Masterful and vibrantly fluid on keys, his voice blends unique textures and a stratum of harmonic ability into contemporary R&B. V. Rich is an artist of innate musicality equipped with an arsenal of skills as a singer/songwriter,...
BIOGRAPHY: V. RICH
Masterful and vibrantly fluid on keys, his voice blends unique textures and a stratum of harmonic ability into contemporary R&B. V. Rich is an artist of innate musicality equipped with an arsenal of skills as a singer/songwriter, musician, arranger and producer. With sultriness reminiscent of Maxwell and musicianship influenced by the likes of Prince and Stevie, his solo EP project, “V.Rich - Songs from the album ‘Addicted’” meshes Neo-soul, R& B, and hip-hop energy with panache so irresistible, so catchy, it's hard to know exactly what rhythm grabs your attention first. Born Vincent Richardson in a small Michigan town, V. Rich spent his childhood in New Haven, Connecticut where he learned the power of music and its ability to connect to the hearts and minds of its listeners. Growing up the son of a preacher, in a family of singers, musicians, and music lovers, the young V. Rich was exposed to a vast array of musical genres and quickly became fascinated by the greats: Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Oscar Peterson and the classical giants: Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven. By thirteen, he had not only begun to explore his gift of transforming simple melodies into lyrical treasures, he had also learned to convert his passion and innate love for the piano into a means of artistic communication. He recalls, "The piano was one of my best friends. If I were angry I would play the piano. If I were sad, I would play the piano. When I needed to relax, I would play; it became an outlet for me." With a firm but loving push from his parents, V. Rich, took every opportunity to showcase his talents. From church to school, local events to local malls, he eventually gained his first major musical performance with the legendary Pavarotti, in the celebrated opera Tosca. By the age of 14, shortly after moving to Washington DC, V. Rich studied under the world-renowned classical pianist, Dr. Raymond Jackson. Under his tutelage V. Rich would become a prized classical pianist, earning a full scholarship into the prestigious musical program at Carnegie Mellon University. He would go on to graduate Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Howard University. His fervor for music deepened in the eclectic musical hub that is Washington DC; known then as “Keys”, he founded a critically acclaimed hip-hop band Lauda and began playing keyboards and singing backup for major R&B recording artist, Amel Larrieux. The exposure gave V. Rich greater desires to one day perform at the front of the stage. But he continued to add depth to his catalog and in 2005 he scored scenes in the BET made for TV movie "Multitude of Mercies". He began to gain momentum in the music industry and began working with a number of local and national artists including Navasha of the underground giant "Fertile Ground", Grammy - nominated performers Wayna and Raheem DeVaughn, and Grammy award winners Mya and Lauryn Hill. The culmination of this diverse and eclectic musical journey is highlighted in his first self-contained solo project, "V.Rich - Songs from the album ‘Addicted’". On the edge of freshly defined tracks with the lyrical swagger of a virtuoso, this tunesmith and accomplished producer bares his seasoned soul. The beauty is not only in each chord and its progression but also in V.Rich’s ability to write, produce, arrange, record, and mix most of this EP at his own studio, Vibrato Studios. His energy and silvery polished quality demands attention in songs like, "Lovely" and "Spontaneous". “Addicted” bleeds prowess and vulnerability; a euphonious blend of his rich and soulful artistry layered over infectious tones. His first single, “Bachelor” demands attention from radio. And “C.R.A.Z.Y Girl” Is sure to make some noise as he describes a possessive girl who through it all, still loves! Whether through live acoustic sets, or with his five-piece band V. Rich clearly is poised to make his mark as more than just the ordinary performer. Falsetto or richly in perfect key, his innate ability to perform is manifested through his showmanship, and charisma, and forges him out of the shadows. "Addicted" is aptly named, the kind of album you play from beginning to end, dynamic in range and listenability. It will leave you hooked, wanting to hear it again and again.
V.Rich has worked with and/or shared the staged with artists including: Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Lauryn Hill, Amel Larrieux, Mya, Will Downing, Melanie Fiona, Raheem DeVaughn, Laura Izibor, Anthony David, Howard Hewitt, Goapele, Res, Martin Luther, Melba Moore, Eric Roberson, Tony Terry and Chuck Brown to name a few. V.Rich also co-wrote Jay Hayden’s single “No Where”, which is currently in radio rotation and has already hit the Billboards charts at #98.
