Rikki Thomas-Martinez is a songwriter and guitarist born in the UK from a Spanish mother and a Welsh father. He grew up speaking Spanish, English and French interchangeably and living in the UK, Spain and France. Rikki took to the electric guitar as a young man in the late 70’s, inspired by bands like Led Zeppelin and artists like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. As an electric guitarist Rikki realised that in order to perform he’d always need a band. He found the solution to this after borrowing a nylon string guitar from a friend: It was love at first strum.
A love of songs, a desire to be self contained and to discover who he was a musician led Rikki to seek his voice. To get the root of his musical self he stripped everything back to the bare necessities and in the early 80’s headed off into Europe to find the song of his soul with nothing to sustain him but his guitar, his eagerness to explore and a feeling that he was on the right path. The stripped down nature of making music with nothing more than a wooden box with strings and his voice along with the hand to mouth existence of the itinerant musician enabled Rikki to explore his music in it’s most pure form.
Rikki hitched, ending up wherever the ride took him and busked to keep going. Staking his survival on his success Rikki had to sing and play to carry on. It was during this time that he found that his musical voice sung mainly Spanish. This surprised him given that so much of the music he’d loved when growing up was British and American rock music. He had to be true to himself and give voice to the music that was truly his so he hitched, wrote and sung himself round the continent discovering the musician he was and learning from the lives and events that intersected with his along the way.
After finding his voice and honing his craft on the road the itinerant lifestyle eventually brought Rikki to Nottingham where he found his band, Mas Y Mas and his home. Rikki has been at the heart of Mas Y Mas since 1994 where he continues to write, perform and explore the musicality that lies at the heart of who he is.