Rebel Rebel

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

Music Review: Muddy Ruckus “Footsteps”

The duo Muddy Ruckus, Erika Stahl and Ryan Flaherty, have a unique sound that you’d swear a full band is playing if you didn’t see them with your own eyes. Ryan plays guitar/banjo while Erika plays the drums & uses a suitcase for her bass (which is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen) and the occasional violin.

The band’s new single, “Footsteps”, released on December 20, 2019, is a hard rocking, fast paced beat which reminds me of late 90’s Stone Temple Pilots in particular sounding like “Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart”. The song features Mark Abraham on bass guitar and just adds that perfect touch to this head nodding jam.

Muddy Ruckus is fast becoming one of my favorite bands of the year. You can listen to Footsteps & all of their music on Spotify http://www.Spotify.com. Find them on http://www.muddyruckus.com or Instagram at @muddyruckus.

Remember, Your Music Stylist told you first….

The Magnificent Seven

I’d like to introduce you to a young talented artist, Seven Noel, who surely will do great things in the future..

Q: Your first name is Seven. is that your real name or is that something you chose for yourself as an artist? And where does your Instagram name Yellow Lovely come from?

A: My real name is Seven. My parents wanted something different and unique. My name was originally going to be Phynn but they felt Seven was better and it stuck. As for my Instagram name “Yellow Lovely”, that refers to the lyric from a song called “Lucky People”. Lucky People is one of my favorite songs ever and “you’re my yellow lovely” is a lyric that means a lot to me because of how lyrically beautiful it is.

Q: I see you grew up in Adams, Massachusetts. I always see the highway sign traveling along I90 when driving to NY so I am familiar with that area. What, if any, were the opportunities that you were afforded in school regarding music education.

A: To be completely honest with you, no. There’s not a lot of music opportunities here. When I was in the 9th grade, I changed schools because the school had a music program and when I joined they stuck me in marching band which wasn’t exactly my forte. So after a while, I decided online courses were better and it’s given me A LOT more time to work on my music I want to work on.

Q: When did you first realize that you want to be a singer? How old were you when you wrote your first song?

A: I was in 3rd grade when I realized I wanted to be a singer. I decided to do a talent show and I sang the song, “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. At this point, I didn’t really think of it as a career it was more of a fun thing I wanted to do. But when I auditioned with a bunch of my friends, a teacher pulled me aside and said that I have something special and that I stuck out. Then for the following years (4th-8th grade), I did every talent show and sang because I loved doing it and genuinely enjoyed it. I was 13 when I wrote my first song. It was called “ My Love on Rewind” and it was about a boy I really liked and because I couldn’t tell him these things, I wrote them out. This is what I do now with a lot of my music.

Q: Who are your musical influences? Why do they mean so much to you?

A: I have TONS of musical influences. I could name a solid list of my Top 5. Brendon Urie; Jayden Seeley; Awsten Knight; Tyler Joseph; Bonnie Fraser. My biggest influences of all would HAVE to be Brendon Urie. He is the exact reason why I even started music. Between 11-12 yrs old, I was absolutely IN LOVE with Panic! at the Disco. They inspired me and made me want to write music and the growth they had over time made it feel possible. Urie is just one of those artists that isn’t afraid to speak his mind and he stands up for what he believes in and I think this is absolutely amazing. I strive to be as aspiring as Brendon Urie. Jayden is mainly for his genuine lyrics and speaking his mind. Awsten is one of those unique writers where he does so many different things with lyrics or music that is super different or interesting. Tyler Joseph has saved SO MANY lives and has made so many people happy and have faith and is an absolute inspiration especially for me. Bonnie is a female frontwoman for a pop punk band which is something I can absolutely respect. As someone who really wants to be in a pop punk band in the future, I definitely look up to her because she’s incredible and her vocals are insane.

Q: Let’s talk about your EP Lost. This was released in 2018, correct? Tell me about the process that went into writing it.

A: Lost was recorded in July of 2018 through September of 2018. I remember the whole process of this EP and what went into it. All of the songs were written when I was 13-14 yrs old but recorded them at age 15. I have a lot going through my head and my main goal when writing is to be completely honest and true with what I write. The songs very much tell a story and show different aspects of my mind what I went through; anxiety, determination, motivation, healing, depression and loss. The hardest song by far to write was “Ticking Time Bomb”. I remember this song taking me 4-5 months to finish mainly because when I write a song I don’t want to feel iffy about it. The second I feel good and confident about a song that’s when I know that it’s ready and it’s truly how I feel. Along with the majority of my songs, I like there to be s story throughout and with this song, I wanted it to be perfect because I had written this specific song about me personally. I didn’t want to sugarcoat it or make it “too much”. Lost was definitely extremely fun to write though altogether!

Q: These songs do seem very personal and emotional. I especially like Shivers, those lyrics sound like they are coming from a very painful place. Is this about anxiety/depression? What is the story behind it?

A: Shivers is mainly about anxiety. I have terrible anxiety and tend to get inside my head a lot. It causes me to overthink, panics etc..Shivers holds a really important place in my heart and because I struggle with this, I wrote it so others who struggle as well don’t feel as alone. This song is basically a rollercoaster through my mind. “My mind is like an open door creaking” (my mind is loud, overwhelming) and the lyric “it’s because I’m scared, it’s because I’m not trying” (I have to overcome my anxiety and be stronger than it. The main “lesson” or reason I wrote this song was to say that you’re stronger than you actually think and you can get through whatever you want as long as you try. Fun fact: Shivers was originally inspired by the Bohemian Rhapsody lyric “sends shivers down my spine.”

