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Thank You for choosing RPRAI as one of your many e-zines!

You will learn about the Artists of Today and take a journey into their lives. Discover their passion to create and master the Art that matters so much to them while taking a glimpse into SP's world through her mighty pen.

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COVER FEATURES..........................................Home Page

POETRY....................................................................PAGE 2

MUSIC REVIEWS......................................................PAGE 3

WRITER'S CORNER..................................................................PAGE 4

STYLE/FASHION......................................................PAGE 5

CUISINE..................................................................PAGE 6

PHOTOGRAPHY......................................................PAGE 7

STUDIO GALLERY...................................................PAGE 8

PROMOTIONS........................................................PAGE 9



Hello Kool World! This is your Serenada'sPen on the Hottest Set This Side of A-Town presenting you with who could be the next Best Thing coming your way! The trip was so enjoyable the First time that it’s time we take a second trip back across the pond. Yea, we’re going back into UK Territory once more to take a peek into the music world for the Next Best Discovery! Hailing from London is the up and coming Artist, RickStar, attacking the scene to make sure he will be a household name and definitely on American soil. He found me on Facebook and chose me to be a
listening candidate for his Limited Edition EP
Vintage Soul, Modern Mind
Nice old skool cut that will take you down Motown Memory Lane with his soulful rendition. This interaction will surely brighten your mind as we continue our series with our next
"Artist on the Rise". 

Hi Luv, so nice to meet you for the First time! J 
How are you?
I’m great thank you.
I’m enjoying the International Connection I’m receiving with the UK. You all are Fabulous and know what Talent is when you see it! I should move on out there for real lol.

Ok, so tell us how you came up with RICKSTAR as your
Artist name.
Well basically my name is Rickell, I didn’t want to go by my real name as I used it a lot when I was in a boy band, which is why I’ve decided to put a star on the end.
I see! Noticed by your name on your e-mail it was an ‘every-day’ name like mine, well not Serenada’sPen, but ya feel me =P Rick + star have a nice ring to it.

Which part of the UK do you originate?
London Town

Do you currently reside in the UK? If not, where do you live now and for how long have you been there?
I’m originally from London, but moved to New York City, Brooklyn (Uticah) at the age of 1 where I attended school. I was back and forth as a child. Because I have citizenship for both countries I’m still back and forth. So I live between New York (Queens) and London
You’re never too far from home with this advantage. That’s awesome to have dual citizenship. Honestly you’ve been living in the US for most of your childhood and maturing years.
Did you come from musical beginnings or an average upbringing? 
Yes music is something that runs in my family. I’ve always been exposed to the best artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Brandy, Cameo, Prince, MJ, Janet Jackson
Of course I wanted to get inside your world and learn about you and to do that I was checking out your FB Wall. I noticed your “extreme love affair” lol for the one and only Singer Brandy. Her first self-titled debut 1994 Album Brandy still to this day is one of my favorite CDs on rotation in my “dusty” collection lol. My favorite Go-to songs are I WANNA BE DOWN, BEST FRIEND, MOVIN’ ON, SUNNY DAY, & GIVE ME YOU.

 Does the music “gene” flow through the veins of any of your family members?

My mother and father both sing and I’m also related to reggae singers, Mr. Vegas and Leroy Sibles. My mother used to sing in the choir in a church we went to in BK.
We should expect to hear some Reggae influences in a song or two then ;) That’s Kool though.

Does your family agree with your decision towards your career path or do they want you to go a different route? Yes my mother has supported me from day one. She is the whole reason I sing today. She always pushed me to get out into the big world as a performer. As a child she would send me to dance classes, singing lessons, etc. I also attended the Sylvia Young theatre school, where Amy Winehouse attended.

Which Music Artists and type of Music were playing throughout your home as a child?
My mother would play a lot of 60s and 90s music, artists like Brandy, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Faith Evans, Jodeci, Lauryn Hill and a lot of 60’s Artists like Stevie Wonder and The Supremes. Growing up in New York, we were exposed to some of the best Artists. We used to always see people on the streets rapping also.

