It is a pleasure to officially welcome singer & model Ricky Jarman to Jake’s Take!
I first met Ricky online when he followed me on Twitter on March 16, and he sent me over to check out his social media channels. This is where I got to listen to his single: “Get to Know Ya.” As I kept listening to this catchy Pop/R&B track, I kept wondering why no major record label had signed this gem yet. His sound is what the industry needs and I believe that he could become a major player in the industry in the next few years.
But, I am not the only one who believes in Ricky. Through his social media channels, Ricky has accumulated over 17,300 Instagram followers, almost 20,000 Facebook fans and over 102,000 Twitter followers. Also, he has also received endorsements from radio stations to music moguls, to clothing sponsors, to you name it. Former Capitol Records’ Senior Vice President of R&B Promotions David Linton said: “This young man has been paying his dues and putting down some smooth sounds. His tenacity and penchant for success will pay off. His work ethic reminds me of a young Usher.”
Ricky’s work has also been featured on countless media outlets such as MTV-U, VEVO, Kokane Music Blog, and was recently on the cover of Supermodels SA Magazine. Also, he has also opened up for Grammy nominee J. Cole, and won the Carolina Music Awards ‘Best Male R&B Artist’ award.
In this edition of A Conversation, Ricky opened up about his collaborations with the designers, Shock and Awww, his new single “Lucky”, and his experiences being a male model in the fashion industry.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you first get interested in music? How did your passion lead into the desire of having a career in the music industry?
Ricky Jarman: My first interest in music came when I was a toddler. I was performing in a Sunday School production at my church, where the children performed in front of the congregation. While I am unable to completely recollect that particular memory both my parents recall that I proudly burst out the lyrics at the top of my lungs with a gleaming smile. That was technically my first encounter with music. However, The memory which helped pave the way to my current musical path I am on was in the fourth grade when I realized my passion for music and wanted to have a career in the recording industry. I had the opportunity to perform in front of a decent size crowd at my sister’s dance recital. This is where my childhood best friend and I performed “As Long As You Love Me” by the Backstreet Boys. It was such an adrenaline rush and great first on stage experience for me.
JE: Could you describe your songwriting process to my readers?
RJ: I love collaborating with other artists. I think that there is a lot of power in collaborations. Any time that I write my songs now, I am always with someone else. I like to feed off of other people’s energy, and positive energy can make a difference when it comes to making music. Whenever I work with a producer or songwriter, usually, the first thing that we do is brainstorm what direction we want to go with the song. The topics could be anything from feelings or life experiences that I either observed or personally experienced. Next, we would start working on the beat. Once we have a basic instrumental outline, we start fine-tuning each part of the song. It is like building a house brick by brick.
JE: You posted on social media about filming a music video with designers Shock and Awww. How did that collaboration come about?
RJ: I met them during this past season of New York Fashion Week. I attended a show that was featuring some of their pieces in, and I immediately fell in love with their awesome and unique work. My manager and I spoke with them and expressed that we were interested in working with them in the future. As my team began the planning phases for a new music video, my thoughts turned back to Shock and Awww. My manager reached out to them to inquire if they would be interested in being a part of the project, and thankfully we were able to negotiate an opportunity to have their pieces featured in my upcoming music video for “Lucky”. It truly has been a pleasure getting to work with them.
JE: Congratulations on releasing your new single: “Lucky.” Could you please describe the song to my readers?
RJ: “Lucky” is a very happy-go-lucky song. It will speak to the heart of every listener, and I think everyone can relate to its message. It’s about being lucky in love. The song talks about the ability to feel lucky to be embraced by that special someone and just making the most of that moment with them.
JE: What were some of the challenges that you faced breaking into the music industry? How did you overcome them?
RJ: Challenges in both life and the music industry come in all shapes and sizes. We experience challenges on a daily basis whether they are minor or major. When presented with any obstacles I either had to choose for myself to move on, get back on my feet, and stay focused on my goals, OR just quit and give up. I can’t stress this enough: It’s ALWAYS important to keep going and not let anyone dictate the outcome! We have control over our lives and just because something did not work for someone else, does not mean that it’s not going to work for you. If you want your dreams badly enough, then you must put in the work. I promise you it can come to fruition if you stay humble, focused, and hungry.
JE: Let’s transition from the music industry and into the fashion world. When did you get interested in modeling?
RJ: (Laughs) I got interested in modeling about a year after I started pursuing singing. Growing up, I was always attracted to the entertainment industry as a whole. My childhood idols were Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, and Justin Timberlake. Just seeing glimpses of the glitz, glamor, and the fun people seemed to have on TV made a big impact on me. Acting, modeling, and singing intrigued me at a very early age. So, my mom enlisted me in a local talent agency, and I started receiving some formal training in workshops and classes that they offered, while building my portfolio and resume.
JE: Could you describe what you have learned being a male model in the fashion industry?
RJ: Male models have a different experience than female models do. The ladies seem to be the focus in most of the fashion world. The guys are more like the icing on the cake or add on I should say. For example, male models on the runway don’t seem to have as many opportunities as the women do, but it’s still a fun and lucrative business for those who become successful in both genders. The modeling world is not all glitz and glamor; there are ups and downs. The fashion community is full of critics, and you must stay disciplined as far as physical features are concerned. Models also really have to be careful not to let people misguide them or allow them to be exposed in a negative light. I’m not able to do a lot of the partying or junk food binge eating that some of my friends do. I have to stay disciplined at all times if I wish to succeed. Sacrifices bring success.
JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring singer-songwriters who want to pursue a career in the music industry, what advice would you share with them?
RJ: You have to do your homework. It’s easy to be taken advantage of in this industry if you’re not careful. This happens to a lot of folks sadly because of the lack of knowledge. Another thing is people need to be consistent and persistent as well. Consistency is what breaks the mold, and there is no such thing as overnight success. Even if people appear to have overnight success, in reality, it took years and year and years to become a star. To give it all you got it takes blood, sweat, and tears. By doing your homework, being persistent, and consistent you can eventually find lasting success. It’s all a matter of how bad do you want it.
To learn more about Ricky, visit his website!