We had the good fortune of connecting with Ricquélle Badger and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ricquélle, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I decided to pursue an artistic/creative career initially as an outlet. I’ve always enjoyed the creative and performing arts i.e. writing, dance, singing, acting, culinary etc. I developed a passion for music at an early age. Life can often bring about distractions and disappointments. From the many social injustices we see involving unarmed people of color and police brutality, to school shootings. Let’s not forget day to day work, family, and school stressors that at times can be overwhelming and discouraging. Throughout these many life hurdles in addition to the world still adjusting from the aftermath of the pandemic, music has always kept me focused, inspired, and motivated to achieve any goal I set for myself. I remember watching artists such as Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, Shakira, and Toni Braxton whom despite many challenges and much adversity, would take to the stage and captivate an audience using their God given talents. Today I see artists like H.E.R, Jhene Aiko, Karol G, Megan Thee Stallion, Rihanna, and Summer Walker use real life experiences no matter how painful or traumatic to express themselves creatively. Resulting in beautiful art and music that makes a bold statement all while promoting positivity and encouraging introspection. Growing up my mom would take me to concerts, plays, musicals, art festivals, and anything that would challenge, intrigue, and stimulate my mind. She would often quote Nelson Mandela “Never let your emotions cloud your mind, judgement, or conquer your thinking”. She would frequently encourage me to channel my emotions into music that can empower myself and others. We all experience challenges and hurdles in life however, I truly believe art has a profound way of taking negativity or brokenness and making something positive, beautiful, and timeless.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a recording artist, singer/songwriter, and model. I recently released my latest project Covergirl Project 3: No Magazine out now on all music platforms. I’ve been asked this question before what sets me apart from other artists. Again I would have to refer to my supporters who time and time again inspire and motivate me to remain authentic, driven, and focused. I’m most excited about the new opportunities God has blessed me with. From radio airplay (93.1 Jamz, Wutz Hood radio, and V100.7 Heat from the Street), to my music being featured on Spotify playlists. I’ve also had opportunities to perform my music live (MidCoast Mke Unplugged Vol.2 at Cactus Club, 414 Spotlight, Miramar Theatre, and Milwaukee PBS). It was amazing and exciting to see my music featured in fashion shows (TSXDH and BSC of Marquette University).. I’m also looking forward to shooting SxEyecon web series as well as creating new music and collaborating with dope talent. My oldest youngin who contributed music to Covergirl Project 3 has already started producing new music and I can’t wait to begin creating with him again. I have gotten to where I am today with maintaining a solid foundation, strong work ethic, continued prayer and support from my family, as well as cultivating and nurturing dynamic relationships with fellow creatives. It definitely has not been an easy journey. I fully embrace challenges and mistakes I have made that have allowed me to learn and grow into the woman and artist that I am today. I have learned many lessons on this journey. One in particular is always remembering who I am and the morals and values instilled in me by my parents. I started this journey knowing that not everyone may understand me or even support me. I know my heart, my faith, and surrounding myself with people who share the same determination, passion, and vision motivate me to keep going. I want the world to know that life is not perfection. We are constantly bombarded with images in magazines and media that heavily influence our thoughts, actions, and paint false standards of beauty. We were not created to all look, sound, think, or act the same as others or even the masses for that matter. Embracing our differences and individuality are what makes us unique and special. It’s definitely easier said than done but owning our truths and standing confidently in our imperfections makes us powerful beyond measure.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some places that I would definitely recommend checking out are Rock Mill Park and Shady Valley Park. Both locations are very beautiful, serene, and the perfect places to do yoga while keeping the kiddos entertained. I would also say to check out Escobar. It’s a nice tapas bar with good drinks, food, and dope music. The atmosphere is amazing and I really enjoy the vibe there. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, I would recommend Senior Patron in Midtown. If you’re interested in live music, I would definitely check out who’s performing at the Coca Cola Roxy.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people I want to shout out and give recognition to. First and foremost I thank God and my family. God who blessed me with the gift of music and continues to bless me with opportunities to share my talents and story with others. My family and church family (New Beginnings Alliance Church) who diligently pray for me and encourage me to continue pursuing my passion. Constantly reminding me that this journey is a marathon. To my sorority sisters (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.) and my fraternity brothers (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) who inspire and motivate me as well as lend their creative and artistic talents to support my journey and vision. To every artist, sound engineer, producer, choreographer, MUA, videographer, stylist, photographer, graphic designer, hair stylist, and creative whom I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating and working with, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for taking time to build and grow with me. To my supporters who have attended shows and events in person and virtually and continue to support me through this journey, I truly thank you because the grind don’t stop. To those who have been there with me through the highs and lows, I’m forever grateful for you. Most important to my mom and my youngins whom without yal, I couldn’t even fathom where I would be today. I thank you mom for always loving, accepting, and believing in me flaws and all. Though it has been 12 years since God called you home, I always want to be the reason you smile. My youngins, I thank you for allowing me to learn and grow as your mother. I’m so thankful, honored, and humbled that you all are experiencing this version of me. Yal are my biggest motivating factor and I want yal to always remember no matter what obstacles you face, know that you are strong, intelligent, resilient, and come from a long lineage of prayer warriors. When things are going wonderful or worrisome always remember “God Provides!”

Website: https://linktr.ee/quellez

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quellez

Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/results?sp=mAEA&search_query=quellez

Image Credits
@_bridney_ @quay.waukee @bedsidenailz @rosebudtee_makeup @kingquis74 @aamir_amourr @tsx_design_house @fashionable_demand @natalia.rzepinska @shunpfilms Neokia Collins

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