Special Guest at Karakter by The Daily Herald This Friday, Karakter's house artist Connis Vanterpool is organizing a very special get together with some great jazz players: V. Rich, Sprocka and Connis are playing together during Karakter's...
Bounce-Worthy: V.Rich by Soul Bounce.com Living in the Washington, D.C. area, if I want to discover new artists, then I don't have to go very far. There is a wealth of talent to be had in the DMV, and as much as I would love to keep it...
Special Guest at Karakter by The Daily Herald This Friday, Karakter's house artist Connis Vanterpool is organizing a very special get together with some great jazz players: V. Rich, Sprocka and Connis are playing together during Karakter's Friday night event called Tapas, Cocktails and Jazz.
Connis doesn't need much explanation anymore, since he performed several times at Karakter and is known all over the island as one of the island's best sax players. Main guest during this Friday jazz night is V. Rich. The talented artist will show his vocal talents while playing keyboard at Karakter.
V. Rich is an artist of innate musicality equipped with an arsenal of skills as a singer, songwriter, musician, arranger and producer. With sultriness reminiscent of Maxwell and musicianship influenced by the likes of Prince and Stevie, his solo EP project, "V. Rich - Songs from the album Addicted" meshes Neo-soul, R& B, and hip-hop energy with panache so irresistible, so catchy, it's hard to know exactly what rhythm grabs your attention first.
With roots stemming from Anguilla and St. Maarten, V. Rich, (Vincent Richardson) was born in a small Michigan town. He spent his childhood in New Haven, Connecticut, where he learned the power of music and its ability to connect to the hearts and minds of its listeners. Growing up the son of a preacher, in a family of singers, musicians and music lovers, the young V. Rich was exposed to a vast array of musical genres.
His fervour for music deepened in the eclectic musical hub that is Washington DC, known then as "Keys." He founded a critically acclaimed hip-hop band Lauda and began playing keyboards and singing backup for major R&B recording artist Amel Larrieux. He began to gain momentum in the music industry and began working with a number of local and national artists including Navasha of the underground giant "Fertile Ground," Grammy nominated performers Wayna and Raheem De Vaughn, and Grammy award winners Mya and Lauryn Hill.
V. Rich's single "Bachelor" is currently in rotation on TEMPO in the Caribbean and throughout Europe. He has also already worked with and/or shared the staged with artists including Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Amel Larrieux, Melanie Fiona, Raheem De Vaughn, Will Downing, Laura Izibor, Anthony David, Howard Hewitt, Goapele, Res, Martin Luther, Melba Moore and Chuck Brown. And last but not least, Sprocka is coming over from Anguilla to join this exceptional trio. Sprocka is a guitarist and a born entertainer. He creates a unique atmosphere on his own.
Besides the music, Karakter is serving a delicious selection of healthy and fresh Spanish tapas, right on the beach. Experience the light of torches and candles, feel the breeze from the sea, enjoy the smile of the waitress, smell the fresh mint of a mojito, enjoy delicious tapas right on the beach and listen to a unique jazz band!!
Every Friday there is live jazz from 6:00 to 9:00pm. So don't wait too long, come right after work and enjoy!! Karakter is located at Simpson Bay Beach. For more info, check www.karakterbeach.com
Bounce-Worthy: V.Rich by Soul Bounce.com Living in the Washington, D.C. area, if I want to discover new artists, then I don't have to go very far. There is a wealth of talent to be had in the DMV, and as much as I would love to keep it all to myself like a secret, I fully believe that sharing is caring and that's what we do around these parts. Vincent Richardson aka V.Rich is an artist who I've been looking forward to featuring here on SoulBounce since hearing him open for Bilal late last year. The Howard University graduate is one of those multi-hyphenate cats. He's a singer, songwriter, producer, classically-trained pianist, guitarist and he can sing his face off, boasting an incredible range. I've heard him in concert a few times now, and his live performance of original material from his debut EP Songs From the Album "Addicted" or out-of-the-box covers of Coldplay and John Mayer, will make you a believer on the spot. V.Rich has performed extensively on the East Coast and has been getting a lot of hometown love opening up for acts like the aforementioned Mr. Oliver, Goapele and Laura Izibor, amongst others. Until you get the opportunity to experience V.Rich live for yourself, check out the bold track "Bachelor" from his EP below and peep his soulful take on Mayer's "Gravity" at a recent show after the bounce.
