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At 17 you might think Rika is new to the music game.

In actual fact, she wrote her first song aged nine, when she was 15 penned and released a track about the atrocities in Syria, and at 17 has scored her first record deal.

And at 17 shes aware whats going on around her, writing about poignant subjects as she observes whats going on in the world.

The song about Syria came about around December 2015, I think it was very prominent on the news I was as a child at the time. It disheartened me children were going through that and that they didnt have the voice, she told us. They didnt ask for what was happening at the time – and is still happening.

Its really really sad. So I decided to write a song for them. Music is a universal language of life. Even if only a couple of children understood it would have the impact I wanted.

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Rika is seriously socially conscious, and is also painfully aware of inequality within her industry. She is one of the new wave of female stars hoping to make a change.

All Eyes On: 17-year-old Rika is fighting for solidarity amongst female artists
Rika is inspired by world events in her music

I think with women its harder to encourage solidarity, she explained. Its hard to pair them together. It makes you appreciate how much women are versatile. Its eye opening. Especially when they collaborate – Raye Mabel and Stefflon Don, and Dua Lipas live lounge. Lets all get together more often! Lets have a big collaborative album of women in the industry.

Now that we are so down for.

Rika has a strong head on her shoulders and knows exactly what kind of music she wants to make – which is everything. Theres no pigeon-holing this artist, shell make music for any genre she wishes.

I dont feel like I can put myself in a genre, she said defiantly. I wouldnt want to do that. I can do whatever I need to do. If I want to do a ballad, or and RnB song, or a soul-y song. I can do a pop hit.

As well as the world around her, Rika is also influenced by her heritage, having both Indian and Serbian roots, and accidentally found herself creating fusion music combining pop with Bollywood.

My grandparents listen to a lot of Bollywood so vocally I pick up their styles, she said. I didnt even realise until someone pointed it out. Someone pointed out I do a vocal trill thats quite Bollywood. I like that Im being inspired by it, I think the fusion of Asian music and western music is really interesting, its very subtle but very interesting.

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Now she has new track The Others, a bouncy pop track about finding a guy whos nothing like any other bloke youve dated, although Rika confessed its not based on personal experience as she hasnt found the one just yet!

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This busy lady is already planning the next single, and the EP is likely to come end of April. But in amongst it all, shes still trying to keep herself grounded and remember she isnt even an adult just yet.

Im not legally an adult yet! she laughed. I got signed and there was champagne and I couldnt even drink! Im mindful of my age.

Its important to have people you can trust – I have one friend who is really close, its important to have one person who is really there for you and is real. When I have the time I spend it with friends and family time. In the future Ill be much businer and touring, writing, out of the country so Im soaking up all the family sunshine I can get. I dont know how much longer that will last.

MORE: All Eyes On: Singer Raye is part of the new wave of girl power

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