Ricky Jarman

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“Rising Pop/R&B sensation, Ricky Jarman, is more than just that nice boy next door with bad boy charm.

With his playfulness, his sensual falsetto, his hip hop dance moves, his broad appeal to a wide audience and his athletic and sexy physique, Ricky Jarman draws tons of “oohs” and “ahs” wherever he performs…

Ricky Jarman has been featured in numerous venues, publications, and websites including MTV-U, the Canadian Music Festival, Vevo, Top 40 Radio, DNA Magazine, the cover of Get Out Magazine, Black Dragon Live, Adelente Magazine, and Carolina Music Festival. He’s won best male R&B artist of the year at the Carolina Music Awards. Ricky has also opened for Grammy nominee, J. Cole, and most recently won Best Male Vocalist for the Odyssey Night Life awards…” – Reverb Nation

_RNY1475Hi, Ricky Jarman! We finally can do an interview with you!  I am so excited about this opportunity! 

Hey There!

First off it is a pleasure to do this interview with you Tomoko! I am very flattered that you have taken such a liking to my music!

1.  I’m curious about your early days growing up in North Carolina.  What was your family like?  What sparked your interest in the performing arts? 

I came from a very loving and supportive family, that taught me great Christian values. My parents always encouraged us to pursue our dreams. I am the oldest of five. I have two brothers and two sisters.

2.  You’ve talked about some of the performers that have influenced you: Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Earth Wind and Fire.  Can you talk about some of the music you were listening to growing up?  

I’ve had a number of musical influences through out the years, but music within itself has always spoken to me. My mom jokes saying “Ricky was singing and dancing right out of the womb”.

3.  Your father was a drummer, your mother a dancer and your grandfather was in a rock band!  Clearly you were surrounded by talent from the very beginning!  What was your mother dancing to?  And your father, what kind of music was he making?

Yep, my mother was a dancer among other things. She helped teach jazz and acrobatics at a local studio growing up. And my father has been a drummer most of his life. He started in middle school and high school in the marching band, and then went on to be a drummer in college. His profession is a pharmaceuticals but he still plays for private parties and events from time to time. I am blessed to have people in my life who were multi faceted, who in turn taught me how to also be multi faceted too.

4.  Your entertainment career can be traced all the way back to your 4th grade performance of  “As Long As You Love Me” by The Backstreet BoysPreppy Ricky.  Do you remember the experience?  Why “As Long As You Love Me”?  Can you talk about this early experience?

Ha ha yes “As Long As You Love Me” was my public debut as a singer and entertainer. That memory is a fond one. It was something new to be able to perform live on stage, which I hadn’t yet been accustomed to. I was nervous walking on that stage, but the nervousness was immediately turned into adrenaline when the music cut on. Of course the singing wasn’t perfect, but most kids aren’t perfect at their craft at that age. It was all very raw, but the audience seemed to love it as I got a lot of cheers and claps once the song ended. Performing became like a drug for me. It was and still is a great way for me to be able to express myself.

5.  Michael Jackson, Justin Timerlake, Earth Wind and Fire, Jason Derulo, Chris Brown.  These influences come through in your performances and productions but it is clear you have fully digested their abilities and are building an act that is your own.  Your videos look great and seem expensive to make.  

Ricky and GirlAs you mentioned, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Earth Wind and Fire were and still are influences in my music. However, my music play list that I listened to growing up was quite versatile. My dad loved classic rock and my mom loved the 80’s music so i definitely listened to some of that too. Aside from that though, I loved with a great beat.

I appreciate your compliments! Thanks to my musical influencers, I do believe I have now developed my own lane.

6.  Having been involved in video production – you direct your own music videos – I’m curious to know what you particularly like about making music videos.  Who does casting for your music videos?  Do you choose the girls yourself?