V.Rich and His Musical Genius by V. RICH AND HIS MUSCIAL GENIUS
Posted by Rafa on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Chanel Laren sits down with the creative force of V. Rich. Hailing originally from Michigan, V. Rich moved to the D.C. area when he was just 14 years old. Combining his natural talent for the piano and love of classical music, V. Rich began to carefully mold together the uniqueness of D.C.’s diverse musical scene with the lyrical smoothness of a classical pianist. A maestro in his own right, V. Rich has worked with some nationally acclaimed heavyweights like Wayna, Raheem De Vaughn, Mya and Lauryn Hill. (Side note: the brotha confided that he’d love to tour with D’angelo…let’s make that happen DMV!) Part of his genius lies in his ability to not only sing, but to produce, write, compose and mix many of his own songs. Gotta stand up and give credit where credit is definitely due.
To get in touch with V.Rich, visit his official website at www.vrichmusic.com!! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Mysapce…all that! A special shout out to the Gypsy Soul fam for hooking us up with the interview; check out their soul revival at www.gypsysoul.info. Respect the movement!
Chanel Laren: When did you fall in love with music?
V. Rich: I started singing in church and I started playing the piano at [age] five. I had to play; it was like a requirement. I have three brothers and we had to play the piano until we got to a certain age or until we got to a certain level. Once I got to a certain level, I didn’t feel any need to stop.
CL: Did you go to a performing arts school?
VR: For middle school I did. Then to Carnegie Mellon for undergrad and then I transferred to Howard University and got my degree in music there.
CL: Did you use Howard to propel your career?
VR: Howard prepared me for my career. I’m proud Howard alum. I think a lot of us don’t take advantage of the all the resources that we have in college and when I look back now, I’m like, I could’ve done more. The people and staff that I met there, I still talk to them and use them for inspiration. Howard is still a big part of who I am today.
CL: You’ve worked with Raheem De Vaughn Mya, Wayna and Amel Larrieux. Who did you have the most fun with and why?
VR: I’ve enjoyed working with everybody, but I really enjoyed working with Amel Larrieux. I sang background for her and played the keys early in my career. That was the first time I performed on a big stage and in front of thousands of people. She really inspired me to want to be in the front of the stage.
CL: Did she give you any advice?
VR: [To] keep on doing it. To hear her say my songs are getting better, is amazing because she’s seen my growth. Even now when I see her, it’s great to hear her singing my songs. She actually knows the words to my songs. It’s crazy!
CL: Who were your musical inspirations as a youngster?
VR: Bob Marley, Nina Simone, classical greats Chopin and Beethoven, Debbie Sea, Oscar Peterson. It’s really a mixture of people. I listened to a lot of different genres of music as a child. I listened to more classical music growing up.
CL: What other instruments do you play?
VR: Guitar, bass, clarinet.
CL: Since you play instruments, are you anal during the recording process?
VR: Very, but the people that I do collaborate with, I do trust their skills. I give them my ideas and I know that they’ll take them and make them better. They know the sound that I’m asking them for and they give me their best.
CL: During your writing process, are you pulling from stories you’ve heard or from your own experiences?
VR: It’s both. You write from your experiences, whether it’s directly or indirectly. Sometimes you pull feelings from somewhere else and mix them with another feeling.
CL: So your song “Crazy Girl”, is that personal or you borrowed that situation to make the song?
VR: It’s definitely a V.Rich experience. There are a lot of other people that have experienced the same thing. It’s personal but I did grab some inspiration from some friends as well.
CL: Have you completed your album yet?
VR: My EP is finished and my LP is almost completed.
CL: Who is V.Rich? What sets you apart from the Tanks, Donell Jones, or the Marques Houstons?
VR: My classical approach to R&B is what makes me different from the rest. I mix classical music into my music and that sets me apart from your typical R&B.
CL: What’s the most surprising thing about being an artist?
VR: The best part of it is that you’re doing something you love. You’re making money doing something you absolutely love and most people don’t get that opportunity. I’m blessed every day. The most shocking is that it’ tiring. You hear people say you won’t have enough time for yourself and your personal life is going to suffer a bit and you go “yea yea yea”. But when you’re living that… it’s real! At 2 am I maybe in the studio or doing business. It’s 24/7.
