Published on February 24th, 2020 | by MuzikScribe0
Ricky Kinchen, of Mint Condition, Prepping 1st Solo Album, ‘Truth Behind Lies’…
Back in late September, you started a GoFundMe® page to help with financing your debut solo album — How’s the campaign coming along?
The campaign is going well. I’ve paid for studio time and all of the costs involved with turning in a record, along with producing videos for the project, so all I’m looking for is help with going to radio, a publicist and social media ads. These are costs that a record company would usually cover; that’s why a lot of artists sign record deals. I’ve had a few friends and family pass away recently, so I’ve taken a bit of (a) time out from spreading the word but still working towards my goal.
You’re calling the record ‘Truth Behind the Lies’ — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?
Basically, it’s speaking the truth against power and people who lie. It’s using my voice for those who aren’t able to use their own.
Because you are known as the long-standing bass guitarist in Mint Condition, what all exactly can be expected from your first time out as a solo artist?
A powerful record that means a lot and has a lot to say. A record that speaks loud and speaks the truth. Also, an album that your favorite artist is going to rock with, as well as Mint fans, and that’s what you want. You want a record that everybody likes.
How then does the new material either differ and/or compare to what you’re already both known and loved for as one-fifth of Mint Condition?
It’s different because it’s even more honest. I’m saying things I wouldn’t be able to say in Mint Condition. I can cuss and scream or whatever I feel, in order to say what I want to say. Mint Condition is a band and that means you represent the others in it, so it limits you in what you can say as you have to satisfy every member of the group. I’m an activist now. The world has changed, my life has changed. I’ve been in some of the craziest relationships you can imagine. I know who I am more than I did back then.
The industry has changed a lot. It used to be records and cassette tapes, now everything is being streamed. The record deals are a lot different; the whole game is social media driven. You’ve got to keep changing with the times.
Longevity — What do you attribute yours to?
Good music, good melody, good lyrics and listening to the youth. The day you stop listening to the youth or you look down on them, is the day you get stuck in time.
What do you want people to get from your music?
Realness. The truth behind the lies. They’re going to feel what I’m saying and they’re going to relate to it. It’s real, honest and I’m saying something important. I’m going to say everything I want to say, and I don’t give a shit who I piss off. If it’s the truth, then nobody should get mad.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s current/trending sound-scape?
Hip Hop and R&B is the new popular music. You can put together a new mix every two weeks, with other genres of music, I might put together a mix every 6 months to a year. I’m happy with music period. My music fits into Alternative, Hip Hop, R&B and revolution music.
Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
Living my life to make the world a better place, and being an activist against anything that is wrong, and giving all the knowledge I have to the youth who will listen. A lot of the kids these days act like they have more awards on their wall than me and their egos are so huge because they are good. They try to give you advice instead of listening, when most of them live with their mom or girlfriend but they want to tell you what you should be doing opposed to getting this game.
To date, what has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
Being part of one of the greatest bands and being able to be relevant across four different decades, with hits across three decades. All while still being able to compete with new, younger artists. Along with having a number 1 record in sales over Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” and Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls.”
One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
“Prey,” because I can relate to it in a lot of ways. It speaks to power, and it speaks to mothers and fathers out there that we can do better and stop passing trauma on.
1991’s “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” is a bonafide classic — How did this song actually come about? Who came up with its concept? And, please describe to me the overall studio vibe on that fateful day?
A close friend of ours paid for us to have a rehearsal space, and we rehearsed and wrote the song there. Larry (Waddell) started playing the chords and the band started playing along, Stoke started singing and Jeff (Allen) came up with the bridge. We did a showcase at First Avenue in Minneapolis. We started playing the song and as soon as Stoke started singing the first verse, starting with the words “Pretty. Brown. Eyes…,” Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis straight away said, “we’re going to sign them!”
What’s the current status of Mint Condition?
Everyone is focusing on their own families, and solo projects and getting that paycheck.
Lastly, what’s next for you, Rick?
What’s next is raising the funds to go to radio, getting a publicist and releasing one of the best albums of the year. Then it’ll be hitting the road and building this black business. Doing all this, while never forgetting where I came from and always remembering none of us would be anything without each other. Every member should never forget that the only reason we are where we are today is because of the band. We wrote some of the best songs I’ve ever heard; Keri (Lewis), we never would’ve have had “U Send Me Swingin’” if it wasn’t for him. If it wasn’t for Lawrence El, we wouldn’t have the platinum album and single, “What Kind of Man Would I Be?” Without Stoke and Jeff we wouldn’t have ‘Healing Season,’ which got us nominated for a Grammy, and without (Homer) O’Dell we would never have had “So Fine,” not to mention he was also the one who inspired me to start writing.
Any “closing” thoughts for our readers?
If anyone wants to help bring truth to light, support and share the GoFundMe® so I can go to radio and give the record as much power as possible.
Connect w/Rick from Mint Condition Online: