To those who indulge (or depend) on Twitter to get the what’s what and those tweets of inspiration, I look no further than Ramel. Known to the masses on Twitter as @itsRamel, many of us know him as the go to guy for tweets of inspiration, pleasantries, and music. I was pleasantly surprised to hear is that the man can sing (boy can he ever…).
I had the opportunity to sit down with Ramel to see where it all began and where it will lead him…
What first piqued your interest in music?
I was a lover of music all my music pretty much, but I have to say it was during 8th grade graduation practice. My teacher wanted us to sing “The Way We Were,” which I was really vocal about being a boring selection. Not budging from her choice, she challenged me to write a better verse. That was my first solo and standing ovation. I can sing it for you now if you would like…
Which instrument did/do you play and why?
Just my voice!!! I’ve always wanted to play the piano, but it seemed to always be a situation that kept me from learning. I figured it was a sign.
What were your musical influences?
Since you took me back in the day with those previous questions, I’d have to say The Whispers, The O’Jay’s, The Isley Brothers, Earth Wind & Fire, Heatwave, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Peabo Byrson, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross. I think you get the idea…
What happened when you first started getting serious about music and starting a singing career?
After hearing me sing with my college choir, my uncle, Eric Werner asked me my rationale for majoring in Business with a voice like that. He asked what was I really passionate about. The answer obviously being music, he was the first person that instilled in me to “Love what you do, and do what you loved…”
Like most at that time, I made a demo tape and sent it off to any and everyone that would listen. I developed a rapport with some amazing people in the industry, who I now consider family, and was able to audition for groups like Blackstreet and Public Announcement, to becoming a finalist for Bad Boys next R&B male artist, which Chicago’s own Carl Thomas eventually won. Although I didn’t make it back then, I knew and still feel, I’m supposed to be in this business in some way, shape, or form. And I must say, I’ve certainly enjoyed the ride thus far.
What are your thoughts on pursuing a career then and releasing your music now?
Looking back on pursuing a music career to now, I’m reminded of the saying “Everything happens for a reason.” As much of a ride I had with the opportunities that were presented to me, it just wasn’t my time. Now more than anything, I’m happy creating music entirely on my own terms. Now, when I finish a song, the only voice I feel obligated to listen to is mine. This is how I make music. Would I love a record deal? Absolutely! But there so much more to me now. First and foremost, I’m a dad to an amazing young lady. I’m working on my second Ph.D. in education, and am now ready to announce a book in the near future. Did I just give you an exclusive?
What is next musically for you?
I’m looking forward to completing my first full length CD entitled “Revolving Door.” So much has come and gone like a revolving door from me musically…unfinished projects, songs that were lost, but now found, and new relationships built from them both, that I want to put it all together in one project.
Expound on why the independent route is best for you and your music at this time?
I think I mentioned this previously, but this route is best because it’s on my own terms. I really believe there’s room for us all in this business of music. Find where you fit in and just prepare yourself to move when the time presents itself.
Of the music you have released so far, which is your favorite and why?
I’d have to say “Rain” since it’s the only thing I’ve released (laughing). It was actually the first song I ever recorded. This was one of those lost recordings that I later found and re-recorded it.
Many people saw you for the first time in Lalah Hathaway and Eric Roberson’s video “Dealing.” How did that come about? Can you see yourself as leading man in future projects?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure of the particulars, although a certain individual believes I should thank him. I’d be interested in knowing myself for clarity, but I like to think it was simply karma. All I knew the day before was that it was going down and I was invited to be a part of it. I had no idea I would play Lalah’s love interest, but would do it again and again if asked. Hey Lalah, if your listening (wink wink)!!!
I can truly see myself as the leading man in future projects, shouts out to all the female artist out there. Actually I’ve been thinking of doing a couple of videos myself, so look out for that coming soon as well. I can’t believe how you’re pulling these exclusives out of me.
Now that you are a parent, what would you like your daughter to learn from your music?
Great question! I think it goes back to what my uncle told me. That you can do anything that you put your mind to; but if it’s something that you love, do that above anything else.
How did you start out on Twitter?
I reluctantly joined Twitter two years ago. Perhaps you can relate to some of my initial excuses for holding out: I thought Twitter was about telling people what I was doing and it felt like a better idea to save those details for time we spent together in person.
I didn’t like the idea of narrating my life via technology (Shouts out to my Haven Family). What if I started talking about it more than experiencing it? I was protective of my anonymity. The inter-webs of social networking is a massive place, and people aren’t always kind; did I really want to open my daily ramblings to critique? Then something inside me clicked: Twitter is about sharing small pieces of information with large amounts of people. That’s a powerful opportunity, particularly for someone who provides more detailed information elsewhere on the web, and wants to build an audience musically.
Explain your thoughts on your popularity on Twitter.
I wouldn’t say I was popular… #Ponderingthethought You think I’m popular on Twitter? I think I found my niche. And that was just simply being myself. Most of what I’ve tweeted started off being for me and me only. Tweeting my music as well as other independent artists between a couple of quotes I thought was cool and fitted my feelings at the time seem to be the catalyst. In fact. the tweet that landed me into the British Academy of Twits was “Twitter is basically just you having a conversation with yourself hoping that someone else will join in.” I wouldn’t say I’m popular, I would humbly say people are joining in…
You gave up Twitter for Lent, do you feel that you were missing out?
Without a doubt have I missed out, but that’s just it. I needed to get away from all of that to focus on everything we’ve been talking about. The music is closer to being finished, the foreword to the book as well as a couple of pages have been written, as well as precious time being spent on my uncle, who had taken ill.
Do you have a specific plans for your future on Twitter?
Another great question. I hadn’t thought about it until this interview, but to sum it all up in a few words. I plan on continuing to build my audience off of positivity, because it’s what I love.
You want to hear some great music? Check out Ramel through the following channels: