As a drummer and well-known social media influencer, Richard Ficarelli is known for more than just his drumming skills. A large following had grown around him despite his young age, and he was responsible for several successful viral video releases, which went viral and were shared on a variety of social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, as well as even Tiktok today.
Richard’s ambition for success began when he was a very young child. Beginning early on the road to success, he started his own YouTube channel, where he released “drum covers” of popular songs of the time such as Justin Bieber’s viral mega-hit, “Baby”. Currently, his YouTube channel has more than 160,000 subscribers, which is a significant figure in today’s new media world. His touring and collaborations with musicians as diverse as Dave Days, Nice Peter, DeStorm Power, Tyler Ward, and others began while he was a late adolescent.
As a result of his internet celebrity, Richard was given the opportunity to embark on his first national tour, The Digitour 2011, which took place in 2011. On the road, Richard cooperated and performed with some of the most well-known musicians on YouTube, both on and offstage during tours like this. After building a large online following, Ficarelli began writing his own original material and performing these songs while touring internationally as the new band King The Kid (2012–2014), building a reputation as a band who can put on a remarkable rock show.
In the last few years, Richard Ficarelli has relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he is now actively involved in the music industry writing, performing & collaborating with musicians who comprise the city’s vibrant rock, pop & alternative scene.
While continuing to develop at a rapid pace, the future of this promising young artist appears to not be slowing down anytime soon. His efforts are currently being concentrated on establishing himself as a sought-after touring drummer and traversing the world to showcase his undeniable passion for performing onstage for audiences far and wide.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea to launch my own YouTube channel was initially inspired by similar videos I had seen from Travis Barker, the drummer of blink-182. After seeing these popular remixes he had released in the early days of YouTube it occurred to me ‘drum covers’ in video form could be the perfect means to market myself on the internet as a drummer & performer.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Primarily my days revolve around content creation. At any given time I’m developing concepts for both short-form videos on my TikTok account, as well as proper full scale productions for my YouTube Channel. The backend of audio & video production can be fairly time consuming but it’s rewarding to be fully self sufficient in all aspects of your own creative process.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing ideas to life can be fairly simple. Nowadays videos can in some instances be entirely shot, edited & uploaded only using your smart phone. I find utilizing these tools we all have at our disposal helps facilitate an even more authentic connection with your audience.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Overall, I see all industries trending towards personalization. Musician, artist or company; people want to feel as though they truly know what it is they are investing their time or resources into. What excites me is the opportunity to build relationships without traditional media intermediaries. I feel social media has evened the playing field for everyone, this inspires creativity & innovation.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
This may sound trivial but I’d say my most productive habit is simply taking notes. Throughout the day I’m constantly taking notes on my phone when new ideas strike me or I’m inspired by something I’ve seen or heard. Because I’m constantly reflecting on my brand in this way I never feel like I run out of new material to explore.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to be more bold. I believe we can all relate to the insecurities that come with youth. I would’ve accomplished much more, much sooner had I understood that opportunity can be fleeting & capitalizing on the moment is what sets apart the greatest in any industry.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I understand there’s immediate economic disadvantages of streaming services (Spotify, Netflix, Apple Music, etc.), that being said, I don’t believe there’s ever been a better time in history to be involved in the entertainment industry. Even though people don’t purchase, for example, music like they used to, the unique opportunity artists have today to build community is unprecedented.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As a modern musician, I wear multiple hats & that includes managing my own brand with an entrepreneurial mindset. One thing I recommend is if you have a question, never let the moment pass without asking that question. When you understand your industry from first principles your effectiveness becomes exponential.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Coming from the entertainment industry this may be more intuitive, but I know any business could benefit from a stronger focus on communication with your audience (i.e. your customers). There’s a reason many legacy companies are investing in young talent to run their social media departments. An authentic connection with the people who love your music or use your product is the greatest investment you can make for the long haul.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Reflecting on my own unique experience as a musician, what I see as my greatest failure was neglecting my own brand as I became focused on forming a band early on in my career. This is another possible cliche but you really can’t put all your eggs in one basket. When my first proper band broke up I was left with an inactive audience because I had diverted all my effort into building the band’s reach instead of my own. To reframe this from an entrepreneurial perspective, I should’ve been more strategic in my longterm marketing strategy. How I reignited interest in my own brand was by utilizing new social media outlets. Early adoption of new technology can be what gives your brand that cutting edge in your own unique industry.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In my own endeavors, I’ve found myself wishing their was a company (or app!) that had the technology to connect creatives in a localized manner. Imagine Tinder but for musicians, producers, videographers, graphic designers & all the sorts. I’d be excited to see someone take digital networking to the next level.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
This past year I invested in my digital marketing by utilizing a product called Tube Buddy. This company provides state of the art tools for optimizing your keywords and so much more on the YouTube platform. Looking at my analytics, there has been a consistent improvement in the performance of my videos since implementing their insights.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Since adopting Final Cut Pro X as my primary video editing software I’ve seen my productivity go through the roof. This digital workstation is profoundly intuitive & I find the user interface flawless for postproduction.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
If I had to recommend one book that would be applicable to almost anyone it’d be, “A New Earth” by Eckart Tolle. This book takes a broader look at the internal mechanisms that drive our innermost feelings & the world at large. I was left with an optimistic sense that there’s an underlying possibility for us all to live a more fully conscious & rich life, even in matters of business.
What is your favorite quote?
“I won’t be a rockstar. I will be a legend.” – Freddie Mercury.
- Have a plan for your digital brand from the ground up.
- Early adoption of new technologies can give you a competitive edge.
- Don’t neglect your own brand in favor of a band or music project.
- Find a mentor who has been there and done it before. You’ll need all the help you can get!
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.