Your mom has a young spirit! Listening to all those 90’s artists I was jamming to when I was in middle school. I always felt like 96’-97’ were good years musically for me. I discovered music the most during those years. She also has the same taste as my parents. The same sounds they grew up with.
New York is a hub of music exploration just like it is a melting pot—So many different cultural influences and interpretations. It must’ve been so inspiring and exciting growing up being exposed to this every day.
What was your first interaction or experience with music?
My first experience was when my mother used to sing and play music around the house.

What was the first song you ever sang?
The first song I learnt was a song my mother tried to teach me by Monica called Before You Walk Out Of My Life. I was real young and I remember her saying, ‘Rickell, Sing it like this

<3 that song! Just like Brandy’s debut album, Monica’s debut album Miss Thang was on the same amazing scale. It was like they both were rising in the same flourishing light at the same time. Maybe that’s why someone in the industry had the bright idea to bring both of them together for The Boy Is Mine.
My Go-To Songs are LIKE THIS AND LIKE THAT, WHY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, BEFORE YOU WALK OUT OF MY LIFE, NOW I’M GONE, FOREVER ALWAYS. Remember FOR YOU I WILL from the Space Jam movie soundtrack. She sang the mess out of that song, didn’t she? One of the best songs she ever sang in her career in my opinion. It was made for her. For all ya’ll that will be triggered back to the past, the ‘96 movie had Michael Jordan playing basketball against our favorite Looney Toon cartoon characters.

As a child growing up in what ways did you expose your vocals for others to take notice?
I started singing songs at church, and then in school I started featuring on different rappers hooks.
What I like about the cultural diversity in the United Kingdom is how everyone refers to themselves as “British” unlike in America where we have to distinguish ourselves based on our races still. We would be more in harmony if we just left it at only “American” and called it a day.

Can you tell our Readers what your heritage consists of because you are a hottie ;)
Thank you, I am of Jamaican and Panamanian heritage.
Now that’s a hot mix if you ask me Ladies.

If you’re signed to a record label what is it and do you plan on establishing your own in the future?
I’m currently signed to myself, my Label is called Flashtown Records which I have started, no major label is involved as of yet.

I see that you’re a dancer as well as a singer and songwriter. What do you enjoy about dancing and have you danced or choreographed any of your own routines and/or for other major Artists in the UK or US?
When I was younger, I started up my own dance group called Essence that had a lot of success. I now do all the Choreography for my stage shows and for my girl group who do all my dancing and singing called The Rickettes. I have also danced for artists like Tinie Tempah, Inna, Martha from the 60’s Motown group Martha and The Vandellas, and I’ve been an extra for Beyonce’s I am Tour.
Very accomplishing! Now that I know you constructed the actual choreography for your back-up girls I’m impressed. You definitely studied the moves of the time period from which your act is influenced. It’s Good J I must give applause for Martha and The Vandellas! There must’ve been a hook-up somewhere to dance for such an iconic group.

Where does your dance background derive from?
It just came natural I used to always freestyle around the house.

 I’m checking your dance moves in a recent video of yours called HEART STRINGS OCT 24, 2011, would you credit any of your dance moves to the Godfather of Soul, James Brown?
Yes I love James Brown. It would be wrong of me to be doing this sound and not credit him, Also Jackie Wilson and Elvis.

Do you know how to play any instruments? If so, what instruments? I once played the piano.
Yea I tapped on a few keys over a friend’s house I was visiting when I was kid lol for fun, of course. Sometimes I wonder what it would’ve been like to learn how to play. I’m on the computer most of the day and my mind and fingers are in sync with the keyboard haha.

You truly have an act for yourself—complete with
3 sassy women to sing as your back-up girls,
THE RICK’ETTES. You’re taking it back to the days of our Parents and Grandparents. What inspired the creation of their name?
I just wanted to find girls that could be the female version of man. I wanted my music to appeal to everyone so I decided to use them as a way of showing that I cater for all. The name came from Rick which is the short version of my name and Ettes which is a term for women.

