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Ria, Musician

Ria, Musician

Ria is a 17-year-old musical artist based out of Toronto, Ontario. After appearing on CTV’s “The Launch”, she landed a management deal with Arrival Music Group Inc. and is now living out her musical dreams. Ria recently joined forces with Kids Help Phone for her #itsoktoshare campaign, and released “You Made”, a song that opens up a conversation about mental health. We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions!

You have a beautiful voice and are incredibly talented! Have there been times when you really doubted yourself or has music always been something you’ve been confident about?

Thanks so much! There have definitely been times where I’ve let my insecurities take over, but that’s what happens sometimes with life. But at the end of the day, music has constantly been something I’ve always been confident in!

Part of the plot in your music video for You Made appeared to centre around a peer support group, have you engaged in this type of mental health support before? If so, what was that experience like for you?

Yes, I have engaged in this type of mental health support as I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety which I am still in the process of healing. I have had many encounters of support. These support groups have helped me grow mentally and physically stronger and have given me the courage to talk openly about my experience and what I can do to make a difference.

Could you tell us a bit about the #itsoktoshare campaign with Kids Help Phone and how you got involved in it?

After the process of making “You made” me and my producer angel, thought that it would be a great idea to further the message of the song. Since I support mental health and how important it is, we decided to get together with kids help phone and explain and tell their company what we can do to help to spread awareness. Since I am a 17-year-old who struggles with mental illness they came on board, and supported the song and video.

When did you start becoming passionate about mental health awareness, and what do you think prompted that?

I think my whole personal experience really sparked that passion to support mental health and really had me thinking about giving back and also educating people who don’t know how serious mental health is.

What are some of your go-to coping strategies or self-care tools that you use when you’re particularly overwhelmed or having a tough day?

Some strategies that I do to help me when I’m overwhelmed are:

  • talking to someone who I can trust and who I can be myself with
  • taking deep breaths
  • treating myself and taking some time to reflect 
  • meditating 
  • doing something that I love doing that can keep me occupied and clear minded
You’ve mentioned that music is a really big outlet for you, are there times when it negatively impacts your mental health and you need to take a step back?

Music is a very big outlet for me but like anything you do a lot sometimes it can have a negative impact on your mental health. Sometimes it can get very stressful but what I do to help myself not get to that point is “balance”. Taking time to yourself to hang out with friends and family helps you manage your stress and helps you balance your life.

You can follow Ria on YouTube and Instagram.

Photo by Brandon Allen