A singer / songwriter who is about to release new music while constantly working with fellow queer musicians to create their own, Ricky Allson’s taking you to a House Party in the city this week. [Cover photo: Steven Gabriel]
Thotyssey: Hello Ricky! How have you been dealing with the summer heat these past few weeks?
Ricky Allson: I’m avoiding the heat by not always being in the city! I took a week in LA, and a Fire Island moment as well. Other than that, I am blessed with good air conditioning, and I go out when it cools off at night.
Sounds glorious! I was just watching your video for your track “Take It And Run” that you dropped in March. The always sexy Mel Lennon played your BF. How fun was that shoot?
Mel is the definition of sexy, haha! We had a lot of fun acting with each other, and there was lots of laughter in between. That was an all day, 6am to 4am shoot driving from NYC to Philly and back. Yikes! Mel and the others involved made it a lot of fun, and helped me in so many ways. Shout to them all! As you know, it takes a village…
Indeed it does! So you are a recording artist, a multimedia performer and a producer among other things.
Yes I am all that, lol! Two degrees in music and music education have helped with developing all of it. I’ve spent a lot of time as an educator and a musician, and my music degrees actually have a focus on classical saxophone!
Oh wow! Would you say that you are more of one role than the others these days?
My passion lies in the creating process, so I love songwriting and producing, and have seen myself doing more of that lately. I am currently working on tracks for Jayse Vegas and Robert Garcia, Robyn Banks and Ed Korzethf, and always working and collaborating with J.R. Price and many others including myself.
Where’s your original hometown?
That is a tough question for me… but I usually answer with Stratford, CT; it’s where I went to high school. I was born in Tolland, CT but moved throughout CT in my youth.
And I’m guessing you were always into music growing up.
Music has always somehow been a part of my life in many different capacities, from singing to piano / saxophone to obsessions with Dance Dance Revolution. Moving around made it hard for consistency, but marching band in high school revived that love and drive.
When did you start writing and recording your own music?
Okay, I’m gonna try my best to answer this without getting to deep-divey! But it all started in 2018. I had started to put more time into myself and my identity, and finally had the self-confidence to pursue this passion. I have something to say and share in my own unique way that I know others will connect with, and it will make an impact. I put myself on the sideline for far too long, and this passion and career pursuit is me loving myself.
There’s a small, mighty and growing community of local singer songwriters who are finding their way onto queer bar stages, even as drag is still the dominant entertainment medium there. I imagine that you’re all kind of a tight-knit group, but it also must sometimes get frustrating that you’re not all yet being given the stage time you deserve!
We all try to help each other out where we can. I’ve felt so much love from those who have been successfully pushing longer than me, such as Vegas Valentine or Jayse Vegas.
What I really want to say here is that I totally understand why drag shows are a dominant entertainment. They are fun, and people live for the tasteful braggadocio that is drag. I love it, too. But us queer songwriters have a uniqueness to our craft as well. Drag queens often join forces to make shows; I can see drag and queer artists joining more often than they are, too. There’s enough space for everyone, and I know many on all sides of things are working to create that platform for us. Now us songwriters just have to speak up and sing our hearts out!
And as always, the support from Thotyssey helps tremendously.
We do what we can!
What is the collaborative process like for you, as far as songwriting and producing go? J.R. and Robyn, for instance, have very different styles from each other, and from you! Is it about searching for common musical ground, or finding a way to adapt to everyone’s differences?
I treat each collaborative process like a therapy session… even if the other doesn’t realize it, lol! My first collaborations started with-an-up and coming pop star from Brazil named CECÍLIA. She was my roommate (and fierce ally) for a good three years, and I had the pleasure to build songs from the ground up with her. We still work together, and bring tracks to our producer Randy Whisky who enhances the songs to their full glory.
Long story short, I feel the need to communicate and connect as best as I can prior to the creation process. It helps with knowing the sounds and genres they like: J.R. giving a contemporary Y2K with a mix of Taylor Swift and indie songwriting, while Robyn Banks is all about finding a hip-hop beat that hits well then adding some camp to it.
We’ll get a chance to see you live this week when you appear along with J.R. and Mel for Jayse’s Thursday show at Rebar, “House Party!”
Yes! Jayse is letting me crash his party, and J.R. and Mel are my accomplices! Rebar is going to be so much fun, and I am going to premiere a new song that will come out at midnight that night. Everyone will get a sneak peak! I might even pull something out to surprise the crowd (swing by to find out)! Come through at 9pm for the party, and we’ll make you feel at home! DJ Samuella will be providing beats for us to dance to all night!
The rest of the world can stream the new song the following day… what can you tell us about it?
The song is called “The Come Up,” and after writing an EP which was all about relationships and writing with others in mind, I wanted to write a selfish song that I think everyone can relate to. It’s a high energy, synth pop rock vibe that talks about how people can mistake my kindness with flirting, and how frustrating it can be that people jump to that. But at the end of the day, I mean… I am horny, too. So its a fun way to describe trying to get the right one to fool around with, but ending up with no one for the night from being too picky. It’s a summer bop and will be available on all platforms!
Extraordinary! And what else is coming up for you?
There will be a music to be released later on for “The Come Up” that is still in development, and I will be performing with many others in “Vinyl Fantasy” on August 22nd at 3 Dollar Bill. We are honoring the flavor-filled album Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus! Other than that, keep your eyes and ears open for projects that I am producing or singing on! Pretty soon I’ll be everywhere!
No doubt… see you out there soon, Ricky!