Last February I stumbled upon a project that seems to bridge the gap between indie music, rap music and hip hop. The project; Live Epic. The artist; Rickie Jacobs. The album expressed just that. I immediately reached out to him for an interview and the rest is history. Almost a year later, Rickie has been through the trials and tribulations of the music industry, but don't write him off just because you haven't heard of him. His new album Remember To Smile will smack you across the face if your not careful. I suggest you don't be careful and embrace this project Remember To Smile with open arms. After that you will willingly want to turn back time to listen to Mr Jacobs previous work. I now invite you to read the exclusive interview i had with Rickie Jacobs about his forthcoming album Remember To Smile.
I have been following your work since day 1. We interviewed this time last year. Your progress is inspiring and you’re a prime example that hard work and determination will get you where you’re trying to go. What have you learned about yourself in the past year?
That I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, getting your music posted on blogs can boost your self esteem but then you have to take your music and share it outside that realm and sometimes you may find yourself in situations that can humble you. Believe me I’ve experienced a lot these past couple years and those situations made me realize I had a lot of work to do and there’s room for improvment.
The name of the new project is Remember To Smile. When did you begin work on this album? Were there any hardships during the process of recording, writing, beat selection?
Well for me, like every human being, I’ve had my ups and downs, lossed my mother, going from house to house after, like the way I’ve dealt with these things showed me who I was as a man. Then to have my son, with no job no money, I just instantly became a stronger person because at the end of the day none of that stuff even matters, and that’s what the title represents. No matter what’s going on in your life you have to remember a lot of people lost theirs and you can’t take things for granted, you know? Appreciate the things that bring joy to you and your love ones. It’s a powerful message that will stick to you every single time you listen to it.
This is the most time I’ve ever invested into one project and that’s what makes it stand out from the rest of my work. The way it sounds now is completely different from how it sounded in it’s beginning stages. The most frustrating thing is not getting that sound you imagined of producing, I have a team of producers, Eu-IV, Drugs Cinema, who are based in Baltimore and YOG$, who is based in Michigan, those are my guys and they literally set the tone for the album sonically.
What type of sound/production were you looking for to power Remember To Smile?
To be honest, I wasn’t looking for a particular style sonically, I never try to limit myself to a certain sound because then it’ll just sound like one long song.
I have to say the most epic and my personal favorite project of yours, also the way I discovered you, was via the album Live Epic released back in May 2012. What has changed from that project and this new album Remember To Smile?
Direction, for example… Live Epic is a good project but to me it just sounds like I’m lost and my GPS died on me and I just took the wrong turn, after another hahaha. Remember To Smile I knew exactly where I wanted to take it and I did.
You just released the first single and visual for Guy Code. Why did you decide to choose this record for a single and visual?
Guy Code is very relative in life, not to everyone but you get it. It’s a conversation record, the lyrics aren’t friendly to the ear but visually it’s easier to watch. It’s groovy and grimey. man that shit is hip hop!!!
Has your taste in music changed at all?
I won’t say my taste has changed, but I understand music a lot more so I’m always incorporating different things and I’ve gotten better at knowing what gels with what. I think that can be a problem because no one really studies the music they love/make they just go off of hearing first hand but there’s so many elements to a great record.
You’re headed down to Austin, Texas for SXSW very soon. Is this your first time involved in a showcase at this festival? If so, do you have any expectations?
I’ve done a showcase in 2012, I’m going back to enjoy the festivities. You never know though… Still early to determine what Ima do.
Do you consider yourself a so-called shoe freak/sneakerhead? What is your relationship with the shoe brand Reebok?
Man, I don’t know when that term started but I’ll say this, I like what I like… I guess I’m not a sneakerhead because I don’t cop shoes just to have them, I get what I like and I have a very basic style when it comes to sneakers. Shout out to Reebok, they believe in the moves so they support.
LOL fair enough. Well what is your opinion of the current state of hip hop and the music industry?
It’s going great to me, much love to all the sites that support me and gave me their platform to be heard.
Top 3 most recent albums that you’re playing in heavy rotation?
Lately, I’ve been in the zone… All things “Remember To Smile.”
YESSS. Excellent answer!
Last Question; So when times get tough in your music career and life, how do you overcome the hardships?
I learned a lot by studying the greats in this game, and I was taught what makes you strong is how you handle challenges. Nothing can possibly deter me away from doing what I’ve set myself to do…. This was my dream since I was 14.
And there you have it. Rickie Jacobs isn't just another name in the game. Listen to #REMEMBERTOSMILE over and over and over and over...