Roland Ricketts is a Microbiologist who was one of the six finalists during last year’s edition of MTN Project Fame Season 6. He absolutely loves music and sees the PF Academy as the best music school in West Africa and so has tried several times to get in. Last year, he made it as far as the opening gala but narrowly missed making it into the Academy. This year he is determined to make it and use the opportunity to improve himself.
By Japhet Alakam
Tell us about life since you left the Project Fame Music Academy?
Life hasn’t been the same, but it has been a whole new experience for me and my music since the conclusion of the last season of the Project Fame West Africa. It’s like “welcome to the real world”, which Project Fame prepared me for. It’s been beautiful all the way, and I give God the glory.
The attention that comes along with the fame is one of the things I have found very interesting so far. People now expect so much from me in anything I do. However, I have remained myself, stayed true to my friends and have surrounded myself with people who would always tell me the truth not minding how I feel about it.
You showed quite evidently, during the academy that you would preferably be doing gospel music after the reality show, have you started working on any song or album?
Gospel means good news, gospel is my style and it suits my voice. In a nutshell, gospel is my life and that’s where I find fulfillment.
My decision to do gospel is driven by a passion to see people all around the world influenced by positive music. It’ll go a long way in making the world a better place for all of us. There is so much negativity around and it’s not helping us, most especially the young ones, myself inclusive. Our kids need to be told the right words, they need to be inspired, taught how to love each other rightly, they need to see the right images on TV. It makes them better leaders of tomorrow.
“Koledaru” and “Happily Ever After” are the two singles I have released. Koledaru is an inspirational song while “Happily Ever After “ is a wedding song. Everyone can expect the album towards the end of the year.
Apart from your singing talent, you are also a music producer; which of these two similar endeavors are you passionate about?
Hmmmm; well I am passionate about both. I sing when I have to and I produce when I have to, but with respect to performances I have found myself singing a lot these days. Funny thing is even when producing, one still has to sing to perhaps direct the artiste or even to get some inspiration as regards the soundtrack and arrangement of a song.
For me they both go hand in hand but I sing most of the time.
Alright, to your family now. We learnt your dad is a pastor – how did you manage his expected dislike for secular reality shows?
My dad and my family members have no issue with reality shows; they would only have an issue with it, if the influence is negative on the society.
In my family, we see the show as a school, an academy, which it really is. Music is an art and art is not one sided. It is beyond religion, culture and lifestyle. It’s actually an expression of all those and more, put together. That’s why we have various genres and various songs for various purposes.
For us, the academy is a school and after school, the graduate chooses what to do with his life. I have chosen gospel, positive music.
Has there been a change in status, economically and socially, for you and your family since you returned from the music academy?
Definitely; the show has added great value to my art. Value here, can mean a lot of things ranging from people, money, to knowledge and more, so I’ll say things are better and as time goes on, I expect more positive developments by God’s grace.
You almost made it into the academy, during the 5th season, but you lost it along the way; many youths would have been discouraged. You still registered for the 6th season and came close to winning the ultimate prize. What inspired that resilience?
It’s about having the passion to fulfill destiny and possessing the required drive to do what it takes in order to be who one wants to be. Anyone who is not ready to pay the price or strive to achieve their dreams should listen to “koledaru” and have a rethink.
God has done his part already; it’s time for us to do ours and He(God) has given us ability to do so.
I’m not where I wanna be yet , but with all I learnt on the show coupled with the experience garnered so far, it’s a matter of my consistency, and I will surely be on my way to the top.