Ricky Walsh, known more popularly as Ric Da Vinci, was born on October 30, 1995 in the suburbs of Philadelphia. From an early age, music played a major role is his life. His father, Rich Walsh, played guitar and was
Da Vinci's first mentor in music. Ric Da Vinci mastered guitar, drums, and is currently attempting to master the piano. However, rap was not in Ric's playlist until his middle school years. His first role model in rap was his next-door neighbor, Gladly Mistaken, who gave Da Vinci his first opportunity to rap on a microphone.
The first song Da Vinci out into the public realm would come to be his most embarrassing moment of his life at that time, for it was terribly received as a parody and he was labeled as a wannabe rapper. That didn't stop Ric though, for he decided to keep writing, but in the form of poetry. He compiled over 1000 poems by the time he finished high school.
Da Vinci attended Drexel University in the fall of 2014 and was immediately inspired by his roommates and their affinity for hip hop culture and rap music. Da Vinci began to study the game heavily, and resumed his rap career. He had significantly improved his writing abilities and delivery. By the time his freshman year had terminated, he had written his 2000th song, which would lead to his first mixtape, which was recorded in Boston, MA at Bristol Studios in the Berklee College of Music.
When Da Vinci moved back to Philadelphia, he had a steady following in the Drexel campus. His close friend and roommate, Mike Dicioccio, was the main producer on the Vision To Vendetta album, marking Da Vinci's first full-length project of his career. Ric and Mike continued to release several singles until Ric transferred to HeatFactory Studios, where he released his second album, "The Code." Most recently, his hit singles "Drifting", "Leave Me Be", and "Vendetta" have accumulated a total of over 168,000 plays on SoundCloud. These three singles will be featured on his upcoming third project, "Vision To Vendetta 2".
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
My original affinity for music stemmed from alternative and classic rock. I picked up the guitar and drums as a kid and loved classic bands such as the Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and such. But, over the years, heading into high school, I began to listen more to raw Hip-hop and the culture surrounding it. I loved the poetic side of the game, and admired lyricists such as Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye, Biggie, Tupac, and Wu-Tang. Then, I started to research a lot more about the current status of hip-hop, and found that the poetry I had been writing as a side-hobby thus whole time could be used to pen verses and record some serious songs for an audience of youth that needs a voice. Today, when you hear my music, you will mainly hear rap influence, however, I want to incorporate live instrumentation to my songs and concerts, to bring it back to the roots of where Ric Da Vinci's musical pallet stems from!
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
Ric Da Vinci. What should jump out at you is Leonardo Da Vinci. What some may know about Leo was that he was a Renaissance artist, and maybe that he was an engineer responsible for some of the most important innovations if his time, but they may not know about his last and how as a child, he was cast away by his own family because he was not choosing a career path that they wanted. But he kept at his dream, and now is revered by generations. I felt I had a similar story. My family so so accepting of my music and of me as a person, and I love them for that. But, I feel like I have always been the outcast with the crazy ideas, and people aren't as attracted to being friends with that person at a younger age. So, being the rapper from my hometown was not an easy route to take. So, flash forward to 2016. I was going by the name "Visionary" and we had just figured out about Logic's music group, known as Visionary music group, so I wanted to pick a new name. After explaining all of this about Leo Da Vinci to my roommate, we both uttered the words "Ric Da Vinci?" To each other, and we immediately knew.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
Logic has been the biggest influence. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. When I was making my first mixtape "Vision To Vendetta" I was in a dark place. I was making great music, but I was depressed, because I was questioning if any of this music was worth it, especially while in college. Then I would watch Logic's daily vlogs and he would show his daily struggles before he was famous and I would gain comfortability and confidence from that.
John Bellion is another artist that did the vlogs and it gave me confidence to make beats because of that.
Eminem was someone who I looked to for a grammar lesson on how to twist words and learn new words and similes.
