Los Angeles is a city known for its glitz and glamour, a hub to artist who are looking for that big break. Aricka J is amongst the hopefuls, a star whose authentic and unpretentious style shows a future bright with cheer. This young singer/songwriter gave me (on behalf of Blogcritics) an all access pass into her life. We also discussed her debut album Welcome to My World in this exclusive interview.
What is it about music? What’s the driving force that keeps you going?
I consider music to be a universal language. To me, it’s the only art form on earth that everyone has in common. Who doesn’t like to music? People may listen to and view different styles of music, but music is music. It connects all shades and colors of life. It’s a beautiful thing.
What keeps me going is my love for music. Music is my life’s passion. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to learn, be involved or surrounded by music. No matter what mood I am in, I can always find a song to match my emotions and or help me cope with a situation. So I guess it can also be a form of therapy in a way. Music is so inspiring to me on every level in every way.
Your album is said to “drop” soon, so I have to know which songs were the easiest to record or put together?
For me, the easiest songs to write are the ones I am writing as I am experiencing a particular situation. When in that moment, I could write five songs about the same topic in different ways. The lyrics just flow.
I wrote my first single, “Good Girl Gone Bad” in 15 minutes before heading out to the studio to record it. We created the beat the night before not knowing specifically what the song was going to be about. When I went to bed that night, the beat was fresh in my head. Immediately when I woke up, the lyrics just came to me and I grabbed a small note pad and started writing the words down. I headed out to the studio with about five to six pages of the note pads and recorded the song that day.
You’ve been chasing this dream since you were a child. How does it feel knowing your debut album, Welcome to My World, will soon be in the marketplace?
It’s exciting! As an independent artist I was forced to learn the business side of the music industry on my own and that was and still is its own fulltime task so my project means so much more knowing all the hard work I have put in for this to happen aside from the creative process. Although overwhelming at times, learning the business has been positive and very helpful to me.
I enjoy being a businesswoman and calling the shots. I have creative control over my music, my image, and my sound; basically the freedom to be myself which most new artists signed to labels do not have. I know what I want and through my determination and hard work, I’m bringing it to fruition and I’m excited, happy and grateful for that.
I have to ask this since we’re on the topic: If I were to give you a canvas to paint on, what picture would your music force out of you?
A bunch of colors showcasing all the emotions, struggles, and barriers I had to overcome to get to this stage…the laughter, joy, frustration, fun, exhaustion, happiness, stress, and plenty more. This journey has been a roller coaster ride.
Often times, when I interview musicians, I find there are stories encoded within the song lyrics. If the same is true here, briefly share some of those stories.
Absolutely! “Good Girl Gone Bad” is a song I am sure everyone can relate to.
The song is about being around someone in a friendly or intimate way and whenever that person is around you, you lose control, you do things you ordinarily would never do but when in the presence of this one person you are willing and able to experience things outside your comfort zone. It’s fun, exciting and motivating in a sense to step outside the box but you know end of the day it’s not who you are.
“Suga Daddy,” my next single to be released is about being pursued by someone who chooses to invest in gifts versus time. And the song is saying, “Hey, that doesn’t work for me.” The lyrics are: “You can be my suga daddy, but my love is for free/All these gifts that you give to me boy/Appreciated but understand/Spending money won’t get you my love/I’m not for sale, you can’t just buy my love.”
For me, of course gifts are nice, but not in replacement of personal quality time. Showering me with gifts, especially someone who is financially capable of doing so, it doesn’t mean as much or hold much value in replacement of personal time or versus someone who has to work and save to purchase that one special item for me.
Out all the artists you familiarize yourself with (Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey), who has had the most impact on you as a person?
It would be difficult to chose only one because they all inspire me equally but in so many different ways so I’ll just pick a name and tell you how that particular artist inspires me.
Let’s go with…Celine Dion. I was introduced to Celine’s music through my mom playing her CDs in the house when I was a little girl. When I heard her voice, I was in awe and immediately took an interest and would watch her videos, concerts, and interviews on TV. I love her image! It doesn’t scream, “look at me,” it’s “hear me” and I admire that. She works very hard and is disciplined in her craft. And in her interviews, she seems real, sincere and relatable and she maintains and keeps her private life to herself and I respect that.
Have you given thought to a tour?
Absolutely! Touring has always been something I have envisioned. As a little girl as I would stand in front of my bedroom mirror using my hair brush as a mic imagining I’m on stage with my stuffed animals as my audience. A world tour would be a dream come true.
Aspirations for the future?
To continue to remain positive and happy pursuing the things I love in life. I’m always striving to be a better me, to grow as a musician, and challenge myself to new heights and go as far as I can. And I hope as I continue to grow my fans will grow with me. [END]
And so we find ourselves here again, gazing upon an emerging star. The difference between this moment and last is but slight. Potential has a credible stake, so do yourself a service and track Aricka J who brims with confidence at every turn.