Described as “one of music’s most wide-ranging, genre-busting artists” by People.com, Ricky Duran is an irrefutable talent and electrifying entertainer making music for the soul. Duran garnered international attention with his soulful vocals, fiery guitar playing and compelling performances on NBC’s The Voice. The Season 17 Runner-Up has since released a #1 iTunes-charting single and sold out shows, showing himself to be more than a fleeting show success – he retained fans and amassed more. His vulnerable songwriting and ability to capture an audience on and off stage transcends trends, while his musical abilities and influences from Jimi Hendrix to John Mayer and Leon Bridges shows his music knows no bounds – he is timeless and a genuine creative that no label can penetrate.
1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?
Ricky Duran [RD]: I think the one thing that sets me apart from other musicians is that my music doesn’t really fall under any one category for genre. I like to write music based on emotion I am feeling at that moment – sometimes it comes out bluesy with an R&B ton, it can come out as a pop song, and sometimes certain songs can be considered country. That is what I love about the art…. I am able to create new music that is authentic to me and I think that people can vibe with that.
1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?
RD: If I were to really dig deep, I would have to say that my father helped to shape my music. He taught me how to play the guitar, piano, and taught me to sing. He also introduced me to some of my biggest influencers, such as Stevie Ray Vahn, BB King, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. My parents worked hard to make my dream a reality and kept me in music classes. They supported me through enrolling me in Berklee summer courses before I was ever in college and supported me with my decision to go to Berklee College of Music. I wouldn’t be here without them. My family and close group of friends continue to support me in my journey now. The people who have really helped to make my dream a reality are my devoted fans. They motivate me to continue to create new music and allow me to continue my craft as a career.
1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?
RD: I always kind of knew I was going to be creating music as a profession
since I first started playing the guitar when I was 6 years old.
I never really had any other dream or focus. Berklee College of Music was the only school I had applied to and thankfully got into it with a scholarship. I truly believe that music runs in my blood and I was destined for this.
1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?
RD: I listen to a wide range of music from R&B, Rock, Blues to Country and Pop.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
RD: This is a tough one for me to answer because there are so many talented musicians who just don’t have the opportunity to be heard on a large scale, so they don’t make it to the next level. There are many artists who I personally know that I feel if given the opportunity to be heard large scale would resonate with people.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?: The day of a performance, I always like to get a workout in to help get focused and clear my head. Usually a run. Right before a performance, I like to be alone and really just get out of my head and in the zone. Meditation is something that helps me before a large show.
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
RD: I love staying active – working out at the gym, running, hiking (if I get the time). I enjoy skateboarding and really like being close to the water whether it be a lake or the ocean. I really enjoy being able to spend time with my family and my friends in my spare time as well.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
RD: [Success is…] Feeling fulfilled and being happy with who you are and where you are at in life.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
RD: Music is a business.. and a tough one to crack. Because I enjoy creating music so much, it is hard for me to market myself and the business side of things can sometimes feel foreign to me. If you are truly looking to become a professional musician, make sure that you have some sort of business background or team up with someone who can help you on the business side of music to get your music heard. Every small step forward is a HUGE success in this industry. Don’t forget to take a step back and celebrate those wins… but always stay focused and get back to the grind.
1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?
RD: Yes! I have my first album releasing on February 1st 2022 since my time on the Voice in 2019.
It has taken me a long time to get here, but we have finally made it! I am always working on the next project, so I do have other things in the works now that will be coming out in the future, btu that is something I can let you all in on when the time comes.
1 In Music: Where do we find you music and projects?
RD: You can find me on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and on social media @RickyDuran or @iamRickyDuran.