Yes, That is correct, I do direct my own music videos. It is not an easy process and can be time consuming. Nonetheless it is extremely fun and rewarding. In order to develop each video I have to pick the song we will be using for the video, create the funding for it, write a story line for it, book the shooting dates with the videographer, cast the appropriate roles, higher a make up artist and stylist, actually film the video, and then review and make adjustments (if needed) on post production after the videographer has edited the video. I love to tell a story with my videos, so you will see a longer introduction in some of them. Kind of like a mini movie, in order to set the mood.

7.  You are a singer/song writer with each song you make.  Talk to us about the songs you have released and also the video for these songs.  Are these lyrics inspired from your real life?  Are you as romantic in your personal life as in your song lyrics?  The girls in your music videos, is this the kind of girl you like in your personal life?  I know that you really worked hard on them. I would like to hear the story behind the songs you write.  You put a lot of energy into each of them!

The lyrics of the songs I write are either inspired by real life situations I have experienced or fictitious stories I create from my imagination. Yes, I would venture to think I am as romantic in real life as I am in my videos. I love to make people feel special… You know I’ve never really had a particular “type” when it comes to women. If I am attracted to someone, for whatever reason, then that’s it. In my videos you will see a variety of races and ethnicities in them because we all are beautiful in our own ways.

9653 38.  I love all your songs!  Your voice sounds so special and very smooth that I will get never bored listening! My first impression when I found you was you are a great singer/song writer and dancer.  It was like thunder hit my brain.  And before I start my new day, I have to listen to one of my favorite music videos “Mi Amore”!  Your dancing looks very exciting and gorgeous in there.  That video just gives me a lot of energy for me to begin my new day!  My other favorite is “Make It Happen”  I especially the way you beat box in this video!

You are so sweet, letting me know how my music makes you feel. I am very happy to hear that you listen to it on a regular bases!

9.  I watched your Christmas video last November and was inspired by your work on this.  Why did you decide to write this song?  I hope that everyone will have the chance to enjoy your song and it will be one of their favorites during the holidays!

My Christmas song, “Christmas Cheer”, was written to help invite the true holiday cheer into the listener’s heart. I feel like holidays these days have become so commercialized that it’s easy to lose sight on the most important reasons we celebrate them. For example, Christmas shouldn’t be about who gets the biggest, best, most expensive gift. Instead, its about giving, hope, love, and spending time with family and loved ones. I’m pretty proud of how that song turned out. I’m confident that those who take the time to listen to it will also enjoy it just as much as you do.

_RNY3266a copy10.  You were part of a gymnastics team growing up, that is so cool!  It is obvious that in addition to being surrounded by talent, you were involved with some very athletic activities.  Can you talk about being part of a gymnastics team?

Doing gymnastics, as a kid was so fun, but required great discipline as do all sports. Our coach was from Russia and therefore was very strict with us. I remember having to count our exercises in Japanese and having to do 500 jump ropes before class and 500 more after class. Not only did I have fun with gymnastics as a youth, but I also participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, track, tennis, golf, and football growing up. I also went on to play some college football as well, which I pride myself on. All in all, I am very competitive and I love to try new things.

11.  It’s obvious you’ve stayed very fit since then, the gym seems to be your natural environment.  What is your typical workout routine?  Do you have a partner in the gym or do you work alone?  From your time dancing topless on stage I’d say it has paid off!

The gym truly is an oasis for me. I am a health fanatic and I love to see results that stem from hard work. I strongly believe that if you are physically healthy, you will also become mentally and emotionally healthy as well. My work out routine varies depending on which muscle group I am working on that day.

12.  You were part of a boy band called UNITED.   Although brief, it sounds like this was a formative experience.  You had the opportunity to work with Christian Dio of Caliber Records.  You also had the chance to work with Andrea Martin and Glenn Douglas Packard.  This gave you access to people associated with the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Cary, Britney Spears.  Who were the other members of the band and why didn’t things work out?  When the band folded, what were you thinking? IMG_9457 copy

Yes, I was in a boy band called UNITED earlier in my youth. It was a very rewarding and educational experience for me. I grew a lot as an emerging artist. There was four other guys besides myself in the group. We were just some talented kids who got hand selected by Christian Dio from a national talent convention that we all competed in separately.

