Rietta Austin

 

Originally from New Zealand, now based in London, Rietta was recently seen on UK Channel 5‘s Freddy mercury Biopic “Who Wants To Live Forever”.  Rietta has toured with “Strictly Come Dancing” Live Arena Tours and was a featured performer in Craig Revel Horwood’s acclaimed BBC spin off theatre show “Strictly Confidential” as well as being a regular vocalist on “Strictly Come Dancing” Cruises.


With a 4 and a half octave range, Rietta was selected to perform for legendary band “Queen” singing a medley of Queen’s greatest hits at the 2015 Artists & Managers award ceremony for Jim Beach, the band’s manager when he received a lifetime achievement award presented by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills. 


Rietta toured Europe with original Elvis band members Bob Lanning and Duke Bardwell, Marlyn Mason (one of the leading ladies in an Elvis movie) and Dwight Icenhower the award winning US best Elvis tribute artist.  Rietta has also toured  Australasia with The Jordanaires & DJ Fontana and the UK with Back To Bacharach Theatre Show.


Falco (Rock Me Amadeus), Germany's biggest selling artist to date, was killed in an accident and the last recordings he'd ever made (which were thought to be lost forever) were found.  Some of the songs were incomplete so Rietta was asked by Gunther Mende (Celine Dion, Tina Turner) & Michael Wolff (Nina Hagan, Bonnie Tyler) to help finish these recordings resulting in two duets on the album.  "The Spirit Never Dies" which is the title track & "Sweet Symphony".  The Falco album charted No 1 in Austria and No. 8 in Germany. 


Rietta provided vocals on the title track for “Cats & Dogs 2” the Warner Brothers feature film and recently had her second co-written song as a featured artist to Hedkandi USA.


Her eagerly awaited debut album, "Cut Me Loose", released on Halo Records UK (produced by Mark Stevens - Gabrielle, Sugababes), has sparked a lot of interest from the British music scene.  Rietta released a worldwide single for Hedkandi UK following the success of her rendition of “All Night Long” on an international compilation album, alongside legendary artists Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Maxwell, Dionne Warwick and Earth Wind And Fire.  Rietta has also had a track on Ministry Of Sound USA Dance Nation America album, which she co-wrote and is featured artist on. Currently writing with Mark Bell from “M-People” fame, more tracks are about to be released on “Shaboom Records” in the US.


With a range over 4 octaves, Rietta’s vocal versatility is outstanding. As one of Australasia’s leading vocalists, she is versed in anything from Jazz, Soul and R’n’B, to Pop and Rock. As well as fronting various bands down under Rietta, now a British citizen, has been a regular featured artist at the Harrah’s Casinos worldwide and at 7 Seas in Cyprus and has also been seen at Ronnie Scott’s & Dover Street Wine Bar in London.


Rietta has appeared on the same bill at a Bryan Adams concert in England and recorded backing vocals for Dame Shirley Bassey’s single as well as performing live with her at Glastonbury Festival. Dame Shirley's dance mix featuring Rietta's vocals went to No. 3 on the US dance charts. Rietta headlined the O2 Arena Community Event to 12,000 people on June 20th 2007 and opened in Russia for Johnny Gill and Joe Cocker in Moscow.  She was also the London support act for Jocelyn Brown.

 

The voice of the theme tune for the UK ITV game show “My Man Can”, the voice of Virgin Soft Radio, the voice of numerous Australasian television & radio commercials and voice over artist for The Travel Channel UK/NZ, Rietta has recorded with some of the industry’s top names, including a charity song for the Australian Tsunami Relief Aid Project with INXS & Diesel.  Rietta sung on Oscar Nominee Elizabeth McGovern’s debut album and has done session work for Kirk Pengilly (INXS) and live work as backing vocalist for Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads).  Other live and session work includes Australian Pink Floyd; Michael Kiwanuka; Mike Harrison (Spookytooth); Matt Monro Jnr; Bobby Davro; Linda Henry; Cheryl Ferguson (Eastenders Cast); The Stylistics; Madeline Bell (Blue Mink); Stevie Van Lange; Ruth Lorenzo; Andy Abraham; Anthony Costa (Blue); Jon Stevens (Noise Works); Deni Hines (Rock Melons); Virgil Donati (Southern Sons) John Rowles; The Sound of the Supremes; and Pete Brown (writer for Cream).


