Nothing But Heart and Soul
Nothing But Heart and Soul
Dec 7, 2022
If Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits had a band baby, it would be Roger Ricks. No lie. Roger is a singer / songwriter based out of Zurich, Switzerland, but that’s not all he does. He also produces his own music and builds his own guitars, as well as markets himself AND giving the proceeds of his music sales back to charity. Wow, this man is incredible.
I first stumbled upon Roger’s music via Instagram, which by the way, is an excellent way to discover new talent because of the visual aspect the medium allows. I often find myself scrolling through bands and artists and liking them, then following them, where I indulge in all they showcase on their profiles. The profiles then lead me to iTunes where I buy their music for my collection.
With smooth, clear vocals and crisp, clean guitar work, Roger’s music inspires me.
Truly, it does.
Because I admire what Roger is doing so much, I decided to reach out to him to get to know a little more about what he makes him tick and guides his stance. With a new single releasing on December 9, 2022 via all streaming platforms, this is one artist you need to check out if you haven’t already.
I threw Roger a few questions so I could learn more and was very delighted with his answers. Check it out and then go check out his music!
MaM: Wow. I am very impressed with you. Your website is solid, too. Let me ask you, what led you to start producing your own music in lieu of having someone else do it?
RR: I started recording my songs when I was about 12. At that time with two old tape recorders and much later with the computer. For me, music production is not a purely technical task, but part of the creative process of creating a song. Since I don't do music full-time and I also have a family, producing on my own allows me to work on my songs whenever I can and want to. Usually this is late at night when everyone else is already asleep and I can really dive into my creative flow.
MaM: So, you mentioned you have new music coming out. Tell us a little about the new single you are releasing.
RR: The single is called "Lost,” and the lyrics were written by the wonderful Emme Pierre.
Originally it was planned that she would sing the song and I would write the music but unfortunately, she lost her voice permanently before the recording due to health reasons, and we decided to record the song with my voice anyway.
The song is about how people are willing to exploit others and take advantage for their own profit. This is a topic that always concerns me and is also a well-known phenomenon in show business. There is something energizing and intoxicating about striving for success, but you can also get lost in it and become too distracted from the essentials of life.
MaM: Wow, what an amazing topic to tackle via songwriting. I can’t wait to listen to it. What music or things around you are inspiring you to create these days?
RR: Musically, I am influenced by the older guitar gods like Slash, Eric Clapton, and Joe Perry. Of course, there are other virtuoso guitarists who can do technically amazing things with the guitar, too, but I'm more fascinated by catchy licks and melodic solos that you can also sing and that release emotions in me. Emotions of everyday life are also what inspire my music. My music is a diary of my feelings over the years. When something is bothering me, I process my thoughts into music and make them audible. Therefore, every song of mine in a way fits to a special event or a period of my life.
MaM: I noticed on your website that you play a custom-built guitar. I want to know more about your custom guitars. Was it a particular sound you were looking for and that’s why you decided to build your own? Also, too, what type of guitar inspired the ones you build?
RR: I am a typical Les Paul guitarist. I love the full sound. A few years ago, I was thinking about buying a flamed top Les Paul, but my budget didn't allow it. So, I had the crazy idea to build it myself. I always liked craftsmanship and so I watched YouTube videos of Luthiers for hours until I had the feeling that it could really work. I ordered the woods and parts and just started, and it grew from there. I had a lot of fun; it was like a meditation of sorts to grind the woods and in the end, I had a nice flamed top guitar resembling a Les Paul in my hands. Of course, it sounded a little different than if I had bought it but just different, not worse. This only further awakened my passion and since then the tones of my own guitars are an important part of my music.
MaM: I know that charity work is very near and dear to your heart. Can you tell us a little more about that and what you do?
RR: Music has always been a very important part of my life. It has carried me through some really difficult times, and I don't know where I would be without the power of music. For me, music can build bridges, to connect people who otherwise would not communicate with each other and to make a positive difference in the world. I decided to set the goal of dedicating my music to a meaningful cause because 20 years ago, a school friend started an aid project in Ghana to help street children and to really make a difference through local education instead of just transferring money. Honestly, the money often doesn't get to where it's supposed to go or doesn't have a lasting effect, but through "Chance For Children" (www.chance-for-children.org), the children are given the opportunity to work out a long-term perspective for themselves. All my proceeds from my music goes 1:1 into this foundation. The idea is that people can donate money just by listening to music. You don't have to open your wallet, just spend a few minutes of your time listening to music to make a positive difference. This makes my music more meaningful and motivates me to put even more energy into it. I really hope that with time, more listeners will stream my music and I will be able to support more projects.
For more information about Roger, visit his website at:
On Social Media, he can be found at:
Do you know an artist we should feature? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org