving the concept. “The concept of the song was born through the lyrics and became a very relatable topic! I went for more of a singing approach on the track, so it was perfect to have Youngsta come in to drop the rap vibes.”
With both ‘Before the Winter’ and it’s b-side, the instrumental but equally playful ‘Sonder’, both appearing on Ribongia’s yet-to-be named upcoming album, he hopes his music will have a positive effect on those who hear it. “[In the early 2000s] multiculturalism was celebrated and I feel the people of Sydney where proud of this stance. These days things have changed and unfortunately for the worst. I hope the music I make will inspire younger people to keep an open mind and be curious about foreign cultures.”