Ricky Rebel speaks to About Insider
Billboard Top 40 recording artist, discovered by Michael Jackson, signed to Madonna’s record label, and toured with Britney Spears.
HI, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS RICKY REBEL IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
My name is Ricky Rebel. I’m a billboard top 40 recording artist, living in Los Angeles, California. At my best, I consider myself to be a bold person. I like taking chances with my music and fashion.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, FROM NO AUTHORITY TO RICKY REBEL?
I started off singing in a pop group called No Authority. We were discovered and signed to Michael Jackson’s label on Sony Records. We released an album and toured Europe twice with Aaron Carter. The group was later signed to Madonna’s record label Maverick Records. She was the one responsible for putting us on tour with Britney Spears.
After the group broke up, I learned how to produce music on my own. I released my first single in 2010 called “Get It On.” Since then, I have released the Billboard Top 40 tracks “Boys & Sometimes Girls” and “If You Were My Baby.”
NO AUTHORITY’S “CAN I GET YOUR NUMBER,” WAS ALSO A TOP 40 HIT. HOW DID IT FEEL TO HAVE A SONG CHART SO HIGH?
It was great! I remember that it was the second most added record to radio in the country behind only one artist at the time, Janet Jackson. I remember being on tour with Britney Spears when we got the news. I remember the fans would come and push our tour bus after the shows to the point where it felt like they would tip it over! It was an insane time.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCEPT FOR YOUR ‘MANIPULATOR’ ALBUM AND THE HIT SONG “GEISHA DANCE”?
‘Manipulator’ was my first self-produced album. The record was an experiment to find the sound that best fit who I am. That’s why there are so many different vibes to it. There are gems on it like “Geisha Dance.” That song was a love letter to Japan, a country that I desperately wanted to perform for. I ended up touring Japan twice in 2019. I love performing that song there. They respond well to my music.
YOUR ALBUM “THE NEW ALPHA” RECEIVED CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND A SPOT ON LOUDER THAN WAR’S TOP 75 ALBUMS OF 2017 LIST. HOW DID IT FEEL TO RECEIVE SUCH POSITIVE RECOGNITION FOR YOUR WORK?
It felt great, especially on an album that meant so much to me to write. ‘The New Alpha’ had a message that a true alpha can be strong and sensitive at the same time. It’s a message that needs to be heard today. There’s a lot of fighting in the world based on peoples’ fears regarding masculine and feminine traits, which we all have each existing within us at the same time. I feel like it’s important to promote balance.
YOU’VE PERFORMED WITH MANY WELL-KNOWN ARTISTS, INCLUDING BRITNEY SPEARS AND PATTI LABELLE. IS THERE ANYONE YOU HAVEN’T WORKED WITH YET THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH?
I’d love to collaborate with Madonna. Even though I was signed to her record label, we didn’t get to make music together. She’s still one of my musical heroes. I think we’d come up with some cool tracks.
YOUR HIT SONG “BOYS & SOMETIMES GIRLS” WAS FEATURED IN THE FACEBOOK ORIGINAL SERIES “QUEEN AMERICA.” HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT, AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE SEEING YOUR MUSIC IN A TV SHOW?
A music placement supervisor heard the track and fell in love with it. Apparently, ‘Queen America’ gave it the green light and the supervisor asked me if it would be OK to put it in the TV show. I of course said yes. I freaking love Catherine-Zeta Jones who starred in it.
YOU HAVE PERFORMED AT VARIOUS PRIDE EVENTS AND FESTIVALS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO SUPPORT THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY, AND WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE TO CONVEY THROUGH YOUR MUSIC?
As Ricky Rebel, I’ve never been in the closet. The whole reason I created him was to rebel against an industry that told me that I couldn’t be openly bisexual and succeed at the same time. Ironically, the biggest hit I ever had was a song about being bisexual. People resonate with “Boys & Sometimes Girls” because it’s fun and not serious. The message I want to convey through my music is that you can be yourself and succeed.
YOU’VE RECENTLY STARTED DESIGNING CUSTOM JEWELRY. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR “RICKY REBEL RENAISSANCE” COLLECTION AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT?
Ricky Rebel Renaissance is a Japanese custom jewelry line that began in 2019. I had the opportunity to work with Pavel, the creator, after I wore one of his pieces during my performance at the Cannes Film Festival. I fell in love with his work. We decided to create a necklace line that showed off my personality. He later sponsored my first tour in Japan.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN THE FUTURE, MUSICALLY AND OTHERWISE?
You can expect for me to be touring in the states and Japan for the ‘Wild Reality Tour.’ A song called “Time Will Tell” taken from my album ‘Wild Reality’ was just featured in a movie called ‘Apocalypse Love.’ The film is brilliant! It recently won Best Animated Feature at the Golden State Film Festival.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
Your readers can find me on rickyrebelrocks.com and @rickyrebelrocks on all social media platforms. Thank you.
Make Me a Moon Publishing (BMI)
CEO: Ricky Rebel Entertainment, LLC
Ricky Rebel (Prod Link)