You know, things sometimes have a funny way of working themselves out. I’m sure there were a number of reasons why things didn’t work out with the boy band, but the biggest and only reason that I was aware of at the time was that one of the older guys in the group unexpectedly decided to leave the group, without telling anyone, to pursue a solo career. This action destroyed the image the boy band had branded themselves as and in turn made the project become shelved before one of the major labels could pick it up. At the time I was pretty sad that the boy band didn’t work out, but I realize now that things happen for a reason. Regardless of it’s unfortunate result, it really helped to shape my focus and style of music that I now am into.

13.  You took a break from your performance career to focus on your studies.  What were you studying?  Where did you go to school?  Did you earn a degree?

College was and still is important to me. It is a fact that people can still become very successful without a degree, but it’s comforting to many when they have a degree to fall back on. I haven’t yet finished my degree because I want to put all of my efforts and focus into my music right now. But while I was there for a short season, I was working towards a major in mass communications with a concentration in broadcasting.

_RNY161714.  Moving to New York City is a huge step for anyone  – especially someone involved in the entertainment industry.  As Sinatra would say, “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere”.  Talk about some of your first experiences arriving in the Big Apple.  How did it feel to arrive at what is for many, the center of the universe?

Moving to New York City was one of the best decisions I could have made for my career up to this point. There are so many opportunities here in this massive concrete jungle. I love the fast pace nature of it, where there are always things to do, people to see, and places to go. My first encounters here are kind of a blur now. However, I do remember being petrified by the subway systems in the beginning. I wondered if I would ever really get the hang of it or if I would just get lost and never find my way back. Also the skyscrapers were breath taking when I first got here. I remember visiting Time Square for the first time and being like “Wow it really is just like the movies”. I guess you could say I stayed in that tourist like mentality for a good 6 months of living here before it started to feel a little more natural to me.

15.  David Linton, former Senior Vice President of R&B Promotions/Marketing at Capitol Records has compared you to Usher – someone who proves that hard work and tenacity can indeed pay off.  How do you feel about the comparison?  Usher is also someone who started life in the southern tier and has gone on to find international fame. It was around the time of his second album that his career truly took off.

I am very much honored that David Linton compared me to such a super star as Usher! Usher is the man! He is so very talented and has achieved so much in his career. If God is willing, in time I truly do feel that I will be walking a similar path to stardom as my childhood idols have done. I am so very passionate about my entertainment career. I eat, breath, and sleep it.

Ricky Links16.  When will we see the followup to  Make It Happen?  Have you chosen a name for your new album?  Where are you recording your music?  Have you signed with a label?

I have not yet released an album, but the follow up to my handful of singles will be coming before you know it. I have been working very hard to put together something extra special for my fans. I’ve always been taught that an artist is only as good as their last record. I like my stuff I’ve released so far, but this album is definitely going to kick things up a notch or two!…or three. With producers like Sam Harmonix and Femdouble on the team, you can’t go wrong.

17.  Can you talk about your experience with the Get Out! Awards?  How did you get involved?  Your performance was recorded and is available on YouTube – you really brought down the house!  It seems like you are courting the gay community – you’ve appeared in numerous gay themed blogs.  You seem very open-minded about things.  Are you winning respect in this arena?  

Yes, The Get Out Magazine Awards was a fun experience that brought a very colorful and energetic crowd. I’m glad that even someone in Japan who could not make the event, enjoyed my performance! I appreciate the gay community and all the interest they have recently shown my music and me. And you are right, I have been featured in a few gay themed publications, in addition to a number of mainstream fashion and pop culture publications as well. Great people come from all walks of life. No one should feel discriminated for wanting to walk to the beat of his or her own drum. We all want to be happy in life. I’m a cool, calm, and collected type of guy, and I welcome anyone who enjoys my music and wants to be a part of Team Ricky Jarman!

18.  Can you tell me what you are feeling when you take your shirt off at your live shows?  I know you love Magic Mike and it looks VERY sexy when you are naked at the top.  Do guys and girls hit on you during these shows?