How did you find your back-up singers for your group? What did the right female have to embody to meet your standards?
I had auditions around London. What I was looking for were 3 sexy, sassy women who were different and could perform and entertain a crowd.
Hey Fellas! Some Fly Misses for Eye Candy ;)

No matter how Kool and close an Artist is with his/her posse, heads can butt and tension can stir up.
Name a time when you and your camp had a difficult time coming to an agreement.
It’s been things like what single should be released and what the concept should be for my videos. I always know what I want and am very headstrong as I’ve studied all of the successful artists, so when people come and say I think you should do this differently, they have to have a bigger vision than what I have seen in my mind or it won’t work.
This helps for Aspiring Artists to know what it’s like because all we see Rick is the “Glamorous” side of this world. There’s a lot that comes with it to achieve the Beautiful, Exciting side we see as viewers. A lot of Sacrifices. But I’m sure it all weighs out since it’s your passion. I can get burnt out writing so much, but give me a break to re-collect and decompress, then I’m antsy needing to get back to it again. I’m sure you feel that way at times. Can’t be away from the music too long before it draws you back in.

There is a classical, Motown vibe to your sound. What inspires you about this time period with music to re-invent it as your own?
The inspiration came because Motown Music is timeless. You can play a Motown record 50 years from now and it will still be great. Your point is to make music that is unforgettable. This actually answers what your legacy is.

If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
New School Motown

How much creative control do you have over your own music? I have full control

I love the title of your latest album release Vintage Soul, Modern Mind. How did you come up with it and how does it tie into the theme of your album?
I sat down with my team and thought of many things that could represent me and my sound. We came up with Vintage Soul Modern Mind which fit perfectly as I am singing as if I was in the 60’s, over New School twisted beats.

 What topics do you usually cover in your music?
Everything, from Love to real life issues.

Every Creative Individual has a muse or form of inspiration. Which Artists or Public Figures inspire you?
The greats like Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie wonder, Janet Jackson, Brandy

It’s very important to have a solid faith driven foundation in such an industry that can eat you alive. Where do you pull your strength when the going gets tough?
I pray and fast a lot, I talk to God when I’m down, and go to church. And also talk to my Mother in depth.

It’s obvious to the public when an excited, eager, often times unaware or “na├»ve” young Artist enters into the music industry. Parts of who they are eventually become compromised. Have you changed emotionally or physically so far in your journey?
I’ve changed in the sense that I have learnt to have thick skin and not care about what people have to say. I’m stronger and no one can change my mind set.

  Returning back from a comment I made…

There’s one particular Black American female Music Artist that has captured your heart. It’s not hard to tell lol. What is it about this Artist that has you totally enamored?
If you’re talking about Brandy, lol then it’s her unique voice she has a gift from God that nobody can touch. She really does touch my soul when she sings.
If you’re not seeing anyone, I believe she’s not either, a date should be in order lol. Wouldn’t it be crazy if one of your peeps set you up on a blind date with her? I would love to see your reaction lol. Her foundation as a singer comes from her roots of singing in the church choir. The soul pours at church as we know, and I think it helps unleash the raw emotion, even in other forms of singing-Secular music.

There are so many nice photos I’ve seen of you that I just want to do a pictorial spread for a men’s magazine or men’s underwear shoot, like Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein. Do you model or ever considered it?
I have done a bit of modeling nothing major. I have done adverts for games and underground clothing lines.
You will probably have no idea who I’m about to compare your physical look to but I have to go ahead and tell you. You take great shots btw! ;) There was a song, Throw Some D’s that came out in the US in 2006 by the Rap Artist Rich Boy. The photo of your side profile with the shades reminds me of him + another UK Artist/DJ/Singer Craig David. What people have your fans, friends, or family claim you resemble in appearance?
I have heard Rich boy before, I have also heard Qwanell Mosley who was in Day 26 and a UK artist called Chipmunk.

In my Interview with Mr. Alexzander he also mentioned Day26 as inspiration and I did not know who Day26 was until I looked them up recently. It’s actually embarrassing because 1. They’re American 2. Puffy formed the group lol. But I do remember now from the MTV series Making The Band. I also read they had just recently disbanded. They lasted since ’07. Which is pretty good I suppose considering how past Making The Band acts under Bad Boy ended up. You slightly look like Qwanell but I don’t think as much as Rich Boy. You decide Kool World which you think he favors the most ;)

