The dynamic group Earth, Wind and Fire once sang “You’re a shining star, no matter who you are, shining bright to see,what you could truly be!” and if there is one Singer, Rapper,Songwriter and Def Jam Signee who took those lyrics to heart, it certainly has to be Ricky Tyler.

Hailing all the way from Johannesburg, he has slowly been able to capture society’s attention with his sensational music. With his debut album “Small World“, he has solidified his position in the SA RnB space, one that many don’t tread in.

With the many accomplishments he has had from being on the Coming 2 America Soundtrack, reaching the final stages of Afropunks “Battle of the bands”, signing to Universal Music Group/Def Jam Africa and many others, it was a must to find out what truly makes Ricky Tyler, the shining star that he is.

You were featured on Tiny Desk Concert’s “Coming to America 2” soundtrack, how did it feel being apart of it?

Tiny Desk has been a platform that I’ve dreamt of being on, for the longest time and also something that has been on my bucket list. So when I got the call and that moment happened it felt like the universe conspired to deliver me my manifestation and now I know that anything is possible.

Please do explain, how you were able to be apart of the soundtrack for “Coming to America 2”?

When Def Jam was compiling the “Rhythms of Zamunda” soundtrack the goal was to create a Pan African sound, that best represented this kind of film and showcased to rest of Africa new and emerging artists from across the continent. I was fortunate enough to tick all those boxes and I feel like my music has an international appeal, so I’d like to believe they picked my song “Everything” because they felt it best represents that.

You are in a genre that is starting to slowly be revived in SA, which is RnB. Were you not a bit afraid that your RnB music would not be well received in SA?

Yeah definitely abit afraid that the market wouldn’t be fully receptive to it but that’s also a blessing in itself because it creates a gap that needs to be filled and I wanted to be one of the pioneers of Rnb and bring it to the forefront of the SA music culture.

How have your loved ones felt about your achievements thus far?

To be quite honest sometimes it feels like they’re more excited about it than I am, but it’s the most beautiful feeling in the world that I’m becoming someone they can proud of and look up to.

Aside from being on the Coming to America 2 soundtrack and being apart of the Def Jam Africa Record Label,what do you feel has been a great achievement for you?

Apart from the things you’ve mentioned, honestly the greatest achievement for me so far has been living up to everything I promised my mum I would. God rest her soul!

Touching on Def Jam Africa, how did you eventually get signed to the record label?

When Def Jam Africa was about to get launched in Africa, they were looking for artists that would best represent Africa to the rest of the world and my music was one of the sounds, that they felt would push the envelope and break through on an international scale. 

From your music, give us 3 songs that  are your favourite and why?

Push”, ‘May 15th”, “Small World” (intro) and “High Hopes“. 

These songs are events in my life that were dramatic but ultimately shaped who I am today. When you listen to my music your actually listening to time stamps in my life and the lessons I have learned or mistakes I’ve made and these 4 songs have been the most impactful in my life thus far!

Looking at where you started from and where you are now, what lessons have you learnt so far from your musical journey?

The lessons I’ve learned so far, is that you need to understand the importance of working with other people. Always keep listening, learning and respect the people you work with and most importantly music is not only a passion but also a business.

The industry is a collaborative effort in order to go far, you need to learn to work with other’s whether it be fashion, music, TV etc in order to push your art to the furthest it can go around the globe. 

Who else would you like to collaborate with in future?

Oxlade, Kojo Cue, Tellaman, Shekhinah Blaq Diamond, Black Coffee, Nasty C, A-reece and Sjava to name few. 

What would your advice be to those who wish to follow your footsteps?

Understand that with risk comes reward, so don’t be afraid to bank on yourself and be authentically you. Being authentically you is currency so spend your time wisely and focus your energy on what matters. Also educate yourself on the kind of business you’re in, never stop learning. 

What other exciting projects can we expect from you?

Right now more music videos, more features and the deluxe version of “Small World” is on the way.

If there is one lesson that we can take away from what Ricky Tyler has shown through his journey thus far is believing in your own craft and refining it, at each and every moment that you get. You never know who may be watching or listening to what you have to offer! We are just excited for all that Ricky Tyler will give us in the near future because it definitely does look bright.

To follow Ricky Tyler on all that he does, you can find him on these social media platforms:

Facebook – The Ricky Tyler Show

Instagram – @Rickytylershow

Twitter – @Rickytylershow

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