by Dom Jones
Ricky McKinney just graduated from Berklee this past Spring, and already he’s touring and releasing music. I caught up with Ricky (known as RickExpress) to talk about life after Berklee, and his new single “Ex-Man.” Read our chat below:
What sound were you going for on your new song “Ex Man?” What inspired it?
Ex Man was written after overhearing a guy tell his ex girlfriend that he was better then her next man. For some reason that line stuck with me and I decided to write a song about it, considering many people could relate to it. I didn’t want to write something sad and weary so decided to keep it groovy and funky.
Did you work with any other Berklee students on the song? What was the creation process?
Well, I wrote everything for the song other than the horn arrangement, which was done by my amazing brother, Nikko Lelasi. It took about 15 minutes to write and about 10 minutes to tweak. When writing, I think about what I want to say – then just say it. When I got with my band, it really locked and I was super stoked about it!
You’ve been on tour over the summer, how has that been?
I have been blessed to tour with my band this summer! The “Bringin’ it Back” tour started in my hometown in North Carolina and has been so much fun ever since. To see hundreds of people enjoying my music and performance has been rewarding and humbling. I’m super dedicated to my vision and can’t go without thanking my parents, siblings, family, and friends for their support. I dedicate each performance to my grandmother who passed away earlier this year. It has been really tough without her, but I definitely feel her love and infectious smile all around me. The next stop is the Salem Jazz Festival August 13! Let’s go!!
Since you’ve just graduated from Berklee, how is life after?
“Life after Berklee” is so bizarre to say. That was my dream school and I love every moment of it. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve just been working on my business. I’ve been booking gigs, working with many artists, songwriting, networking, and more. Being your own boss is a lot of work, but it’s so worth it. There’s a lot more to come, but I can truly say that I understand the saying “hard work pays off.” I realize that I can only get out what I’m willing to put in and with that being said, it’s all or nothing.
Should we look out for a forthcoming album? If so, what/where/when?
I am so excited to release my EP later this year! I haven’t put a date to it yet but we are in the recording stage for it now. It’s gonna feature some amazing talents and I can’t wait for the world to hear it!
We blow the whistle to sound the alarm. There’s a party going on and RickExpress is the host. Ain’t no party like a RickExpress party ’cause a RickExpress party don’t stop!
Alright, Groovers, the wait is over! Watch “Ex-Man” below:
LET RICKEXPRESS KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS!