If you’re a lover of culture and enjoy the sound and style of a crooner, let me introduce you to Ric Hassani. He is a singer and songwriter that has made a splash into this world we called music. Known to his fans and soon the world, The African Gentleman has definitely embarked on a journey filled with sensational ballads to infectious dance songs. Coming off of two great years of growth and success both in his music and fashion, Ric Hassani has stopped by QG to tell us more about himself and what makes him more than just a man with a dream.
Who is Ric Hassani?
I am a Nigerian Born Singer and Songwriter. My style of music is Pop but I like to call it ‘Pop-African’ because there’s always a little African influence in all of my music. I also am a huge fashion enthusiast and I like to create different looks most times for the different songs I put out for photoshoots and events.
What helped you cultivate your sound and your sense of style?
Other people’s work to be honest. I’m a creative but I’m really a huge fan of anything and anyone creative. I look through internet sites like Instagram and Facebook. I see all these different fashion looks, music and sounds. Not only does it really inspire me but it also helps in contributing to my ideas and perspective. When I listen to Sam Smith, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran, I want to make music as great as theirs. But in a way that’s an interpretation of the same pop sound that’s influenced by my own culture and environment, which will be unique to me. Same thing with my fashion, when I see Tom Ford or David Beckham in suits or tuxedos, I want to dress that smart but the roots of the fashion derive from an African perspective.
Since debuting your music, how would you describe your progression within the music industry?
It’s been a great journey so far. I’ve still got more to learn and experience as I go, but it has been really great. 2016 really opened a lot of doors not only for my music but my brand as a whole. Things really picked up speed all of a sudden in the second half of last year, I’m really, really grateful for that.
You can tell you love your culture through your music. Tell us when you first fell in love with music?
I joined the choir when I was seven. I grew up in an Anglican church and the choir was very ceremonial and respected and still is. I sang soprano and was the youngest kid. That’s when it really started. Then I started writing songs and then I was a huge TV addict! Still am! I loved the TV. I’d watch music videos from Michael Jackson and Missy Elliot to TV shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-air. TV made me fall in love with music. Back then, to me, being a musician or being on TV was like the coolest thing. It was like you’re a superhero. Somehow you get to sing and wear clothes that most people wouldn’t wear on a normal day. Growing up, I just said to myself, “I gotta do that” and I’ve been pushing toward doing it ever since.
If you weren’t doing music and fashion, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a brand consultant or something like that. Like luxury marketing or product specification for a company. I’m really into stuff like that. Or I’d be a teacher, I’d like to teach. Both my parents are teachers in the local University, and I once took a part time teaching Job, I really liked it.
Name 3 people who have influenced your sound and how?
Sam smith, Ed Sheeran and Boys II Men. I really like Sam’s raw emotion in his music. You can just feel it from his voice somehow. I feel like that’s amazing how he does that. Ed Sheeran’s writing is amazing. His lyrics and composition in his songs are just really great and really inspires and influences mine. Boys II Men are such legends to me. I grew up listening to them. Their voices and harmonies are brilliant and they inspire me a lot.
How does an African Gentleman conduct himself?
Haha, strong and fearless yet subtle. Very confident but in a charming way …… and cunningly sexy.
What can we expect from you in 2017?
An album, more music, more video and more fashion.