One last add-on I would like to touch on is the transition from your Artist image from 2009-2011. In my opinion it changed dramatically. You have a chiseled “model” image and now it’s more of a thugged-out “bad-boy” tatted look.
What influenced this change?
It’s because I am working on a wide range of new music, so I had to re-invent myself. it’s going to be more of a harder, edgier, grittier sound musically and lyrically? In some aspects it’s your personal way of showing your maturity, growth, and how your experiences molded you into how you see the world and yourself now possiblyI’m just guessing. I felt the same towards Jive Bystorm Singer/Song-writer/Producer Miguel. His image transitioned into a more 80’s The Outsiders bad-boy rendition. But he likes to experiment with fashion and style so I really shouldn’t be surprised. He embodies a lot of what his music sounds like. A throw-back to the music and style that was prominent when we were kids.

Still-shot from video "ADORN" Performed by Singer/Songwriter Miguel

Not too long ago you released     I JUST WANNAa track from your EP and gave a preview of your next release, SO HAPPY. What makes this EP Different from the last one?
The New E.P is gonna be super dope because now it’s a bit of everything. I touch base with a lot of the 90’s sounds now, so on my new ep you will hear 90’s, vintage Hip hop, and 70’s funk.
Now that sounds like a grand party I want to go to! Where are the house parties at??? J This should be an interesting concept blend to create musically. I Love music like this—experimenting. Not to keep mentioning Miguel, but he truly embodies this sense of musical fusion that is new to the game. Most of my Guests have mentioned him one way or another in their responses so he has definitely captured the attention and admiration of more people other than myself.It takes balls and guts to change it up and do your own thing! Commendable

I think it’s so fascinating and compassionate when Music Artists go out and show their support for their fellow Artists in concert etc. Does it feel like a “family” or camaraderie that exists among Music Artists and Musicians?
I feel we have to support each other because this job can either break or make you. So it’s only right we support each other’s movement. Yea it feels like a real community. Everyone seems to know each other rather closely.
In other fields of work people could learn to do the same. I’m telling you one of the most cutthroat industries anyone can work in is Retail. You would never think selling merchandise [clothing and accessories] would create monsters out of people, but you will be surprised. It literally affected my physical health from the stress and I had to get out of there. Actually I feel it was a Godsend that I got out of it when I did.

@LargerThanWords: Be original! Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that's fake?
You post The Best motivational Quotes on your wall. I couldn’t help but to save them because they’re uplifting. In your profession and daily life how do these reminders guide you? They help me to keep the faith and humble myself, I also want to show fans that I am just like them, I have my problems and I am not perfect.
#REALTalk. You’ve just gained more respect from me for saying that. Keep that down-to-earth attitude when you grow and prosper further. A song that is memorable, catchy, true to the Artist and relatable to the audience is important when it’s on the roster or schedule to perform over and over again, especially for a tour.

If there are any songs that stay on your mind because they are the easiest to remember, which ones are they?
Brandy almost doesn't count as I heard this a lot as a child, and Dru Hill Tell me.
O-M-G…I’m gonna start singing in a minute! You just had to mention two of my fav songs, especially Dru Hill. I Looove me some Dru Hill. The first time I saw them perform on tv was a talk show that cancelled many many years ago called Yolanda or The Yolanda Show. They sang, “Tell Me” and had the whole audience like putty and screaming lol. It was very hard not to follow them since they were making hit after hit all the way to the millennium. The next thing I knew I saw the video for IN MY BED and it was all over then…fell. In. Love ! 5 STEPS was my next favorite. Very Soulful, emotional, and full of expression.

I’m not sure if the economy has affected your artistry in the business, but if it has what method do you use to promote and market your brand and music?
I use the web, tumblr, facebook, twitter etc.
Take it from the best. Mr. Washington and Mr. Sway have been in the game for a long time and realized the best way to  make their mark is “to do it themselves” From producing, distributing, marketing, as well as writing and singing.

There’s so much to anticipate when an Artist experiences their very first performance live in front of an audience. Take us into the moment. What was it like when you came out onto the stage for the very first time and what it felt like afterwards?
When I was 15 I had a show where I had to sing, Stevie Wonder Lately. I use to get stage fright. But after being talked to by friends I just thought this is something that I wanna do, so I need to overcome it. After performing I had a lot of great feedback.

