Rich Hunter is focusing on reinventing himself. It’s not in the typical sense of trying something different simply for the sake of change; instead it stems from moving closer to one’s identity and pursuing it with creative, uninhibited force. For years, Hunter has produced and performed his music under the moniker, Risky Star. With the release of Third Eye Inspiration, the artist decided to embark on a career shift, to depart from his former artistic identity in order to better encapsulate the vibe of his new music.
“I had produced and released four other albums under Risky Star,” says Hunter. “With this next one, I wanted to really go into being able to use my voice by singing a lot more versus when in the hip hop world. But it was a little bit scary — going from something that’s been your moniker for years then changing it to go in a whole different direction.”
With artist name change in effect, Hunter embraces the opportunity to mix up genres — in a way it's liberation to flex new styles and content, to forgo an image that can oftentimes be attached to a name. In offering up concepts more reflective of his personal self, Hunter found his music becoming increasingly soulful.
“I personally feel soul music tends to be more long lasting,” says Hunter. “So I wanted to go in that direction and have my music be a bit more timeless as a singer-songwriter; all while changing my name to my real name, Rich Hunter.”
While already having released Third Eye Inspiration and other circulating singles since the change, Hunter makes the creative transition look seamless. With this committed mission to offer something forthcomingly honest to his current stance in life, there was another layer to the change — something that Hunter was deeply influenced and inspired by: fatherhood and family.
“With the spiritual side of making this album, I believe a lot of it had to do with my son for sure. A lot of it had to do with self reflecting where I’m at with life, the things I’ve been through, and the gratefulness of that. It involved a lot of self meditating, seeing the world and the condition that we’re in — I feel like there needs to be a voice for that. I wanted to do it in a authentic way that wasn’t preaching at anybody but giving my interpretation of what I’ve come to see through my own moments.”
Family being the artist's compass, it's no surprise then how Hunter's music origins began in his upbringing — his father always being a huge supporter of his music from day one. This bond the Hunter family share is authentic and steadfast, it's especially clear to see when the artist brings in the group (his cousin, nephew, son, and his father) to meet the Marmoset team.
As the three generations of Hunter men sit on the couch catching up with each other, it proves there can be a shared sustainable balance between a career and family relationships — something often underrepresented when it comes to male artists. It's not that family and work co-existing together is a new concept but it's something important to see more of, normalize, and to celebrate.
With the involvement and support of his family, we look to Hunter's release of "Time Presses On" — his newest single featuring vocals from his sister, Joyya Marie. A sneak peek into his upcoming EP, the neo-soul jam reminds listeners of life's fleeting nature.
When listening to Hunter' Vibrations, it's easy to spot themes of gratitude throughout the album. It's a sentiment that doesn't simply exist within a vacuum but is instead channeled from his real life experiences and outlook. Like with taking on his real name, these decisions are influenced by newfound ideas while preserving the good stuff. In Hunter's creative evolution journey, there's proof that growth can radiate from a steady foundation — change not being the equivalent of erasing the past but to grow in it.