Singer Ridi’s debut single “Top Guy,” a pop anthem highlighting the struggles of isolation, injustice and judgement based on the 17-year-old’s personal experience, was just released on August 14. In it, the singer opens up about the online and offline harassment she has faced and becomes a voice for those with similar experiences in the modern age.
“I guess the fact that I felt so much oppression and injustice pushed me to vent out my feelings in this song,” says Ridi. “Top Guy is an extremely personal song to me and I’m glad that it’s my debut single. I went through a difficult time when I was kicked out of my old school — in which I had spent my past 6 years — simply because I stood up for myself and spoke out against the harassment I was facing. I lost everything that was anything to me. But I learnt that if standing up for yourself makes you the bad guy, then it’s okay! Just keep doing and being your best and don’t let anyone ever drown out your voice.”
The music video, filmed in Paris and directed by Sylvain Bressollette (Indila: Dernière Danse), tackles this topic of inclusivity and showcases the feelings of someone going through what she and so many others have gone through. “I hope people that listen to Top Guy can feel that I stand with them through my music, and that the best thing you can do is not give a shit about what other people say — and that in the end, it’s still you who has full control. Just keep doing and being your best and shout back out even louder!”
In addition to combating bullying through her musical work, Ridi and her sister Vasundhara co-founded the non-profit “Stop the B” in October, 2020, promoting awareness around the issues of bullying and encouraging others to become active bystanders. By learning more about the various forms of verbal, emotional, and social violence that can occur, others can become engaged in combating the problem too. Ridi also encourages her fellow survivors to share their stories in order to rid themselves of the negative stigma attached to talking about being victimized or being afraid to be different, her personal message being, “It’s okay to be different.”
Ridi takes that message to heart in other ways as well. While many pop stars leave their academic pursuits behind, Ridi is taking the less-traveled path of continuing her studies while simultaneously pursuing her creative goals. She is also showing others that you can pursue academic dreams in conjunction with creative ones, and that the academic dreams don’t even necessarily have to be creatively related, as she takes a strong interest in STEM-related coursework.
Ridi has plenty in the works for the future as well. “We have a lot planned for later on in the year. I plan on releasing an EP this October and can’t wait to show everyone more of my music. I would love to get my songs done before school term starts as, let’s not forget, ultimately I’m still a student and university applications are just around the corner!”
Follow Ridi on Instagram @realridi.