Which Artists would you love to collaborate with in the studio, practice, or live in front of an audience?
Brandy, Andre 300, Janelle Monae, Adele, & Frank Ocean.

What is the most recent embarrassing situation you’ve been in on or off-stage?
I once forgot the lyrics to one of my songs.
I imagine that to be one of the biggest fears on an Artist’s mind regardless of how experienced or seasoned they are. I think about that sometimes.

What is it about the music industry that many of us truly do not understand?
That it is a shady industry. People are all for themselves and are fake.

If you can change anything about the way the music industry operates what would you change?
I would change the fact that people get signed based on their looks and not talent.
That’s really crappy! Looks only?!? I would like to be around when that’s going down. Such a shame. There’s so much talent in the world and “looks” are the main focus.

What three things can you not leave home without?
My macbook, my phones, and keys lol
Yea don’t forget the keys! lol

As a kid, what were your childhood hobbies or past times? I used to do Karate believe it or not.
Oh wow, really! Ha..what a coincidence. Guess who else does karate as a hobby? Check out my past Guest Cashklay. You both have something interesting in common J

What was your favorite childhood game?
Kellz, Ricky, Rick, Pretty Ricky, London boy

What is your favorite color? blue

Do you know how to cook? Yes

What is your favorite food? Chinese

If you could visit any country where would you go and why? Egypt as that I’m obsessed with Egyptology.

What was your first job and did you like it?
Working with children, which I loved.
Sweet! See this ladies. He’s great with the kids.

Which job would you least want to work? Why?
Retail as I hate being bossed about, I’m my own boss.
I Second you on this one…

Which do you prefer: Planes, Trains, or Automobiles? Planes
AH-lright! Jeeet Life!

What qualities do you value in a potential mate?
Kindess and truth

Are you single ready to mingle or happily committed?
100 percent single and just wanna concentrate on music for the time. Distractions are something I can’t afford right now.

What is your favorite ride at a fair or amusement park?
What about it make it so thrilling & fun? Rollercoasters. I love the excitement it gives. I love 6 flags. Awesome.
You already know what's up lol.

If you could change anything about your life what would you change and why? Nothing

What sound or noise do you love? The ocean

What sound or noise do you despise? Screaming

You’re at the local market reading the ingredients on the back of a box when you look up and see The President of the United States standing right next to you looking at the products on display. What would you say to him if you had this random encounter?
I would praise him and tell him we have the same
 bday which is August the 4th

OMG! Wooow! I Looove this coincidence J I’m sure you both would strike up a conversation quick just from this similarity.

What does the general public get right about your personality?
I don’t feel they know me yet, they still have to get to know me.

Is there anything about you that tends to be misunderstood? That I am a sweet boy. I have a bit of thug in me too lol.

 Ok, hence the new look you’re rocking now. Sounds like an alter-ego coming out :P

One long day of performing is over and you strain your vocals. You think it’s just an over-used strain but it turns out to be much worse. You go to sleep and wake up the next day. “G’Morning! Time to rise and shine!” You try to speak but no sound comes out. In a panic your crew calls for an emergency visit to the doctor. You go to the doctor and the outcome is grim…you can no longer sing because you officially lost your voice. There’s a possibility it may return but who knows when. It can be a day, couple of weeks, a year, or never. You are now faced with the harsh reality that you have to find another path to lead your life. What is your plan of action in a worst case scenario such as this? Go back to dancing or become an actor.

Name something that you absolutely must do on your bucket list? Write great music everyday

What drives you to continue pushing forward with your endeavors?
My passion

Are you doing your absolute best or do you know you can do better?
I’m doing all I can but there is always room for improvement.

What advice would you give aspiring Artists who need an extra nudge to keep going?
Stay focused and true to yourself.  Never let anybody tell you, you can’t be what you dream.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far in your life?
To not trust so easily.
Hi-5* Amen brotha! I’m trying to do better in that arena for myself.

What motto or quote helps you through all circumstances.

When all is said and done what do you want the world to Remember about RICKSTAR when your time on earth comes to an end?
I want the world to remember me as being one of the best performers in history. I wanna leave an impact on people and a strong legacy

How can all your fans and newbies reading about you for the first time keep up with the Latest and Greatest?
They can go to my website or follow me on twitter which is @rickstaronline

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