Ricta is a Coventry based artist who has been shotting his CDs world wide and now has made his Rictape mixtape available for free download. Check out what he had to say about his career to date and his plans for the coming year when he spoke to our new correspondent Rebecca.
Hello Ricta, Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, for those who don’t know you could you introduce yourself please.
Ricta: No worries, Yeah for those who don’t know my names is Ricta representing Addictive Diction, straight out of Coventry bringing you that raw hip hop!
You have been involved and interested in music since you were at young age what influenced you?
Ricta: Definitely, I remember as a little kid I was a big fan of Michael Jackson, I would always listen to the music my mum was playing in the car when driving between here and Brum which was anything from James Brown to Phil Collins so they were definitely some of my very first tastes of music.
You use to be a DJ so what made you want to move into MC'ing?
Ricta: Of course, you see when I was a DJ I was already practising rapping at home but was always kind of too shy to let it be known to people for some reason, the whole time I was DJ'ing I always knew in the back of my head I wanted to be an MC and then one day I just said you know what, this is what I really wanna do and I’m going to let that be known but DJ'ing definitely taught me a lot about hip hop. Much respect to all the real DJ's out there.
When you were DJ'ing were there any in particular MC's that influenced you, and wanted you to get out there?
Ricta: Being a DJ allows you to connect to music in a really personal way sometimes more so than just listening to it you know, there were loads of massive influences: Rakim, Common, Jemini, Large Pro, OC, Jeru, KRS, the list goes on, rapping just seemed to appeal to me more personally I mean you can say whatever you want in hip hop the MC is the guy people look up to, the person who delivers the message and rocks the crowd that what I wanted to be able to do.
Most successful UK rappers seem to be based in London, how difficult is it not being in London to get involved in the scene?
Ricta: I often ask myself this same question but it if you flip the questions then you could ask are certain rappers only successful because there from London? I think that’s disrespectful to the artist and the work they've put in, I definitely think there’s a bigger Hip Hop fan-base in London than there is here but that’s just from my experience, I’m trying to look at the bigger picture at the same time there’s a massive market for UK hip hop throughout Europe and also in Australia that many artists forget about, European hip hop is beautiful to me I love working with artist from France, Germany etc.
What companies and publications are there in the Midlands that support upcoming artists?
Ricta: To be honest my initial reaction was to say none! The local radio stations here have let us on before to promote gigs and stuff, but that’s kind of where it begins and ends, I think right now were very much in an independent era of musical DIY which can be a good thing and a bad thing, but shout out to Mista Montana at Conspiracy Radio (www.conspiracyuk.com) he’s definitely doing his part to support up and coming artists on his radio show.
You have previously mentioned the radio stations however, how did you mange to get your mix tape in 2007 distributed worldwide?
Ricta: I didn't go to a distributor or anything like that because to be honest I didn’t expect the mix tape to get a very good response, I was just selling the CD's off my website and Myspace page and at gigs, in the street, anyway I could. It was very surprising when cats in Brooklyn were buying a mix tape from a not so well-known MC in the UK!
That must have pushed you to up your game?
Ricta: Definitely, I never think you should stop trying to up your game because that’s when you become complacent which only leads to failure. I really appreciate all the love I get and it definitely pushes me to work harder, I don’t wanna disappoint people who have believed in me from the start you know but at the same time there’s a lot of people out there who are gonna try to bring you down and a lot of people get jealous.
The Big News of your Rictape being available for free download, what feedback and support have you got so far?
Ricta: The feedback and support has been really good and I’m really happy with how many people have copped it and being bumping it. It’s definitely been a much bigger response since the last mix tape so I must have been doing something right, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who did cop it, everyone who’s been showing love and if you ain’t got it yet then get it now!
Are their any guest appearances on the mix tape? Also have received any help with the production?
Ricta: Yep you can expect to hear cuts from Jabba Tha Kut, beats from DJ OP1, DJ Kutclass and many more, there’s also three bonus tracks on there which include collaborations with a number of artists from 'Influential Entertainment' and of course my man Idyllic from Addictive Diction. Big up Blade for the help with the cover haha!
If we want to see you perform live how would we hear about it? And where would we go see you?
Ricta: All my gig dates are always posted up on the myspace (www.myspace.com/rictaofficial) so that’s the best option, we've got a few shows coming up soon but I've been pretty on the mix tape to look into many bookings, but that'll be all changing over the coming months so look out for Ricta in a Hip Hop spot near you!
Finally, is their any more plans for 2008?
Ricta: Hell yeah! A lot more! The year has only just begun, look out for the 'Addictive Diction' EP dropping later this year with some big names, also you'll be getting another free mix tape or two out of me by the end of this year as well so keep an eye out and keep supporting that real hip hop!
Thank you once again for talking to Britishhiphop, and good luck in the future.
Ricta: Anytime, peace crew.
By: Rebecca Lindsay