Ricky B is a Hip Hop artist who moved to Perth in 1997, originally from Johannesburg in South Africa, he uses his music as a form of expression in order to talk about his struggles throughout life. He has worked with many artists in Perth including Billy Harris, Rob Shaker & Intrusive Thoughts.
What’s your Hip Hop background?
I’ve been amongst the Perth Hip Hop scene for about 2 years and in that time I’ve released a handful of tracks. All working towards my upcoming EP which has been years in the making, it needs to be perfect! I want listeners to know what I do, how I feel and who I am after listening to my music. If I can make someone’s day that little bit better or make them reminisce and feel that then I will be satisfied, I try to cover everything I can from past experiences to everyday life, It’s going to be a big accomplishment for myself and a huge weight lifted when its done. I’m aiming to create something that will help someone out there one way or another, the same way music has helped me. I’ve performed at various clubs and pubs and other venues around Perth, one of my first gigs was at a mad little venue called Yaya’s hosted by Rob Shaker. I will never forget that night, the crowds atmosphere was surreal, when I try to explain the feeling I get when I get on stage, basically everything in the world fades away, all there is, is that moment. It’s not just the love for music that made me follow this path but that was something that made me really feel I could do this for the rest of my life, one of my favourite gigs so far was being involved in a cypher with American rapper Locksmith, that was a lot of fun and it was great to meet him and kick it, I am a big fan. I released my first official music video last year called Lunacy and the 2015 Perth City Cypher video featuring a number of WA’s up n comers, directed, filmed and produced by my good mates Kim Smitherman and beats & cuts by Uncle Sam.
What inspires you to make Hip Hop music?
I always had a love for Hip Hop, it was my outlet, my place of peace, therapy to drift away from it all. I’d have to say my brother is a big influence introducing me to Hip Hop. He always had the freshest tunes before that shit was even out, I remember stealing his CD’s walking around with a discman and pocket full of CDs bumping Mos Def or Outkast, You’d always catch me playing Shit Can Happen on repeat by D12 loved that track, I’ve always loved music, its always played a massive role in my life, when I was a kid I started playing guitar and taught myself how to play piano, keyboards etc.. a lot of my rhythm was learned through instruments, but I was always fascinated by writing lyrics, a couple of mates and I back in the day used to play in this little band in their garage but it was Hip Hop that seemed to get me, from the beats, to the rhythm, the style, to the way you can express exactly what your feeling.
Vent whatever the fuck it is you want to get off your chest. My favourites the real deep stuff, that hit the heart shit, that raw pain explained in the most meaningful way. Things got real after my mother committed suicide R.I.P, for those who can relate will know the pain never goes away you just find other ways to deal with it everyday and she is a big inspiration and made me feel like anything is possible.
Tell us about your latest project…
I was off the map for years writing and rapping to myself, listening to mates do there thing, I used to get my mate Mitchy to spit me some shit. no matter what, I needed to hear me some boom bap I was obsessed with rap. I put my heart and soul into music and stuck to it, when my mother past away I fell into a dark place, I was a mess. Going through the grieving process I lost myself I was constantly getting off my face, using countless drugs and getting into shit with police. I felt music was the only thing that would occupy my mind and help me deal with what I was going through it kept me going from bad to worse. For around 13 months my brother was on the run we had no house at the time, I cant say to much about what went on but I try to explain a lot of my past experiences and life incidents in my music, the real side of things that will hopefully be shown on my upcoming EP. That would be my main project at the moment, there’s years of work and a lot of life experiences gone into this record. People keep saying hurry up and release it but not everyone realises how much time and effort goes into the creating process. I want to be 100% with it all, I want to cover every aspect possible. Besides that I will be releasing other tracks as well as other projects in the works, with music video’s filmed and produced by my good mate Andy Smith. Plus many more with a lot of different collaborations in the mix, I aim to create my own sound, something that you haven’t heard before, the best from me is yet to come.
What is your process for creating music?
There is many different ways I do things when it comes to creating music, majority of the time if I’m not writing to the originals I will search YouTube looking for instrumentals till something good catches my ear then I will start writing. The creating process is always different when making a track to the melodies the chorus and verses. I try to write to the beat I’m using as much as I can but I find I will also write a verse to a different beat then transfer it to another, if it works and I like it I will use it. Matching bars together from other rhymes you get the picture. I find a good way to spark ideas you usually would not by yourself is to jam with mates or sometimes somethings just come to you spontaneously. A lot of the time I will be out with mates and I cant seem to stop pulling my phone out to write shit down. Even more so after going to gigs and music festivals that always seems to get the creative juices flowing.
Do you also produce you own beats?
I’d have to my homie Uncle Sam makes most of my beats at the moment, I’m always searching around for banger’s, personally i don’t make any beats myself but I’m no amateur to the process and I’m always learning more in and out of the studio. Behind the scenes i watch and learn how things are done, a lot of the time we will come up with ideas together and work off that.
Who are you working with on your project?
I do a lot of my recording at my homie Uncle Sam‘s studio and I have a lot of respect for this guy, he puts in a lot of time and work in behind the scenes. We have been mates since school days, I am talking 15 years plus, there was a couple years there were we all lost contact but its crazy to think how the love of music has brought us all back together. I like working with Uncle Sam, he has got a good ear and the brother makes some fire, get you trying different things in the booth and studio, I’m always looking to better myself and step it up a notch and I find when you step outta your comfort zone is when you create your best work. I am currently working on the next few promo music videos, they will be dropping soon so keep your eyes peeled. besides that majority of my focus and efforts have been going into my EP, I feel once it’s released It will give me a leg to stand on and and show what I’m capable of and give me that extra push to get my career moving to the next stage. Its going to be a busy year and wont disappoint!
Anything else you want to mention?
I just want to say big ups and much love to everyone that has been with me along the way and to anyone who is reading this now. Mad respect! you have no idea how much your support means, It has taken me a long time to get myself moving in the right direction and I finally feel like I am doing something with my life. I take everything that happens in my life as a lesson you can either let it destroy you or build you, a learning curve you could say when you are at your worst you seem to realise what is important and what really matters. Everything I rap about comes straight from the heart and I just hope one day my music will make an impact on peoples lives the same way its has done for me. Thanks for reading, Peace.
Facebook: Ricky B