A Black and Paper interview with Singer Musican Ricky Rebel.
I like Ricky’s in your face spirit. He is not afraid to express or show how he feels while doing it with a smile and a show off my body attitude. After the attention his Red Carpet look got at the Grammys, we had to learn more. After a quick What’s App conversation, he enthusiastically agreed to answer a few questions.
How did you and your stylist Elena Nazaroff come up with the concept?
I told Elena that I wanted something sexy and provocative like the glam era of David Bowie and Prince but that I wanted it to have a message. Andre Soriano, the designer and Elena Nazaroff ,my art director both sketched out their ideas for me. The look wasn’t finalized until I got into the room with Andre and actually started creating it. Andre wanted to capture the spirit of my music so we played my albums on full rotation as we made it. I think that’s why it came out so bold and rebellious. It was a beautiful, collaborative effort incorporating all of our innovative ideas into one.
The Grammys Red Carpet is go big or go home, did you have this in mind?
Absolutely! I am a go big or go home performer. When I get on stage I give 100%. I view the GRAMMYs like a performance. The show started the second I stepped out on the carpet.
Was there an inspiration?
I was inspired by Prince’s performance at the MTV Awards. Back in the 80’s it was ok for men to show off, peacock, and be sexual. Right now, I feel like mainstream artists in the male category are not expressing themselves sexually enough because they’re afraid of being perceived as gay or losing their Christian/religious fan base. I am not afraid of losing fans because all of my fans know that I cannot be controlled. They love me for it. Rebel is going to do what’s best for Rebel. I am not owned by the radical left or the radical right. I dictate: how I dress, what I say, and how I think. Like my new song says, “I’m Not Your Preacher.”
Have you been surprised by the success of your look? The level of coverage?
Yes! Very Surprised! Last year, I wore the Trump suit to the GRAMMYs. That looks got a lot of press. It was 50/50 negative and positive coverage. People either loved it or hated it. This time around I felt like people were talking about the fashion aspect of my look and less about the politics which is exactly what I wanted. I am getting very bored with politics lately. This year the coverage of my look was local and internationally appealing. Intelligent people can see the humor in my look. I wanted to poke fun at the impeachment hearing which I felt had further divided this country.
Kiss and Make Up
Ultimately, I want the left and the right to kiss and make up and work together to get stuff done. I also wanted people to “impeach” my booty. “Impeach” means to call into question the integrity or validity of (a practice). I consider my body a work of art and my ass is 100% organic.
Fashion Loves Music
Why are so many musicians embracing fashion?
I think fashion is the best way to express how you feel without speaking. Believe it or not, there is a shy side to my personality. I use fashion to attract people to me. My boots, for instance, are a great way to start a conversation with a complete stranger. I use fashion to connect with people. I believe that’s the goal of every artist.
What are your music plans?
We are developing a Ricky Rebel Vegas Show! It’s going to incorporate my music and I am going to tell the story of an “American Rebel.” That will be the name of my next album. I will more than likely be releasing it this summer. The record is being mixed and mastered and co-produced as we speak by Gary Miller, who has worked with David Bowie, Cher, and Kylie Minogue. Gary is determined to get me on the GRAMMYs stage one day performing and/or winning a GRAMMY. It’s amazing what you can do when people believe in you 100%. In the meantime, I am loving my journey and enjoying every second. My life is an adventure.
Certainly, his adventure will continue. We thank Ricky for the interview.