Vince staples, Tyler the creator, earl sweatshirt, j Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Kid Cudi all inspired me on a sonic level. I learned flows and rhythms from them, as well as certain musical accompaniments.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I have 2 mixtapes and an album written and ready to record! I am honestly just going to keep a continuous flow of content coming when I am finished building my home studio. I am about to graduate from college, and am excited for my future endeavors in music. I have prided myself on doing everything solo; however I would love to work with my inspirations. My ultimate collaboration would be to go bar-for-bar with logic on a song, and perform it live at Madison Square Garden. This is my goal and it will happen.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
I want to give the youth a voice to not let their education get in the way of their learning. I want to use rap as a medium to channel messages that will change the world. I have gigantic plans in all areas of music. Become an XXL freshman. Get signed. Go on a national tour. Go on a world tour. Have a song go platinum. Be on the radio so millions can hear my message. Start my own label. Put new artists on the spotlight. Do tons of interviews. Become a renowned writer and producer. Give my family the support they need to live out their dreams. Give the kids a voice.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
I have yet to perform, despite a few offers, just because I have too many ideas that I want to record first. But, I love rapping the verses off of my latest single "Vendetta" to people that love my music. Any time people ask me to spit a verse, I start with that one. Then I always love rapping my old song "Memory" and showing that to people.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus far?
Knowing the right people. My music is good; I have all the confidence in the world in that. I can rap with the best. However, I need proper exposure, promotion, and networking, and eventually the right person to invest in my message. But that takes time and sacrifice that I am excited to work on!!
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
Honestly it changes a lot. I start with a. Feeling. A theme. Then I find the right instrumental to go along with it. Then the words usually start to pour out and a story develops. But sometimes, I will just have a bpm in my head and write a cappella in my head and onto my phone. I have written over 2,000 songs stemming from those two writing approaches.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
It has turned my career for the better. Connecting with artists, fans, producers, labels, and D's on Twitter, soundcloud, Instagram, and Facebook has allowed my brand to grow immensely. I definitely recommend any artist to build their socials early on!
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I love logic, Kendrick and J Cole with what they have done this past year. Also, Tyler the creator, Vince staples, Eminem, and a few others.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I was just your average kid, mixed up in sports and academics! I always had (and still love) art, either drawing or painting. Basketball was my main focus in high school. Academically, I love the sciences and incorporate some biological themes into my writing, as I am studying Biology in college currently.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Continuity and make sure you are willing to put in the work. I write about 3 to 4 verses a day. Some of them are garbage, but most of them I use and a few will never be recorded. But I use it as practice. You have to be willing to not sleep or settle for a while. Put in the work, and you will know if you are meant to be an artist.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I would definitely push the value of lyricism, but obviously respect all forms of music. I would create two platforms: one will discuss and aid in changing education and the other will aid and discuss depression awareness. I don't necessarily want to change music because that will evolve regardless of what I do. I want to change the world and especially raise a properly educated and bright-spirited youth. They have always been my goals. If I can also bless the music industry as well, then I am happy to do so! I also want to put new artists that share my same interest into the spotlight and build a community of writers with purpose.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
Everything is art, whether it's an original idea or a modification. We won't advance as a society unless we build off of prior innovative failures and successes. In music, samples and flows are taken and used all the time. But I believe that a remix of a song is just as artistic as the original because it is someone else's view and inspiration.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
I have two mixtape and an album written. I have a movie idea. I have my next 10 years already planned out. I can't wait to make an impact on generations to come, and I thank you all for this interview. To the readers, thank you for your time and for believing in my message. To my family, I love you and thanks for believing in me from the beginning. To my girlfriend, I love you and you have always supported me through thick and thin. To my childhood friends, thank you for being a constant pillar to stabilize me throughout my life. To my roommates, you guys have showed me what true work ethic can do to a person's life, and I think you for that. Finally, to my fans, you guys are the reason I do this. Saving lives through my pen and paper is truly humbling and I will continue to do this to help millions. Thanks again to everyone who was a pwrt.of this interview, and I hope the world is ready.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
Facebook: Ric Da Vinci