Ojai’s own Rikka Z, a singer/songwriter – who’s branded her style as “coastal country” – won February 2007’s Song of the Year Songwriting Contest in the Folk division for her original composition, “Fly You Home.” The Song of the Year contest is an international competition that spans ten categories of songwriting. Each month, one winner and four finalists are selected in each category, then their names are released to the music industry, hopefully connecting the songwriters with interested musicians and record labels.
Rikka’s winning lyrics for “Fly You Home” are based the heartbreakingly true story of her baby sister, Dagmar, who died only a day after being born. The lyrics were written from her father’s perspective – who has since passed away – as he held the baby in his arms the night before she died. Rikka explains, “I realized through writing this that not only was he ‘flying this baby home,’ he was ‘flying my mother home’ too. Every time I sing it I can also feel him ‘flying me home.’” You can listen to the song here.
Rikka Z is working to release a full-length EP by next fall. She plans to make “Fly You Home” the album’s title track. You can catch her and other local female musicians at the annual Female Singer-Songwriters Night at Rocks on May 31 at 8 p.m.