2AM Ricky – Whatchu On (Ft. CeCe Peniston) [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

I would describe my sound as refreshing, soulful, and euphoric, bringing listens back to the 90s style vibe.

Tell us a few things about your new song “Whatchu On”. What is the main idea behind it?

“Whatchu On” is my single off of my upcoming album “Carolina Boy”. It features the legendary voice of CeCe Peniston and is a song of self-motivation and empowerment that also meshes LGBTQ/Ballroom culture and hip-hop.

What is the story behind your name?

The name 2AM Ricky has multiple meanings. For one, I am a transgender male, and earlier in my transition, I wanted to ensure that listeners focused more on my music than my gender, so I chose a name that was very neutral. 2am, (or late at night), also is a time and space where creativity flows, reality turns into late night thoughts, and fears get lost into dreams; its a place of vulnerability, and I allow listeners to join me in that space and lose ourselves in the music together.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

I think that hip-hop culture in general has become so evolved that there is no true “underground hip-hop sound” anymore. Artists are more diverse and it’s no longer just boom bap and trap.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip-Hop to me symbolizes unity and power through freedom of expression. It’s a wave of Black pride that shifts the American and World culture on a daily. From vernacular, to fashion, hip-hop runs the world and through our music, we’re able to not only express ourselves but empower generations.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

Honestly, listeners are able to enjoy my music in any state of mind but specifically, those who may be smokers, enjoy night rides, or may just need an extra boost in the morning or through a workout each may find something in my discography that caters to them.

What would you say is your biggest vice?

My biggest vice is constantly feeling like I need to prove myself, I’m an overachiever. I’m so accustomed to being viewed as an underdog, especially in hip-hop due to it being a heterosexual male dominated industry. Many judge or discredit me due to my gender identity and that in return makes me want to go 10 times harder. In every success, I’m constantly focusing on what I can do next and sometimes that can be a downfall, because although success comes, sometimes you forget to stop and enjoy smelling the flowers.

Thank you!

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