Q: Will you be releasing a full length album anytime soon?

A: I have SO MUCH in store and I’m extremely excited to announce what I have in the works. My single, “Me, You and the End” comes out on December 20th! And this will be followed by a 10-12 song album which will be announced very soon!

Q: Where do you see your career in 5 years?

A: Well, I would LOVE to see myself in a band. That’s my main goal. My dream label is “Hopeless Records” and I’m hoping to not only grow as a person but as an artist. I definitely see my self growing lyrically and to be changing my genre completely from acoustic to more pop punk or post hardcore.

You can can listen to Seven’s EP Lost on Apple Music and Spotify.

Gettin’ Higgy With It

So I want to bring indie artists to you so not only that you can discover a whole new world of new music but also for the artist to help them get their product out there. I am pleased to introduce you to the artist known as Higgy. I had the opportunity to interview him and so let me introduce you.

Q: What name do you go by? Higgy, Jo Higgy, That Higgy? And where does this stem from?

A: I go by Higgy on stage and for all my music but my first name is Jo. The name Higgy is short for my last name, Higginbotham. it’s a long one, I know.

Q: You grew up in Denton, TX & while I was researching the town, it said it’s the hub of “indie band central”. I didn’t realize so many bands came out of this area (Dallas/Forth Worth).. is it just a cool vibe where bands are working, performing working hard just trying to get by doing show after show?

A: I actually grew up in Fort Worth, TX! My family moved there from south Dallas when I was a kid and I didn’t end up in Denton till I left high school. The vibe in Denton is definitely a unique one. The University of North Texas in town has a huge music program, so the music culture came naturally along with it. Roy Orbison. Don Henley and Norah Jones seem to be the favored alumni from the area. The talent and artistic identity here is unmatched everywhere else I’ve been in Texas. Denton frequently makes top US college music scene lists and that’s something I’m proud of.

Q: So growing up, was music a big part of your life? Was your family playing albums/cds around the house?

A: Music became a big part of my life when I was about 10 yrs old. A friend of mine and I tried to start a band in the 5th grade and that’s where I first got interested in learning it for myself. My folks were always playing music and their musical tastes (1960s-70s classic rock) mixed with my own (early 2000 hip hop & emo) pretty early on. I like to think The music I make now is influenced by those varying styles.

Q: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

A: My biggest influence has always been Bob Dylan. In my opinion, he is the greatest lyricist in living memory and probably won’t be matched for a whole generation. It may be an unfair comparison but I try to use him as a standard for the points I get across in my music. Another huge influence is Kid Cudi. I was 14 yrs old when his first album (Man on the Moon) came out and that was the biggest push for me to what I do now. I already loved hip hop and to hear the emotion and vulnerability he had in his music was a big inspiration for me.

Q: When did you seriously think about becoming a singer/songwriter?

A: I think I was 15 yrs old when I first considered music as a career rather than a hobby. It was something that came naturally to me and with my ADHD was also the only thing I was actually willing to focus on long enough to get better. I’ve always been an expressive person and I think music just made a good medium for that. That was also the same age I wrote my first song from start to finish. It was called “Gold” and I’ve been actually meaning to rewrite it (11 years later lol).

Q: So let’s talk about your new single, Say So. I first learned of your song by going on Instagram because that’s what I do; look for indie artists who have great music out there but don’t necessarily have the recognition like they should and that’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with my blog & Instagram account @music_stylist. This song has this mellow hip hop vibe which is really enjoyable.. The lyrics, “ I’ve been stuck inside a box for half of my life, when I get too crowded I’d a make me knife (not sure if that’s the correct lyric) and I cut my way out.” What is this song about and what specifically are those lyrics referring to?

A: You got that lyric exactly right! Having done music since I was about 10, I settled in on an early identity that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to do, but what I thought fit for who appeared to be. Most of the music I made early on was on acoustic guitar and not as focused on hip hop influence. I stuck to that identity.

Q: What are your hopes for 2020? And the next 5 years?

A: I’ve gone through many music projects over the last few years so hopefully this one becomes more consistent. I’m planning to drop a new song every month so ideally a hear from now, I’ll have 12 singles it and streaming. I also have a recording studio based in Forth Worth called Studio Waveflo, which I also am focusing on at the moment, s hopefully that can lead to something as well. In five years, I hope to be making a living with music and ideally a LA resident by then. I have a lot of goals right now but I’m also trying to take life as it comes.

You can find his music on @youtube and SoundCloud.com/thathiggy

Welcome to my obsession!

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain!

– Bob Marley

courtesy of: http://www.youtube.com.

(no actual video playing)

My goal is to introduce you to music that doesn’t fit in your “I only like pop/country/rock etc genre”. There are so many songs & artists to explore that are waiting for you to discover them. I am here to help. Let me be “Your Music Stylist”

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Stay tuned for artist interviews… and catch me on my Instagram @music_stylist for more updates on new music.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.