“God is my number one for everything I do in life. I’m not perfect, but I definitely have a relationship with God – enough to where I can pray and ask for motivation and I know it will come at the perfect time.”

Check out the interview with Rickie B. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Rickie B.: My music journey started back in the summer of 2009 in Vegas when my best friend Tiny G Beats taught me how to make beats on FL Studio. I was always freestyling back then, but I remember specifically at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas (NorfTown) I had spit a verse during lunch and killed it. Everybody was telling me how good it was and that I should drop a mixtape.

Later that day when I came home from school I took out my notebook and started writing the first song off of my first mixtape. When I released the project it had got on a couple of websites and got a pretty good reception. Thus, my hobby for rapping and making beats turned into a lifelong passion.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I used to promote my music through several hip hop websites, but I had separated my instrumentals from my mixtapes. It wasn’t until recently I started using one main platform (which is my website). I’ve also reached out to a few A&Rs from different record companies and sent them copies of my music in order to get the word out so that I could build my brand. Social media is definitely the way to go to get heard if you’re fresh out the gate as an underground artist.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge that I face is getting my music to a larger audience and finding a balance between life and music. As an underground artist it’s hard to find a solid fan base that believes in you enough to help promote you every step of the way. The difference between me and a lot of other artists is that I’m also in college and I’m working on top of trying to stay consistent with the music. Free time is something that is rare in my life, but I’ve learned to take advantage of the little time I do have for my music.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The hip hop scene in Reno, Nevada is definitely not a major factor. It’s more of a rock n’ roll city which makes it bad because not a lot of people will even bother to listen to your music if you rap. The good thing however is that when you got real talent the small size of the city makes it easier for you to get noticed.

If you live in Nevada, period, it’s hard as a rapper because it seems like everyone is doing it and people aren’t even supportive of you. There’s a lot of unnecessary competition and if you don’t watch out, then you will be dragged down by those who are jealous of your success.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
The future of music is in a good spot. Creativity is certainly a strong point for my generation and it can only get better the way I see it. People like Kendrick, J. Cole, Wale, and Chance the Rapper are making it easier for a lyricist to get on the mic and talk about real life issues. But there’s a nice balance going on with trap music on the other side of things and music is way more accessible than it used to be. So yea, the future looks really bright.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Just be yourself and don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. Stay in your own lane, maintain faith, and be happy with your music. Don’t be afraid of any challenge and don’t settle for lesser. Always be honest in your music and be supportive of others who are trying to do something positive in life and in music. You never know what one connection can do for you.

What inspires you to write your next song?
God is my number one for everything I do in life. I’m not perfect, but I definitely have a relationship with God – enough to where I can pray and ask for motivation and I know it will come at the perfect time.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
Normally I’ll make a beat first before I make a song, but it varies depending on the mood I’m in at the moment. If I’m trying to get something on a mixtape then I just pull a beat out and write to it. Then there are times where I’ll have a verse in my head or a hook, and I’ll write it down and then lay the beat out after I finish it. But once again, it depends on how I feel at the moment.

What do you think makes a great song?
A tight beat, a clean message, some heavy bars, and a catchy hook. That’s the formula to a great song for me.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official Website: www.rickiebmusic.com
Soundcloud: rickiebmusic

Photo by Marquis Lawson