CL: How does DC’s sound compare to the other U.S. major cities? Are the independent artists supportive of each other?
VR: I think DC is getting better with that. It’s a tough industry; it’s not like Atlanta where people really pull together. I think DC is starting to get to the point where they are collaborating more. All of the people that I know from DC, we all push one another. Sometimes you get that one artist like “where did he come from?” But with Raheem, Wale and Tabi Booney I think they are setting a trend for others artists to come together in the city.
CL: Who are you listening to right now?
VR: I’m listening to local DC artists Levi Stephens, Jay Hayden; I wrote a song called “Nowhere” with him (they play it on 96.3 WHUR, 93.9 and Michael Baisden has played it a couple times). As far as mainstream artists, Norah Jones’ first album is in my car right now.
V.Rich "Good Enough To Get Addicted To" by Capitol Noise Linger around the music industry long enough, and one starts to take terms such as triple threat, multi-talented, and entrepreneur for granted. These labels become clichés used in countless media kits for the most colorless artists. That is why it’s so refreshing when one actually unearths a musician whose talent and credentials embody the validity of those once cliché claims.
Since a young age V. Rich has been honing his musicianship.
“I started singing at church at 3. I started playing the Piano at 5, in my family we had to play the piano.”
Although he was not overjoyed when he first began learning the instrument that he’d come to have so much success with, it eventually grew on him.
“We had to either get to a certain level or get to a certain age to be able to quit. By the time I got to that level I didn’t feel like I needed to quit so I just kept playing.”
His talents did not go unnoticed as he was able to parlay his abilities into an opportunity to share the stage with a true industry heavyweight, Pavarotti in the opera, “Tosca.”
“That was a great experience. I was young. I was probably maybe nine or ten. My music teacher in elementary school encouraged me to audition.
I was singing with other good singers. I didn’t really know who Pavarotti was. There was one moment when we were in rehearsal and I knew his lines and all his songs and basically I was singing with him and he grabbed me and said, ‘You have to let me sing it or people are going to think it’s you singing!’”
Eventually his love of music and hard work on the piano earned V. Rich a full scholarship to the musical program at Carnegie Mellon University. He ultimately graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in Piano Performance.
After years in the background; writing, producing and performing with countless artists and legends like Amel Larrieux, Lauryn Hill, Raheem Devaughn, and Mya among many others he found the draw to sing harder and harder to resist.
“Everything you do in the industry is a learning experience.
I just decided to become an artist. I was always producing and writing, for years that’s what I did, and I had a lot of songs that I’ve written to shop to other people. After a while people would say ‘Why don’t you just do it yourself?’
After a while I just started thinking about it and eventually the bug hit me.”
Of course he is no stranger to the local music scene as he was part of the native U St. movement with his hip-hop band Louda earlier in his career, and with the release of his EP ‘Addicted’ it’s safe to say that he’ll be around for a long time to come.
The EP is jam-packed with quality production and true to life topics that everyone can relate to. Undoubtedly V. Rich’s smooth vocals will appeal to the fairer gender, but the EP’s content coming from very personal and heartfelt songs such as ‘Addicted’ and ‘C.R.A.Z.Y Girl’ demand attention from all. His first single ‘Bachelor’ and the upcoming ‘Lovely’ have great potential mass appeal, ‘Lovely’ is a must have for any self-respecting Don Juan to keep in their arsenal, while ‘Bachelor’ serves as a high-energy ode to the lifestyle.
Surely with the release of the “Addicted” EP, V. Rich is on his way to bigger and better things, but the best part is that it only showed us a glimpse of what this talented musician is capable of.
“A lot of the songs that will be on my EP, I just wrote… it wasn’t necessarily for me.
I was more so just writing as a songwriter.
My LP is going to be catered towards stuff that’s just for me.”
Believe it or not he still has a few tricks up his sleeve, as he flexes his entrepreneurial muscle in preparation for the future.
“I have a record label now. A big goal of mine is becoming a major record label in the D.C. area.”
This is definitely a man who has a lot to be excited about, and so do we.
V.Rich and his Soulful Ambitions by Washington Post (Moira E. McLaughlin) Classically trained pianist V. Rich wants to start a movement.
With the release of his first solo EP, he hopes to be "the flagship artist" who builds a solid soul-music fan base here in Washington.
It's ambitious," Rich says. "But I've always been ambitious, and I've always met those goals.
