Mike Rizk - "The dream is to build more awareness for this genre, make it mainstream & perform the Electro Flamenco House Music show worldwide, adapting as it evolves." - Stereo Stickman

Mike Rizk “The dream is to build more awareness for this genre, make it mainstream & perform the Electro Flamenco House Music show worldwide, adapting as it evolves.”


Australian Flamenco Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Rizk, currently based in Sydney, notes over 30 years of experience in performance and production, and holds a Bachelor of Music and an Associate in Music.

The established musician plays all styles of music and in the last few years has specialised in Flamenco/Spanish Guitar, during which time his guitar style of choice has evolved into what he calls ‘Spanish Guitar Fusion’ – a combination of Spanish Guitar, Flamenco, Jazz, Classical and Contemporary music

Mike Rizk is a pioneer in the Electro Flamenco and Flamenco House space and has released albums and singles on all major platforms of this genre and continues to do so. He is the first worldwide to create a live Flamenco Electro show using a combination of musicians, dancers, singers, samples, synthesizers, loopers, drum machines, percussion and of course Flamenco guitar styles and techniques, and is currently touring.

We were blessed with the chance to interview Mike during his down time, to find out more about his journey, what inspires him, his motivations and aspirations, and plenty more. Here’s the conversation in full.

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Hi Mike – excited to talk music with you, thanks for the opportunity! To introduce things, where are you for the start of 2024, and how would you describe your approach to making music?

Thanks Rebecca, glad to chat. 2024 is starting of excitingly, we have created a live Electro-Flamenco House Music show, perhaps the first in the world with vocals, dancers, Flamenco methods and will be performing this show for the first time at the Adelaide Fringe (Australia’s largest arts and music festival), we are also in discussions regarding taking the show to Europe later in the year so at the moment it’s all go go go.

You can definitely manufacture anything in music however the approach I use to making music is quite random, sometimes I’ll start with a basic idea such as a melody and build around it or other times ill follow a structure of perhaps starting with rhythm and add a melody later. I never know when an idea will pop out.

With Electro flamenco House Music I’ll usually create the electronic track first and add the flamenco elements afterwards.

What first inspired you to get into Spanish and Flamenco guitar?

I’m not really sure where it all started; I somehow stumbled across Flamenco guitar at an early age and immediately fell in love with it.

The first flamenco album I bought was Fabulous Flamenco! by Paco Pena and had it on repeat for weeks which probably drove my family mad and I think from that point decided to shift my guitar studies from Classical to Flamenco guitar.

How did you stumble upon Flamenco House, and why did you choose to specialise in this particular niche or sub-genre?

Flamenco House has been around for a while, back in the 90’s it was better known as Flamenco-Chill. I think I found it on YouTube (Thank god for the internet) I liked the combination of  Spanish guitar and electronica together, I found it a cool, relaxing, genre and in the early days had no intention of creating it (I don’t think I would have known how to).

As I got older and musically more knowledgeable I started wondering how I could combine my two loves of Flamenco and Electronica together and as a result Flamenco House or perhaps as its better known Electro Flamenco was born and is now a genre I specialise in.

The style of Electro Flamenco House Music create builds around house music adding percussion and Flamenco guitar. I generally use English for vocals in order to try and reach a wider audience however we are experimenting with different languages at the moment.

In what ways did studying music at an advanced level impact your creativity?

Studying music helped with my creativity by giving me more knowledge and adding more variety to my songs and making better choices in terms of arrangements.

Studying music opened me to a wide range of theoretical possibilities which I would have not known about.

Do you need to study music to make music? Well my answer is no as I believe that the general idea is to make something that sounds beautiful. And as I always tell my students before there was music theory there was just your ears, so use them.

Having said that, unless you’re Mozart or naturally gifted studying music definitely helped someone like myself with structure, playing difficult pieces, removing guess work and provided good foundations for composition, improvisation and re-arrangements.

