America’s Next Big Thing: Meet Richard Dela Cruz

Photo Credit: Richard De La Cruz
Senior Richard Dela Cruz practices his talents for singing and playing the guitar, which he has practiced for quite some years now.<br />Photo Credit: Bserat Ghebremicael
Senior Richard Dela Cruz practices his talents for singing and playing the guitar, which he has practiced for quite some years now.
Photo Credit: Bserat Ghebremicael

Q: Just recently, you posted song covers on YouTube. Why did you decide to be involved in music? How is music involved in your life, on a day-to-day basis?
A: Although this has been said many times by other people, music has ALWAYS been in my life, and I never had to decide whether or not I wanted to be involved with music. Music is probably the only thing that I know and can talk forever about. It has been a way for me to relax, whether it is listening to music or playing my own. Every day when I come home from school, my guitar is waiting for me to play it. Especially since this year has been stressful, playing my music has kept me sane.

Q: Which instruments can you play, and which genre do you identify yourself with the most? Why?

A: I can play the guitar, and I would love to someday learn how to play the piano. I also play a mean tambourine when the mood is right. I prefer acoustic/soul. I don’t like it when great artists include too many instruments in a song because it takes their natural talent, their vocals, away from them. I prefer to listen to just them and a guitar.

Q: How have your family and friends reacted to your passion in music?
A: They were all surprised that they liked hearing me sing, which surprised me a lot because I never considered myself as a great singer. These reactions helped me break out of the shell that I was hiding in for most of my life.

Q: Describe your favorite memory involving music.
A: One of my favorite memories involving music is singing to about 40 or more people at a church retreat. I have always been shy when it came to my singing, but it felt great to finally break out of my shell and play in front of people without a care.

Q: Why is music so important to you? How does it express you and impact your life?
A: Music is important to me because it has always been in my life, and it can affect my mood depending on what the song is. Since music is all I know, I might as well do something with it and turn it into a career or die trying. The music of others has motivated me to make my own and motivate others as well.

Q: In the future, what are your dreams in this field? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Everyone who pursues music wants to sing and play in the spotlight in front of thousands and thousands of people. This has also been one of my hopes and dreams in life. If that doesn’t happen, I won’t mind at all, but there’s no harm in trying. I honestly don’t know where I see myself in 10 years, but let’s hope I’ll be happy and successful doing whatever it is I will be doing.

Q: Identify the types of characteristics you believe are needed for a successful career in the music business.
A: Success in the music industry is being happy where you are and making money off of it. If you are miserable, then why continue? You have to be unique vocally and your music has to be catchy. Also, you must have dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and go by the name of Justin Bieber.

Q: Some of the most famous musicians have always had someone they were inspired by in their music. Who influences you the most in this industry, and why?
A: Jason Mraz has been a huge inspiration not only because of his musical talent, but also because of his story about his road to fame and fortune, as well as his laid back, relaxed, yet busy lifestyle. I have always wanted to live the life of Mraz’s.

Q: What makes you different from other undiscovered artists? What makes you “that” guy?
A: Honestly, I think there are MANY undiscovered artists that are way more skilled than I am, but what differentiates me from many of them is my uniqueness. For example, while many other artists are deep and soulful in their lyrics, I write songs that are goofy and fun, but all at once have a good meaning to them.

Q: Tupac, Kid Cudi, Justin Bieber. These are popular names that have greatly impacted the music industry. How do you plan on making an impact?
A: How I want to impact music is by reverting people to old-fashioned music, like how people used to sing about how beautiful a girl was–where all this talk about how many girls you can get at a club or how much money is in your pocket is nonexistent.  I want young people as well as older people to be able to listen to music that I may write in the future.