Youth Day: 5 minutes with musician Ricky Tyler

By Alyssia Birjalal 

 Jun 16, 2020

Ricky Tyler has often been referred to as South Africa’s very own Sam Smith with lyrics that are just as smooth as his voice. 

A Def Jam Records Africa signee, with tracks like, “May 15th” and “Substance” coming of his latest album, “Small World”, this hitmaker (26) is just getting started and the sky is his limit.  

“My music career has been quite a journey, I moved from working on my own material to getting involved with Independent label, PlayGround Productions, before I was noticed by international record label Def Jam Recordings. Felt great to have my talent recognized at such a global level,” said Tyler, whose real name is Bokamoso Molema.  

Tyler finds inspiration from Donald Glover aka “Childish Gambino” because of how well he delivers his art. 

“He’s a triple threat, he sings, he raps and he acts well, which is exactly the lane I’d like to fit it in to,” he said. 

While Tyler was able to make a break in the music industry he says there are still challenges that hold a lot of young artists back. 

“Challenges that still face the industry are a lack of access to knowledge on how to move about in the industry and how to properly structure a single or album release to get maximum exposure. It’s also difficult getting radio play, not knowing how to properly pitch to playlists on streaming platforms and getting your royalties can also be a struggle when you don’t have the right publisher,” he said.

Offering advice to upcoming artists, Tyler said education is key. 

“Artist’s need to educate themselves about the music industry, release content that is always true to you and don’t compromise your artistry just to sell some songs. Use the internet as much as you can, practice patience and persistence. 

“Always make sure you have a solid marketing plan before releasing content to ensure that none of your music is wasted and you make the desired impact,” he said. 

Saying grounded and focused is also a big part of the process. 

“I try not to get caught up in the glitz and glam of the industry. I also have a great support structure around me, from my team to my family and a couple solid friendships. I also do my level best not to entertain anything that might shift my character or skew my focus,” he said.

What does Youth Day mean to him? 

“Youth Day to me is a reminder that as the youth we are just as powerful as the people in charge and as the youth we should always use our voices as a tool to speak up on injustices because we can be the catalyst to instigate the change we need, after all we are fighting for the world we will eventually live in,” he said.  

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