It’s funny that you bring up me taking off my shirt during some of my shows. When I initially did it, it was just a spontaneous thing I decided to do to keep my audience engaged during a long set I performed one night. It definitely seemed to do the trick. Coincidentally I have been requested to take off my shirt at additional events ever since that one night. I must say that it’s quite the adrenaline rush to do something like that. You put yourself in a vulnerable position when you show that much skin on stage. Thankfully I’ve gotten really good crowd reaction from the times I have done it, which has definitely served as a confidence booster.

340A0127 copy19.  Whatever your direction, its clear you will be dressed for success.  You have excellent taste in clothing and always have the right attire available, no matter what the situation.  Your personal style would be described as “classic”.  Can you talk about your fashion choices?   Do you have sponsorship from any of your favorite brands?  Which brand would you like to get sponsorship for?  What are some of your favorite labels?

I currently have clothing sponsorship with Alberto, Codice, Spenglish, and Strong Minded Clothing. I would love to broaden that spectrum and partner up with Companies such as Diesel, H&M, Calvin Klein, Five Four, Ralph Lauren, Express, and Jack Threads just to name a few.

20.  Ricky you always dress really nice and I know you are a model, too.  To me everything you wear looks like Italian style – I mean European style. Very stylish.  You are very tall!  I am sure you know how to dress like a model.  How did you manage to develop such a sophisticated taste in clothing?   Are there fashion blogs/magazines you enjoy reading?

10258413_10154041621825327_8453996761766101720_oI think I am now blushing with the amount of awesome and kind compliments you have given me through out this interview! Thank you. I love film and fashion in addition to my music. Its so important to be multi-faceted in this industry these days. My taste in clothing varies depending on the mood I’m in. It would be accurate to say that my style is more sophisticated most of the time, but I do like to dress down and casual from time to time as well. I would venture to think that my style in clothing is a mixture between my own interests, my team’s input, and my music and fashion idols that I’ve always looked up to in the industry. I’d say that GQ Magazine, Mens Fashion Magazine, and Vanity Fair are publications that influence my dress style.

21.  What colos do you prefer in your wardrobe?

I tend to have a lot of blues, greans, white, grey, black, and red in my wardrobe.

22.  Sound Affects is “Transforming the War On Cancer Through the Power and Passion of People and Music”.   Can you talk about your involvement with the non-profit organization?

Sound Affects is the name of the charity I am currently partnered with. They have such a genuine desire to helping people quit smoking and to cure cancer. I think their approach is so unique! I  guess you could say I am somewhat of a brand ambassador for them. I am one of the faces of their brand. Their company prides themselves on teaming up with artists, like me, to help get the word out there about the company and also to help educate our fans on the importance of the cause.

23.  Dancing, modeling, acting.  A multi-talented individual with a bright future, working hard to make it happen.  Can you talk about your future goals?  Where do you see yourself in five years?  

Ricky bandanaHmmm I have a lot of career and life goals. We might be here all day if I took the time to explain each one, so I won’t ha ha. What is life though without goals? Setting goals is a very important part in being successful. It’s all about progressing and moving forward. In 5 years I see myself with 3 released albums, atleast one national tour, touring internationally, and my own clothing or fragrance line. That is just the tip of the Iceberg.

24.  And Ricky, what do you know about Japan?  When will you have the chance to bring your performance to Japan?  What will you do to attract all the girls in Japan?Ricky and his bike

I know that Sumo is Japan’s national sport, coffee is very popular there, Japan is the largest automobile producer in the world, Japanese are a very friendly people, anime is a popular TV genre, rice is a popular dish that is eaten quite often, and American music is in high demand there as well.

I love Japanese culture! I hope to visit there very soon!!

25.  Do you sleep naked?  

Your last question is “Do I sleep naked”…my answer is: Wouldn’t you like to know?! Wink wink….ha ha.

Thank you for doing the Ninjagirl interview Ricky Jarman! 


Twitter: @RickyJarman1
edited by Anthony Heller

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