1. We’re excited to be speaking today with one of the most exciting voices in the recording industry today, Ricky Lake; greetings and salutations, Ricky! Before we dive down the proverbial rabbit hole, how has your New Year been treating you?
Thanks for talking with me! 2022 has been exciting to say the least. Feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things in terms of going outside and socializing again. Been making art with new friends like Ritty, Clear, Jammy, Siri Seiko , Stoni, and more. Plus I’ve played some pretty fun shows like Petty Fest put on by my good friend Taifa Nia. I also recently had a single release show at Eli’s Mile High Club with some of my close friends. Overall it’s been a great year so far.
2. Congratulations are in order for the recent April 8 release of your new single The Answer! What was the genesis of this brilliant tune; how did it come about?
Thank you! The Answer was actually made back in 2019. I was at the Different Fur Studios in San Francisco with a few homies just messing around and drinking some tequila. It was me, Taifa Nia, Nanosaur, Wayne Mills, and our friend Horsepowar. Eventually the tequila was almost gone, and Nanosaur started with a drum progression. Immediately Taifa picked up a guitar and started playing a riff that I really liked. After going outside to smoke the bong, I came back into the studio and Taifa and Nano had recorded some of the song already in terms of the instruments. I sat down and wrote the first verse in minutes. Recorded it in maybe 2 takes and then let Wayne come into the booth cause he said he already had a hook. Once Wayne sang that hook we all knew we had something very special. It immediately resonated with everybody in the room as a pretty new yet reminiscent sound. I wrote the second verse quickly after, and the song was truly born. I think we went to grab another bottle at that point. Once we got back I asked Nano if he’d saved the song yet, and to our surprise and horror he replied no. My reply was immediately, “Save this bitch!”, so he named the song “Savethisbitch”. And that title stuck for years actually. Eventually when we had a chance to sit back down and experience the song in an almost new light, we came to the conclusion that the most driving lyrics in the song were the hook. The essence of searching for an answer, trying to create the perfect atmosphere in which to obtain this said “answer”, and still not getting the result you want- that’s what really stuck with us.
3. The praise from fans and critics alike for The Answer has been nigh unanimous. Have you beensurprised by how well-received the new single has been?
I’m always pleasantly surprised when something I created with my friends is well-received, so when I heard about how people really was feeling “The Answer” I was excited for sure. But also it’s important to note that this was the first time I’ve ever been a part of making a song where we all realized in real time that something special was occurring. I don’t usually dwell too much on trying to predict how people will react to one of my songs, but I think for this track, deep down I just truly didn’t care! Cause me and my homies knew we made something that WE truly loved.
4. Who was your producer on The Answer and what did that collaboration between the two of you in the studio look like?
“The Answer” had a lot of producers to be honest. During the original session we had Taifa Nia and Nanosaur. For that session it was a pretty laid back vibe. In post production we had Lien Do, Tim Vickers, and Patrick Brown to kind of revamp the ideas we had during our original session.
5. The music video for The Answer is a lot of fun and quite captivating! How much of a hand did you have in crafting the music video for the song?
Yeah the video is a whole vibe for sure. I met and talked with Matt Zolly (the director) a few times before we linked for the shoot. Matt had a pretty clear storyboard layout and was super open to any ideas but my team and I really just thought the ideas Matt and his team had were absolutely perfect. The entire video shoot was so much fun, Jessica Drake is incredible, Matt and his team were fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for a better squad!
6. The Answer is the very first single from your forthcoming album entitled Altered. What made The Answer the appropriate song to lead the charge as the debut single versus some of the other tracks off of the album?
I think “The Answer” is just a really good representation of my shift in artistry. My sound will always just be me, but at this specific point in time it feels as if all my assets and resources within my music career have come together to help me build something new to myself and new to everyone else. That’s why I chose it to be the first single off the album.
7. Speaking of Altered, what can you tell us about your new album and what we can expect?
“Altered” will probably surprise some people who’ve been keeping up with my music. It’s most definitely a shift in sonics for my music. Expect much more guitar, a few more band influenced songs, things of that nature. A few features I’m pretty excited about, and of course expect my best friend Taifa Nia to be somehow involved in almost every track!
8. From start to finish, how long has the process been in putting together Altered?
“Altered” has been in the works for quite some time. I make albums in an unusual fashion I feel like, instead of locking myself in the studio for a month to write an album, I tend to just move at my own pace. Fortunately my own pace is one in which I’m making music all the time, creating a lengthy itinerary. All of my music is just me, a facet of my imagination, so when album time comes around, I go through my library of unfinished songs, and draw influence from them. And from there I build an album. I create new songs to accompany old ones, I fix up old songs to accompany new ones, and so on and so forth.
9. How does Altered reflect who you are as an artist?
The album reflects my diversity in taste, how I truly draw inspiration from so many different angles of the art world and everyday life. It reflects my need to not be boxed into one genre or a specific type of artist. It’s me flexing my artistic wings for lack of a better term. I’ve never been so excited to drop a project to be honest.
10. Can fans look forward to catching you on tour in the near future?
I sure hope so! Definitely plan on expanding outside the Bay Area for some shows down in LA and in-between. In terms of a tour, that’s still to be determined!
11. Who are you inspired by musically?
My musical inspirations run far and deep, so I’ll keep it to who I’ve been listening to recently. First off I listen to my friends the most, and that’s who truly inspires me. There’s Asabackwards, Steezus, Tia Nomore, Siri Seiko, Same Girls, TheMobsJedi, Fvbe, Raymos, Stoni, Ritty, 4shley, ggravee, YNB201, Jammy, the list is long and I know I’m forgetting a few. In terms of people who aren’t in my community that I listen to, it’s a shorter list right now. I’ve been super inspired by Dijon, Diana Gordon, and Caroline Polachek. Other than that it’s all just my homies.
12. Are there any artists that you would like to work alongside of in the future?
I would love to work with Dijon or Diana Gordon or Caroline Polachek!
13. How has your stomping grounds of Oakland, California informed you as an artist?
The area I’m really in the most is San Francisco, not Oakland. But the Bay Area overall influences me in major ways. Most notably the community aspect of the bay. It’s so strong here, the support system among artists and creators is heavy. From that community I’m constantly inspired to reach out to new people, new artists, to go outside of my comfort zone to make something truly special and authentic. The Bay is one of the most genuinely authentic places I’ve had the pleasure of existing in.
14. Final – SILLY! – Question: What one item is always in your refrigerator?
Oh great question. Parmesan cheese! I’m truly a pasta lover so having parmesan cheese on deck is a must obviously!