Ricky Rebel is described as a sort of Adam Lambert/Lady Gaga hybrid, but in spite of his young age, he's been in the industry longer than both of them. I first encountered Ricky when he was in the boy band No Authority (pictured in underwear), a group signed to Madonna's Maverick (RIP!) and mentored by Michael Jackson.
I would've done anything for NA (and gave them crazy amounts of coverage) if only because their manager had once been in an episode of The Golden Girls, but I also really liked the boys themselves.
Ricky was a stand-out in the teen pop scene, a true showman, so it was not surprising to me 10 years later when he re-emerged as a solo artist with a major dance hit (“Geisha Dance”) and a thoughtfully crafted, musically sound point of view.
Now, Ricky is releasing The Blue Album, filled with adventurous dance music that isn't a guilty pleasure but an unqualified pleasure. He is a visual artist who does not overly rely on his admittedly fun razzle and on-stage dazzle, but one whose music you could enjoy with your eyes closed.
I was happy to chat with Ricky all these years after we crossed paths at the teen magazine I ran; I've always wanted to do follow-up interviews with the kids I worked with, so getting to debrief one who's gone on to bigger and better things was a real pleasure...