Don’t trust everyone in the industry. There are a lot of people in the industry that do not care about you and only care about making a buck. I’ve been burnt by some people already in my career, and I think it’s very important to know.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ike Rhein.
Ike Rhein is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but now resides in Miami, Florida. Ike Rhein discovered his voice and passion for music at a young age. He learned how to play numerous instruments, and began creating melodies, compositions and songs as a child. Ike Rhein has since been featured in various media outlets and had his latest single, “Break It Down,” distributed through EMPIRE. With a fusion of futuristic notes and nostalgic vocals, Ike Rhein’s distinctive sound is on its way to the forefront of the global stage.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Born in 2001 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was in foster care for a lot of my young years (6–10), before being adopted at age 11. Through it all, music was always a decompressor and a strong passion for me. I moved to Florida to pursue my music career at age 18.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I actually started writing my own songs when I was 11. Throughout high school, I did a lot of vocal lessons with my then vocal coach, Lisa Spangler. After graduating high school, I wrote some songs with my producer, Ryan Emond, and from there, I just developed the love for making my own music and delivering to my fans. I then moved to Florida when I was 18 to take my music seriously and build a career out of it. Now living in Florida with several record deals, everything has been coming together. I want to thank God for how far He’s brought me and how far I will go!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I would say the funniest mistake I’ve made is forgetting my lyrics to my own song that I wrote during my first performance.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’ve got some awesome stuff in the works! Songs that are half 70s/80s based and half 2021 pop. Very excited to show the world all my different styles!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
The world we live in now is truly in a battle with its own self. The truth is we are all made in God’s image. Red, yellow, black, white, we are all equal. I believe that America, especially, needs to add more diversity to our entertainment industry. There’s so much talent out there in all races!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t trust everyone in the industry. There are a lot of people in the industry that do not care about you and only care about making a buck. I’ve been burnt by some people already in my career, and I think it’s very important to know.
- Don’t rush to sign a contract. Everyone that comes in the industry is so eager to sign and say oh I signed a record deal! The reality is a lot of contracts could hurt you in the future. When making decisions, you need to read everything thoroughly and take time to see if it’s right for you.
- It doesn’t matter how good your song is if no one hears it. A ton of people will work on making this great song, but then not invest money into promotion. Who’s going to hear it if it isn’t spread around the world?
- Make sure you own exclusive rights to your music. I think this is extremely important. If you don’t own your song, you’re already set up to be sued from the jump.
- Don’t let criticism bring you down. Block out the haters and keep pushing forward.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
First, I would say invest your money so you can be successful forever. Another thing I would say is keep your head straight. It’s easy to get caught up in the party world and take things that will harm your body. Lastly, just protect that passion, no matter what people say; don’t let it destroy your passion for music.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could inspire a movement, it would be bringing the gospel and bibles to all countries. I believe everyone is fighting a hard battle. Everyone should have the choice to read the bible. I also would push forth equality. There is so much racism in our country and police brutality. It’s time for change.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve been truly blessed by the people in my life. Oftentimes, the world wants to bring down those in the spotlight. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep a tight knit group of true family and friends who support me. They’ve pushed me, inspired me and shown love to me all the way through and still do. They know who they are!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that’s less than the one you’re capable of living.” This is one of my favorite life mottos. As humans, I believe we should never settle, never settle for a life that isn’t what we are capable of doing. Many people these days take the easy route: high school, college then working 9–5 till their 65–70. I’ve never understood that, and that’s why I pursued my musical dream.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would definitely say Denzel Washington and Justin Bieber. Not only is Denzel Washington one of the best actors, he is a great speaker. The things he says and the way he thinks is amazing to me. Justin Bieber has always been someone I’ve looked up to even as a kid. He is one of the biggest pop stars of all time. I love the way he lives his life and the way he presents himself. I would love to learn from him.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!