As a member of the Unicef committee for one of London’s most prestigious Park Lane charity balls, Rietta has performed at all the major hotels in London including Claridges, The Savoy, The Landmark and The Ritz to name but a few.  Dubai’s 7 star Hotel The Burj Al Arab, Cyprus The 7 Seas Columbia Plaza and the British Ambassador in Oman are a few international clients Rietta has also performed for.


Hedkandi, one of UK’s biggest dance labels, debuted Rietta’s singer/songwriting talents when they released her song "Love Is On My Mind" with Dogsax on their Disco Heaven albums.  The first album charted at 25 and this has taken her to recording with various producers in countries such as Italy, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. By demand of DJs & clubbers world wide, Hedkandi have re-released it on five compilation albums to date.  Rietta has had two singles on the dance charts through Greendog Records; "Kiss My Ass" which charted No. 2 on Passion FM and No. 10 on House FM UK and "Don’t Give Up" - her latest hit for Fearless Funk & Soul which is No. 5 on Naked Soul and features on Sky Digital Radio.


A featured artist performing at both the Edinburgh Festival and the Southill Arts Park Festival, Rietta was selected to represent New Zealand and lead the world into the New Millennium as the headliner in an internationally televised performance, in front of an audience of 30,000 people, before Dame Kiri Te Kanawa took over the new dawn celebrations.  Rietta has also headlined at events such as New Zealand’s Annual International Jazz & Soul In The Park, Australian Jazz & Funk Festivals held in Sydney and the Waiheke Jazz & Blues Festival.  She performed in New York whilst recording for Grammy Award winner Kirk Yano, was seen singing at a French Music Festival and at the prestigious ‘Le Sporting’ in Monte Carlo, has recorded for Monty Norman the composer of  the “James Bond Theme” and was a guest vocalist in Belgium with the international jazz funk fusion group Jazziz.


As a singer songwriter, Rietta has released two original songs on the compilation album for Indigenous Funk Company - a selection of the premier NZ vocalists under the NZ Polynesian Label Tangata Records distributed by BMG.  Rietta has also guested on various NZ and Australian albums including sporting extravaganzas for Whitbread Round The World Yachting, America’s Cup and The NZ National Rugby and Netball teams.

 

Upon the request of English director Andrew Anderson, Rietta was chosen to vocal coach on the NZ television programme "Get Your Act Together".  Rarely is an artist talented in so many of the art forms - these talents being utilized to their full capacity on this TV series as dancer, choreographer, vocalist and actor.


Musical theatre credits include the original cast West End London World Premier “Respect La Diva”, “Bright Lights Big City” London Premier roles of Clara & Coma Baby,  The Back to Bacharach Theatre show. the Australasian tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (Mary Magdalene cover and Dance Captain) and the Australasian tour of "Cats" as lead understudy performing the role of Grizabella fortnightly, as well as performing the role of Opera Cat, Tap Cat and Swing (dancer) when required. “Chicago”, “Rush” & “Meatworks” are also some of the musicals Rietta also starred in.


A dancer, Rietta is a registered teacher for the Los Angeles Dance Academy and received the highest mark in New Zealand the year she sat her Advanced Diploma.  She was the director and teacher for her own school in Australasia, a guest teacher for the Auckland Performing Arts School and Black Grace Dance Company.  Rietta has taught American Jazz worldwide and Open Jazz for the British Ballet Organisation (BBO).  As a choreographer she has choreographed music videos and a live show for “When The Cats Away”.


A talented actor in her own right, film & television credits include "Xena – Warrior Princess", “The Slate”, “Sisterhood”, "Shortland Street", "60 Minutes" and "Jack of All Trades".


Television & Radio performances include GMTV The Opening of The O2 Arena, Big Breakfast UK, Alan Titchmarsh UK, Terry Wogan Show BBC Radio 2, Joanne Good Show BBC Radio 2, Richard Madeley BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5, Talk Sport London, Rock Palace Germany, Channel 9 Australia, Bert Newton Show Australia, Good Morning NZ, What Now NZ and many more.