How did you come by your stage brand name?
I am a Rastafarian, and when I did my first tour as a performer with Raven-Symoné, back in 1999, I added ‘RAS’ to Mikey C to reflect my spiritual path and my connection to Ethiopia. From then on RAS Mikey C became my professional name although I am ofter referred to now as Dr. RAS, because of my doctoral degree.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
Music and singing have always moved me. This is what lead me to become a professional dancer. I was able to study my self and how I move in relation to people and my environment. I was studying the physical, spiritual, and philosophical movements of life, and discovered that movement is life. I never lost my passion for music and felt that now is the time to bring it to the forefront of the movement that is my life. “And I’m here to spread the message to the people that its love year!”
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Emperor Haile Selassie I, Rastafari Movement, Pan-Africanism, Being an African American, Hip Hop Culture, Reggae, The Wailers, Burning Spear, Ben Harper, The Jacksons, Ethiopia, Wu-Tang Clan, Natty Rebel Unlimited, and most of all LIFE and the fullness of the beauty in each experience.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
Covid-19 and quarantine 2020 happened and I felt compelled to be creative. Then George Floyd and the BLM movement became highly visible and I knew I needed to say something so I put together this project with my producer Kenny Allen of East Africa Recording Studio in Addis Ababa and we made Love Year the EP virtually.
LOVE YEAR is a collection of songs that echo the times. Dr. Ras Mikey C is addressing systemic divides, in our Eurocentric world, through the lens of the Africanist experience. Expressing a perception of reality with optimism and hope for a change that will better humanity.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
One of my greatest challenges is being heard with clarity. No one likes to be misunderstood and reality is perceptional. But as an educator and entertainer, it is my responsibility to share my gifts to help bring more understanding to the multiplicities of human experiences and perceptions. I call it ‘edutainment’!
My work is spiritually grounded and I am driven to be the vessel for the Love that is life. In the fight for human equality, one’s work is never done, but I am to be an example of the change that I want to see in the world. In reality, you can’t change others, you can only change how you respond to what others do.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
I am the best me I can be at this moment. I am inspired by many but set my own standards for myself. I can’t live anyone else’s life by mine so I have to make the best of the situations that are presented on my journey. That being said I am highly experienced in my field and have nurtured my gifts and cultivated my expertise with education. I hold a BFA, MA, and Ph.D., so I know what I know and it is from this place that I engage with the world around me.
What are your plans for the near future?
I am currently an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, so I will teach in September. I hope to tour my music when the world opens up again. I will be producing several projects, dance and music-related, with my production company Fore I’m a Versatile Entertainer (F.I.V.E.) LLC, as soon as time and space permits. I hope to release my next album by late 2021.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
I would like to Give Thanks and Praise to the Creator for blessing me with the opportunity to share this message. Emperor Haile Selassie I for being a guiding light in the dark world. Honoring my Mother for giving me life and to my Empress and youths for being my biggest supporters.
Shout out to my producer the prodigy Kenny Allen of East Africa Recording Studio (E.A.R.S.) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Much Love to all the family around the world, especially in the USA, Ethiopia, and Ireland, who have given strength along the way. I would also like to thank anyone who may have doubted what the Most High can do.
How can fans find you?
People can find me @rasmikeyc on all social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, youtube, twitter, tumbler, etc.) & music platforms (apple, google, amazon, Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, etc.) I also have a website www.rasmikeyc.com
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
Do you cause everyone else is taken? Know what the Creator has put you here for and shine your light from within to connect with the light without.