It’s a transatlantic kind of spell that will hold you captive in the world of rippling lights, irresistible dance, and incredible star-power of Rickell Brown. Since plunging into a professional music career in 2011, and developing a solid following in London, Rickell has revealed himself to be a multifaceted performer with his incredible confidence on stage and on the mic. Poised on the tip of greater discovery, he grabs destiny around the nape with his musical alias, Rickstar.
He struts with an immaculate Motown-inspired image that radiates confidence and style, solidifying him as a celebrity who has the power to take himself to higher ground. “I would love to launch my music in Japan, as I love it”, he admits, currently living and working between the U.K. and the U.S. With growing purpose, he etches his musical style, delivery, and presence to make it clear that he is not one to shy away from experimenting with his sound. Rickstar is part of a movement captured so brilliantly by Motown-revivalists like Bruno Mars, who have been brewing powerful alchemical potions on a contemporary and retro-fusion recipe.
Having released his debut EP, Vintage Soul, Modern Mind, in June of 2012, and a second EP later in the year entitled Eclectic State of Mind, Rickstar is now hard at work with new musical projects that are bound to send him soaring. “It’s like voodoo that’s so right,” he sings in “Beat of My Heart”, off of his first release, “the type of magic that spins around my mind”. It is only a matter of time before his upbeat and contagious energy charms us over the radio as Rickstar continues to seduce audiences as one of the top emerging pop acts to watch in 2013.
“DURING THE LAST YEAR, I WAS ABLE TO OVERCOME ALL MY FEARS
AND GO FOR EVERYTHING I WANTED, FULL FORCE.”
WBM: I feel the irresistible need to start by quoting you to yourself, “I just want to get to know you, is that a problem?” Tease us with a glimpse of who Rickell Brown is.
RICKSTAR: Glad you like that song, I’m actually filming a video for it in the next coming weeks. I would say I am someone who likes to take risks and push barriers, as you can see in my work being an independent artist I feel I need to always evolve in anything I do.
WBM: In an interview with LifesMusic PR, you stated that Rickstar is like an alter-ego who traveled through time from the sixties. How is Rickstar a separate image, of sorts, for you, and where did he get a time-machine?
RICKSTAR: Well, Rickstar, to me is my alter ego, he is way more energetic and confident. Rickell Brown is much more reserved and shy. I feel you see a lot of this in my stage shows, before I get on the stage, I am very laid back, but as soon as I hit that stage I am like a beast. Traveling through a time-traveling machine was an idea I used for my First EP. I took my fans through the 60s and educated them on where real music came from.
WBM: The Vintage Soul, Modern Mind EP introduces many of your inspirations, including Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, and the Jackson 5, among others. How did they become so pivotal for you?
RICKSTAR: It started as a child; my mother would always play music from the 60s to the 90s. This gave me a love for artists, such as the Jackson 5, The Supremes and Marvin Gaye. I have learnt a lot from these artists over the years which is great, ‘cause in the world of music today there is hardly any knowledge on real music and I feel it’s hard to gain any knowledge from artists of today. Of course we have some amazing artists like Brandy, Usher, Beyoncé, Andre 300, who have been influenced by artists of the past– to me this is why they are so successful.
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WBM: Tell us about your studies before launching a career as Rickstar.
RICKSTAR: I studied Musical Theatre for 3 years at a stage school in London called Urdang Academy where I learnt tap, jazz, ballet, acting, and singing. This really helped me grow as an individual– I was able to also obtain a degree. What some people may not know is that I was actually in a group during my studies. So I was being trained both from school and from the group.
WBM: How did you feel starting this project in 2011 within a few short months of graduation?
RICKSTAR: It was easy for me as I had been recording a few weeks before and planning. I was originally in a boy band from the age of 18 to 21 whilst studying, which didn’t work out, so I was prepared and was taught to always have a plan B, which is why I went solo.
WBM: Everyone has their reasons and personal satisfactions from a career in the entertainment industry, whether it is political, spiritual, or an insatiable thirst for fame. Can you share what it is about for you?
RICKSTAR: I just enjoy making good music, and educating people where real music comes from. I don’t care too much for the fame or the money, I just want to make history.
WBM: What has been a significant personal moment for you in 2012?
RICKSTAR: The moment for me of 2012 was working even harder without any help from a manager. I was put through lots of tests but still survived by having faith. I also recorded an 8 track EP, and filmed a video for it called Fear Of Flying which was exciting to share with my supporters.
WBM: Tell us about the Eclectic State of Mind EP, which has been in the works throughout 2012.
RICKSTAR: I feel as though I need to evolve each time I do something music-wise, which is why I did Eclectic State Of Mind. For me, this is my best work to date as I was able to show people that I am versatile in music. Although I love Motown, I wanted to show a different side to me as an artist: I was getting tired of being pigeonholed as the New School Motown artist and wanted to show that I was eclectic, which is why I have different sounds on this EP.
WBM: “A Fear of Flying High“, off of the 2012 Eclectic State of Mind EP, expresses a desire to move onto greater things while still dreading it. What does this mean for you, based on where you are at personally and professionally?
RICKSTAR: I wrote this song because jumping into new things is something I’m always afraid to do until the last minute. However during the last year I was able to overcome all my fears and go for everything I wanted, full force. I feel the message is great not just for love but for people who are scared of change. Writing this song has helped me.
WBM: The Eclectic State of Mind EP dips away from the band accompaniment of Vintage Soul, Modern Mind into a more mainstream sound. Is Rickstar catching up with the decades?
RICKSTAR: Rickstar is definitely catching up to the decades as he has now passed through the 90’s to the 21st century. To me this is all part of evolving as an artist.
WBM: Are you still working with the Rick’ettes?
RICKSTAR: Yes I am still working with The Rick’ettes, who I love very much. They do all my stage shows.
WBM: You’ve stated that there aren’t too many male Motown singers right now. How do you feel this has, or might, affect your work?
RICKSTAR: I stated that in 2011 I think, however since then we have had a lot of people experimenting with that sound, i.e. Bruno Mars, who has done great, but some U.K. artists who have tried this sound have flopped in the charts which has made it hard for labels in the U.K. to sign acts that experiment. However it’s how you bring it forth that makes you different.
WBM: What are some collaborations you would love to do? Do you have any in the works right now?
RICKSTAR: I’d love to work with people like Andre 300, Ceelo Green and Brandy as these artists create some of the best music out there. I also have a lot of surprise collabs coming out this year which I can’t talk too much on right now as I don’t wanna give away too much, but you will love it when it’s out.
WBM: In 2011, you hoped to collaborate with Amy Winehouse. How was she an inspiration for you?
RICKSTAR: She was an inspiration because she broke boundaries and was one of the first U.K. artists to really have a great cross-over in the charts. She’s also had an influence on my sound. I love Amy.
WBM: Let’s get to know who you are a bit outside of the framework of your music. Tell us about any social causes that strike home for you or with which would love to get involved.
RICKSTAR: Well, I love learning about history and things that happen in the past to make to world the place we live in today, so every week I try to educate myself on events that have happened in the past. My latest topic has been blood diamonds in Africa and the war that went on with it, which touched me.
WBM: Do the ladies have a chance to win over your heart?
RICKSTAR: Yes, of course, I am 100 percent single and ready to mingle.
WBM: What can we expect in the near future from Rickstar?
RICKSTAR: You can expect more of an evolution, more videos, more gigs and a mix-tape.
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