There’s no one else quite like Ricky Rebel in mainstream music. First discovered by Michael Jackson, he aims to be a pioneer for other male peacock artists.
By Keith Hubner
Ricky Rebel was the lead singer of No Authority, a boy band first signed by Jackson to his label with Sony. The group toured Europe twice, and the U.S.A with Destiny’s Child, 98 Degrees and Monica, before leaving Sony and signing to Madonna’s label and opening for Britney Spears.
“Everything was taken care of by the label, management, and the production company,” remembers Ricky. But after it ended, he says he had to re-discover himself and learn how to manufacture his sound on his own.
From the start, he had a vision in his head. He wanted to be the male version of a pop dance diva. He hasn’t strayed from that original vision since.
Today, he writes and produces all his own music, and choreographs his stage shows. Experience him live this week when Ricky Rebel comes to Manhattan for two area shows. He performs The Pyramid (101 Avenue A, NYC) on Friday, April 8, followed by Señor Frog’s Drag Brunch (640 8th Ave., NYC) on Sunday, April 10.
What kind of mark do you hope to make on music?
My ultimate goal is to be the greatest entertainer I can possibly be. At the end of the day, people might remember me more for my stage shows and productions then the actual music and I am okay with that because, to me, the greatest artists are the ones who are larger than their music.
Like David Bowie?
David Bowie pushed a lot of boundaries. He was androgynous at a time when it wasn’t necessarily cool to flirt with androgyny and bisexuality. When he died, it was a dark time for me. I didn’t realize how much he meant to me until he was gone. I feel like my image and my music are a throwback to the fabulous glam days of the ‘70s and ‘80s. I’d like to think that I’m an updated version of that Ziggy time period. My sound is a hybrid between Rock & EDM. I call it Glam Pop.
How have you developed your Glam Pop?
I taught myself using ProTools, synthesizers, drum loops, creating baselines, adding guitar, stacking vocals and writing lyrics on subjects that I feel strongly about.
What kind of subjects, exactly?
My message is to “rebel the darkness and shine your light.” I believe that it’s possible for all of us to overcome our fears by channeling our energies into positive expression. I call this process shining the light. I dance and sing with my heart and soul. I overcome barriers in my own thinking by focusing on what it is that I’m committed to, not on what I fear.
Don’t be afraid of Times Square.
I can’t wait to perform Times Square! I love New York’s energy. It’s a breath of fresh air to me. It’s fast paced and there’s a lot less superficial bullshit. New Yorkers tend to be straight shooters. They also know how to party and let loose on the dance floor! I also love New York drag queens. I met Pearl the last time I was there. I have the biggest crush. I’d say I’m equally attracted to Pearl as a man and a woman.
What do you have in store for your two NYC performances?
We’re going to put on a sexy, fun, entertaining show. Two of them! I’m going to sing my new single, “Boys & Sometimes Girls.”
What is something fans might be surprised to learn about you?
Is it weird that I’m getting into politics in a big way? I admire a few of the politicians running for the presidency that, I feel, are authentically speaking their minds. It takes a lot of courage to run for office. I admire their drive. Campaigning to be the president is similar to campaigning for super stardom. It’s all very theatrical.
Any parting words for your NY fans?
Never forget to “Rebel The Darkness, and Shine Your Light.” I love you New York!
Señor Frogs’ Drag Brunch takes place Sunday, April 10 at Señor Frogs in Times Square. Performances by Ricky Rebel and drag queens Suggah Pie Koko, Epiphany, Bootsie LeFaris and more. $45 includes brunch and unlimited cocktails from 12–4pm. For more info, visit RickyRebelRocks.com.
Last modified: July 27, 2017