Ricky Blaze

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Ricky Blaze
Ricardo "Ricky Blaze" Johnson Jr.jpg
Background information
Birth name Ricardo Lloyd Johnson Jr.
Also known as Ricky Blaze
Born (1988-08-03) August 3, 1988 (age 30)
Brooklyn, New York, New York, US
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active 2008–Present
Labels
Associated acts
Website mynameisrickyblaze.com
fmerecordings.com

Ricardo Lloyd Johnson Jr. (born August 3, 1988), also known as Ricky Blaze,[1] is an American DJ, producer, singer, and songwriter.[2] He has done production work in the dancehall music space and the trancehall subgenre. He has produced and collaborated with Shaggy and Sean Paul, and has also worked with Vybz Kartel, Jim Jones, Maino, Kardinal Offishall, Jasmine Sullivan, Nicki Minaj, and Santigold.

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in the East Flatbush[3] section of New York City’s, Borough of Brooklyn to Jamaican parents. He attended Humanities Preparatory Academy in New York City. His introduction to music came at the age of 10 when he grew fascinated with the discipline of DJing after watching a neighbor who held the profession of a DJ.[3] This eventually lead to opportunities for Ricky to provide support and assistance to the neighborhood DJs by keeping the party going when they needed to step away, ultimately leading him to become a full-on DJ and promoter/organizer of parties and events by the age of 15.[3]

While DJing, Ricky’s interest in music production and songwriting began to develop, pushing him to develop his skills in this area. At the age of 17, Ricky officially made the transition from DJing to music production, singing, and songwriting.[3]

He credits Reggae and R&B pioneers Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh, and Gloria Gaynor for his early musical influence.

Music career[edit]

2006-2010[edit]

Ricky achieved debut success as a music producer following his collaboration with Dancehall artist, Ding-Dong, on a song entitled, “Bad Man Forward, Bad Man Pull Up.”[4]

In 2008, Ricky Blaze began work on his solo debut project which would produce the single, “Cut Dem Off.” It would be on-air New York radio DJ personality and Hip Hop Pioneer, Mister Cee, that would be the first to play the single, ultimately leading to the song's success and Ricky’s status as a capable songwriter and producer and creator of the Trancehall genre.[5]

In 2009 Ricky worked with, Chelley – producing and co-writing the dance-pop song, “Took the Night.”[6] During this year Ricky would also find success with Major Lazer on their album release “Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do,” co-producing, writing, and vocalizing on a song entitled, "Keep It Goin’ Louder" featuring twin sister Billboard R&B duo, Nina Sky.[7]

In 2010, Ricky Blaze collaborated with Dancehall artist, Gyptian to create, "Hold You."[8] This release achieved certified gold status by RIAA. During this year he also worked with R&B songstress, Jazmine Sullivan, contributing to the “Luv Back” song off of her 2010 full-length studio project entitled, “Love Me Back (album).”

2011-Present[edit]

In 2011, Ricky Blaze released a 6-song EP entitled, “My Name is Ricky Blaze.” “Just You And I,” served as the project’s lead single release. The project also included songs featuring Harlem rapper, producer, and Dipset Founder, Jim Jones, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada rapper and producer, Kardinal Offishall.

In 2012, Ricky worked with Atlantic Records recording artist, singer, songwriter and producer, Santigold. The collaboration produced a song entitled, “Disparate Youth” and would serve as the lead single off of Santigold’s 2012 album entitled, “Master of My Make-Believe.” The song would peak at #9 on Billboard's, “Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles” chart.[9]

In 2013, Ricky worked with Vybz Kartel to produce “Touch Ah Button;” a song off of the Kartel’s 2013 release, “Kartel Forever: Trilogy.”[10] This year he would also release, “The Maestro;” a 15 track LP that featured New York rappers, Jim Jones, Maino, and Talib Kweli. Additionally this year, he would be featured on Jim Jones’, “We Got It” off of the E.P., “We Own The Night” and also contribute to Grammy Award winning Dancehall artist Sean Paul’s full length album release, “Full Frequency,” on the song entitled, “It’s Your Life.”[11]

In 2015 he would earn production credits on Kranium’s full length project entitled, “Rumors.”

In January 2016, under his label/production company, FME Recordings, Ricky released a compilation album entitled, “Conquer The Moment.”[12] The release provided 12 tracks that were rich with the Dancehall and Reggae sound and included features with Grammy Award winning reggae artist - Shaggy, Kranium, Gyptian, Black Ryno, Tifa, Mr. Easy, and a host of others. The lead single off the project entitled, “Apart,” [featured R&B/soul newcomer and FME artist, Alexus Rose][13] gained popularity in London and France leading to a recording contract with historic Reggae record label, Island Records.[14]

The FME Artist roster currently consists of Ricky Blaze, Chelley, Alexus Rose, Ding Dong (reggae musician), Kranium, Mr. Easy, and Cecile.

Ricky Blaze is currently at work on, “Conquer The Moment 2.” The lead single off of the upcoming project is entitled, “Like This,” and features Sean Paul. The song has been mentioned by music media outlets Mass Appeal[15] and Audiomack.[16]

Over the years, The Fader Magazine[17] has covered Ricky Blaze's career in several editorials.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

  • My Name is Ricky Blaze - EP (2010)
  • The Maestro (2013)
  • Conquer the Moment (2016)
  • X-Rated (2018)

Single release collaborations[edit]

Year Artist Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUT BEL
(FL)
BEL (WA) CAN FRA JPN UK US US
Alt.
US R&B
2010 Gyptian "Hold You" 31 69 45 16 77 31
  • US: Gold
  • UK: Gold
Hold You
2012 Santigold "Disparate Youth" 70 38 36 104 94 96 109 27 Master of My Make-Believe

Full length album collaborations[edit]

Year Artist Album Peak chart positions
US Billboard 200[18] US Top Electronic Albums[18] US Top Heatseekers[18]
2009 Major Lazer Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do 169 7 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography: Ricky Blaze". Dancehall Hip Hop. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Jefferies, David. "Production Credit: Ricky Blaze artist biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Shapiro, Emily. "The LargeUp Interview: A Q+A with Ricky Blaze". Largeup.com. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Stats, Eddie. "LargeUp Exclusive: Ricky Blaze – "Lightaz" + Interview". Okay Player. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  5. ^ McDonnell, John. "Scene and heard-Trancehall". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Brungardt, Leah. "An Interview With Reggae, Dance and Pop Musician/Producer, RICKY BLAZE!". All Access Music Group. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Kelly, Zach. "Major Lazer "Keep It Goin' Louder ft. Nina Sky and Ricky Blaze"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Dreisinger, Baz. "Gyptian "Hold You"(VP)". Spin.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Santigold Discography - Alternative Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Jenkins, Craig. "Say Goodbye to Summer with Dancehall Maestro Ricky Blaze's Sunny "Pull It" Video". Noisey.vice.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Jefferies, David. "Sean Paul-Full Frequency". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Brooklyn's Ricky Blaze Steps Up To The Front With New Mixtape". AllHipHop. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  13. ^ Breezy, Elle. "Producer Ricky Blaze Enlists Alexus Rose For Fun Dancehall Track, 'Apart'". SingersRoom. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Consulting, MPR. "Ricky Blaze Inks Deal with Island Records UK". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Kenner, Rob. "Sean Paul "Like This" (PROD. RICKY BLAZE)". MassAppeal. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Ricky Blaze feat. Sean Paul". Audiomack. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  17. ^ Houghton, Eddie "Stats". "Production Credit:FADER 53: Ricky Blaze Feature". The Fader. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.