I first discovered Ricky Rebel on Instagram and found him to be a man of many talents and quite an interesting character that’s why I asked if we could sit down and talk about his career in music.
Q: So I see you used to be a gymnast growing up & then trained in classical ballet which led to dance competitions at the national level. How soon after that did you decide to get into acting?
A: I started acting in tv and film at a young age. I was in several commercials as a kid. Pepsi, McDonald’s, Mervyns etc. I booked my first feature film called “Anywhere but Here” with Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Then I was featured in the first Austin Powers movie in the opening dance sequence.
Q: When Debbie Allen, critically acclaimed choreographer and Fame & Grey’s Anatomy notoriety, cast you in the children‘s musical “Pepito’s Story”, did you think you were destined for Broadway?
A: It was my first lead role period. I have never danced that much in my life. We opened at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and toured the United States. It was a lot of pressure on me. I wanted to do Broadway as a kid and I still do now, but I wanted to be a Pop Star rather than be in the grueling sometimes underappreciated dance world.
Q: Tell me about the band No Authority…you were signed to Michael Jackson’s label MJJ & Madonna’s Maverick label. Did you ever work directly with these legendary artists?
A: I used to hang out at the Neverland Ranch with Michael Jackson. It was a surreal experience for me. He was executive producer on our first album and had a say in the record that we made and the sound. I met Madonna while making our music in the studio. She was recording “Ray of Light” down the hall. Madonna later signed “No Authority” to her label. I am one of the few people on the planet that can say that Michael Jackson and Madonna, the Queen and King of Pop were once my boss.
Q: Your manager/producer and the industry around you were against you coming out as an openly gay artist. Did that make you want to fight harder to perform as your true self & make your own style of pop music?
A: Absolutely. In the 80’s & 90’s, it was a super no-no to be openly gay. It still is for mainstream heartthrob actors. The industry told me to “man up”, never come out of the closet and do my best to appeal to middle America. I finally got sick of the manipulation and decided to be true to myself and just not care about what they thought about me. Rebel was born.
Q: What are you most proud of in your music career?
A: I am proud of the fact that I am a Billboard Top 40 recording artist making music that I wrote and produced with my own hands. I am more famous now than I was when I was a kid. I have to fight for every achievement I get because I am basically doing 90% of the work. I have strong support from friends and family but at the need of the day, I call the shots. I do not have a record company paying huge sums of money for promotion. It costs $300,000 to have a song on the radio. People don’t realize these artists you hear on Spotify, YouTube and on mainstream radio are paying huge sums of money to be heard. Good for them for attracting investors and a label who is willing to put out the money to be heard. However, nothing comes for free. Many of these artists have had to give up their artistic freedom for the label or investors, I choose to be authentic.
Q: So let’s jump to your political views, which tend to be outspoken and think that’s great if you are standing up for what you believe in. This year’s Grammy Awards, you wore a pro-Trump jacket. I was a bit surprised at that just for the fact that he doesn’t seem to be supportive of same sex marriage & VP Pence is absolutely against it. Are you still a Trump fan?
A: I am a big President Trump fan. I can list for you all his accomplishments on the interview and go on and on but at the end of the day, I don’t care how anyone votes. People cared an awful lot about how I wanted to vote, especially the LGBT community. I am not one to bow down to peer pressure. Not all gays think alike.
Q: About a week ago, you tweeted, “radical Islam is a threat to the LGBT community” and then all of a sudden your Instagram and Twitter account went haywire. Tell me what happens and who you believe is responsible.
A: My account was hacked. The hacker tweeted on my feed, “Shame on you Ricky Rebel” in Arabic. It was obviously someone who was upset that I was calling out Radical Islam for the vile disgusting piece of shit that it is. He even called a drag queen friend of mine “disgusting” in Arabic. It took a long time for Twitter to resolve the issue. If it weren’t for all of the tweets being sent out to Twitter support, by my fans and the MAGA accounts with huge followings, I do not think they would have given me my account back and I am very grateful for that.
Q: What are you working on right now and how soon will we get to hear it?
A: I am working on a record called “American Rebel”. So far, I have three hit singles and a bunch of tracks that we are mixing. We are going to be very strategic on how/when we release this new material. I am working with producer Gary Miller, who has hits with a David Bowie, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. He thinks my work is absolutely brilliant.
Thank you Ricky for taking the time in your busy schedule to answer these questions. It sounds like you have a very exciting year ahead of you. I wish you the very best in 2020.
Follow Ricky Rebel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @RickyRebelRocks. You can also subscribe to his YouTube Channel RICKYREBELTV and check out his website at http://www.rickyrebelrocks.com for up to date news and fabulous Ricky merchandise! Check out his new video Sheep by Ricky Rebel on YouTube.
Your Music Stylist: Stay tuned for my upcoming Fandom series… hardcore dedicated fan bases in the music world. First up: Lovatics