By Keith Sharp
The raging pandemic that has affected the entire global music industry has forced virtually every musician to adapt accordingly. In the case of White Rock B.C native Richard Tichelman it has simply meant recording and releasing a series of singles which have attracted over 560 thousand youtube followers to his initial three singles; “Proud”, “The One” and “Hands”
Working towards the release of a debut album in early 2022, Richard, as he prefers to be known, has totally embraced the idea of social media as a launching pad for his music, a medium that helped him win this year’s Canadian Music Week Jim Beam Virtual Musical Talent Contest.
“When my team, which includes his manager Tracey Singer (K Music Management), discussed our options, we decided to enter the contest, so I took my band into the Armoury Studios in Vancouver and we taped the best live performance we could possibly make and obviously the CMW people liked it,” Richard noted. “As a result, we have an invite to perform live at next year’s Jim Beam Indie Concert and I have some prize money to spend at Long and McQuade. The people I have talked to at CMW have been very supportive and they have said they are looking forward to me playing in Toronto next year.”
Richard’s contemporary material fits in with the likes of Shawn Mendes, Scott Hellman, Johnny Orlando, and yes, Justin Bieber and he acknowledges that there is a current Canadian trend towards male pop stars but he hasn’t set out to purposely emulate them. “Yes, people have made comparisons to Shawn Mendes, and I find that flattering but that hasn’t been intentional on my part. I am just trying to record the best songs possible.”
Richard grew up listening to classic rock bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin but also claims to have been influenced by classical music. However, the end result of his three singles so far definitely fits in with most modern music formats. “I still love going to record shops and thumbing through vinyl albums but the music scene has changed so rapidly, even over the past 30 years so the onus is on us to adapt and that’s been a great challenge.”
Richard notes that while the pandemic has put pay to any touring opportunities (and his former band members have all drifted off to secure day jobs), he is looking forward to promoting his upcoming album in the new year.
“Everything is still on hold but my team and I are planning to go out live and promote the new record,” enthused Richard. “Right now I am still working on my songwriting and production technique and trying to improve my skills.”