The son of a Michigan preacher, Vincent Richardson grew up listening to classical music. At 13, his family moved to Maryland, where he attended Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Beltsville and Laurel High School. Piano lessons in the Richardson house were mandatory for him and his three brothers, but it was Rich who earned a full music scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University.
Rich soon realized, however, that the life of a classical pianist entailed long hours alone, holed up in a practice room. He transferred to Howard University to start a band with his brother. "D.C. had much more music around and different genres and more musicians I had access to," he says. The band, Lauda, played for about four years.
We were doing really well. We worked with the U Street scene: Raheem DeVaughn, Navasha Daya from Fertile Ground, Deborah Bond, K'Alyn, Wayna, W. Ellington Felton," Rich says. "We were all just in that U Street movement back then. It was a little bit before U Street turned around. We were through that transition.
After graduating cum laude from Howard with a degree in piano performance, Rich wanted to write and produce songs. He had been singing on and off in choirs since he was 3 years old but never considered himself a singer. "I always wanted to be a behind-the-scenes person," he says. When he was about 10, singing in a boys choir in a production of "Tosca" at Connecticut's Shubert Theater, Luciano Pavarotti himself reprimanded Rich for his backup vocals.
I knew all of [Pavarotti's] parts," Rich recalls. "So I was singing along with him." The late great singer was not impressed, according to Rich, and told him: "You can't sing with me. People are going to think it's you singing.
But with sweet, soulful pipes that hint of Michael Jackson, Rich was destined to sing out. His EP is a showcase of sultry songs highlighting thick and tight vocal harmonies, surprising piano accompaniment that speaks to his years of music theory and harshly honest lyrics. The complete album, "Addicted," is scheduled to be released by the end of the year and will include collaborations with Big Pooh of Little Brother and Eric Roberson.
My music, it's a great blend between R&B, soul, hip-hop and classical music," Rich says. "It has a small piece of each of those elements. It basically makes a new sound within soul music.
With his own production company and record label and private lessons here and there, Rich is a full-time musician. He has worked with Washington R&B artist Mya and recently opened for En Vogue at the Birchmere. He has a distribution deal in the works as well as a collaborative album with D.C. musicians set for release later this year.
And he's pounding the pavement to build that movement.
If you put your mind to it and you're constantly working hard -- I mean nothing's put in your lap -- but if you're constantly working hard to accomplish your goals, then it will happen," he says.
These days, every now and then, Rich is recognized on the street. That, he says, "is kind of confirmation that you're doing what you're setting out to do.
V.Rich Can't Be Stopped by SoulTrain.com (Terry Bello) It is very possible that V .Rich is one of the most talented artists of the decade and as more people see his live shows and hear his music, more people are believing that claim. A classically-trained pianist, V .Rich has wowed audiences with his ability to play piano, sing, write and arrange music. In a short time he has become one of the biggest names on the D.C. music scene and his recognition as an independent artist is growing everyday.
His LP is slated to drop at the end of this year and will include features such as Eric Roberson and Big Pooh of Little Brother. V .Rich has already worked with or shared the stage with the likes of Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Lauryn Hill, Amel Larrieux, Mya, Will Downing, Melanie Fiona, Raheem DeVaughn, Laura Izibor, Anthony David, Howard Hewitt, Goapele, Res, Martin Luther, Melba Moore, Tony Terry and Chuck Brown to name a few. His solo EP project, V .Rich – Songs from the album ‘Addicted’ is currently on iTunes and many other online outlets. V .Rich’s new music video for “Bachelor” was released this month and is currently playing on MTV Tempo, airing in the Caribbean, U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, and many other countries.
Buy V .Rich Music on iTunes
Born Vincent Richardson in a small Michigan town, V .Rich spent his childhood in New Haven, Connecticut where he learned the power of music and its ability to connect to the hearts and minds of its listeners. Growing up the son of a preacher, in a family of singers, musicians, and music lovers, the young V .Rich was exposed to a vast array of musical genres and quickly became fascinated by the greats. He counts Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Oscar Peterson, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven as some of his biggest influencers.
He recalls, “The piano was one of my best friends. If I were angry I would play the piano. If I were sad, I would play the piano. When I needed to relax, I would play; it became an outlet for me.”
Whether through live acoustic sets, or with his five-piece band, V .Rich clearly is poised to make his mark as more than just the ordinary performer.