From intricate and skilful guitar playing to live performances, running a studio, tutoring, studying music and producing original tracks, you’ve covered multiple bases. What is it about music and creativity that draws such consistent passion from you?

I personally connect really well with music and love all the possibilities that music has to offer and how there can be so many different outcomes. I also love how it can bring people together and that there is something for everyone, even your mistakes can be liked.

“Music for me is an identity and I feel very lucky to be able to work in a field that I’m passionate about.”

Do you remember the first piece of music you ever tried to learn on guitar, and can you now utilise that memory or nostalgic feeling when working on something complex or new – can you appreciate how far your ability has come, or do you still always feel like there’s plenty of work left to do?

I’m pretty sure the first thing I learnt would have come from a method book and probably wasn’t that exciting, there’s only so much you can do with the first string from a classical text.

I can definitely appreciate how far I’ve come which took lots of practice, discipline and dedication.

I don’t feel there is lots of work left, I’ve been playing for a very long time and am yet to find a piece I can’t play with practice, these days I’m experimenting more in a non-conventional manor than conventional.

In the beginning, how did you motivate yourself to keep practicing whenever you were frustrated or struggling to progress as a guitarist?

“In the early days as a child I went through phases where I’d take breaks for days, weeks then go back to practicing, when I hit the teenage years I had more discipline and could extend my practice and repetitions.”

I think Motivation for me came from maturity, playing a genre I enjoyed and wanting to achieve something with my music. Definitely playing a genre like Flamenco which I truly love helped with motivation.

You’ve carved out a uniquely full and eclectic career as a musician. In your thirty years of experience, what has been one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned that you might gift as advice to new starters?

Where do you start? On the playing side one thing that I’d suggest to newbies is to learn to play slow and really focus on timing, make sure it’s rock solid as you get more advanced you’ll notice it’s all about timing and also don’t too much when you make a mistake, sometimes those mistakes can enhance the song.

The other thing I’d mention is that learning music is really a process when learning to play a song or exercise make sure you know what you’re process for learning the piece.

And finally, be patient.

Tell me about Sydney Backing Tracks – how and when did you come up with this idea?

Sydney backing tracks streams on all major platforms. It’s basically a label I created some time ago that makes backing tracks across all genres which can be used by any lead instrument for practice or other multimedia purposes.

I came up with the idea some time ago trying to help students with their improvisations by giving them something to practice with and as the channel grew it got more and more followers/subscribers and now it gets thousands of daily streams.

These days I’m focusing more on the Electro Flamenco and Flamenco House Music stuff however I still manage to drop a new Sydney Backing Track release at least once a week.

What’s your plan of action for this year, and what’s your most ambitious aspiration right now – where do you dream of taking things?

This year we are hoping to take the Electro Flamenco House Music show global and are currently exploring opportunities in the UK and Netherlands there are also other possibilities however these are our main focus right now.

The dream is build more awareness for this genre, make it mainstream and perform the Electro-Flamenco House Music show worldwide making adaptions and changes as it evolves.

If you could collaborate with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose, and why?

There are so many great artists past and present, it’s almost impossible to pick. However, if I had to, from a Flamenco side I’d love to collaborate with Juan Martin (Flamenco Guitarist) I really love his style, touch and compositions such great taste with his arrangements, one of my favourite flamenco guitarists of all time (Sorry Paco De Lucia lovers [I love him too])

From an electronic perspective there’s a guy called Ash (Ashraf Moawad) that I’m listening to who produces very catchy tunes and has a style I enjoy, I can easily see myself adding flamenco vibes over his productions. If you’re reading this Ash feel free to reach out anytime (:

Which track or piece of content from your repertoire would you recommend to new listeners, and why?

Well that would have to be the latest Electro Flamenco House Music track called Enchanted.

I love the combination of Flamenco and Electro, it seems to naturally blend really well. This track took a world effort to produce and I feel one of the best produced yet.

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Find Mike Rizk on Instagram & his Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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