The social media star talks his new line of accessories and working with Coach in the new issue.
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Rickey Thompson has been making us laugh for years. First on Vine, then Instagram and now on his new podcast, We Said What We Said, with best friend and co-host Denzel Dion. Few online personalities have been able to endure and grow on one social media platform, but Rickey hasn’t found one he can’t make work. His comedic take on everything from relationships to friends to a killer pair of boots. He’s been a quarantine godsend.
Rickey Thompson sat down with Rollacoaster to discuss his OG Vine days, his new partnership with Coach and what his rebrand looks like. Rickey has plans to take over the film, tv and fashion world. Working on his first collection of accessories, Rickey is channelling his famous style into designs of his own. And don’t be surprised when he starts popping up on screens besides your phone. Get ready for the new Rickey Thompson
Check out the interview below…
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You started your career off with your very successful Vine account – what first attracted you to the platform?
I was just a kid from North Carolina. I knew that I didn’t want to be like everyone else who just went to high school to get into college and stay in North Carolina forever. I always knew that I wanted to be a star and I realized that the opportunities to do that in North Carolina were limited. But my mom wasn’t going to just pack up everything and just move to LA for me to become a child star. So, I was like what can I do? I first hopped on YouTube and Instagram trying to make little videos about things going on in my life, but it didn’t really go anywhere. One day my friend told me about Vine. I made an account and I just started going hard on it. I was so obsessed the whole concept of trying to be funny in 6 seconds. I did it for a couple of months and all of a sudden like I started my videos started blowing up. The success from Vine literally jump-started my career, jump-started my life in LA, which I am so thankful for. And for my friend that told me to get on.
One of the reasons I think people love your content so much is how funny and relatable they are – is the relatability aspect something you try to focus on when you’re making content?
Anytime that I make content it is very organic from me. I literally talk about whatever I’m feeling and I people have found what I’m thinking or feeling relatable to things in their lives. I’ll talk about anything, but I just want to make sure that you laugh when you watch. I just do it my way and I’ve never really worried about what I should or shouldn’t talk about.
Obviously Vine has been replaced by a lot of other different apps as the go-to for sharing videos. What was your reaction when Vine started to be replaced and how did you adapt?
I remember when everyone started coming off of Vine and I definitely had a moment what do I do next? I had been making Vines for like three years and I was really good at making content for that platform. When Vine ended, I decided to hop on YouTube because it seemed like that’s what people were doing in 2016. I had to change my style somewhat and ended up doing look-book videos because I’ve always been into fashion. But then my best friend Denzel was like, “Rickey, this is not you.” And I noticed my Instagram wasn’t growing, nothing was popping off and my views weren’t the best. That realization encouraged me to start making funny videos again on Instagram. I was worried because I had tried to do that type of thing on Instagram before and it didn’t really go anywhere. Denzel pushed me to try again and so I got on Instagram and I really went hard posting every day. At first it was very challenging because it was longer than six seconds and I remember being like, oh my gosh, these have to be funny for a way longer time. But once I got the hang of it, I started to love it even more than Vine. I felt like I could say more, I could get the joke out and I could do whatever. And I’m still going at it.
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A lot of people struggle with the negative pressures and consequences of social media, is that something you’ve had to deal?
Yes, I have actually. I decided to take a little social media break a couple of months ago and I just really wanted to chill out for a moment. I’ve been posting every day since 2018, making sure I was always putting out content. It was challenging during quarantine because I usually get all my inspiration through what I’m doing in life. It was a very frustrating moment to not have inspiration for content and I felt like I really just needed to be with myself and just be safe. The break helped me take time to rebrand myself and think about the future. We’ve been in quarantine for a minute, and now I’m back on and posting again. It’s time to bring it back, ready for the new year.
You’ve also launched your podcast We Said What We Said with your best friend Denzel – how did the idea for that project come about?
This has been something that we’ve been working on for about two years, but it finally got picked up during quarantine. It was so easy to do during quarantine because Denzel lives down the street for me. I just went over to record, and we had the time to do it when everything was on pause. We talk about everything and its been so much fun.
You’ve been getting more involved in the fashion world recently by joining the Coach family – what is your relationship like with the brand before and what is it like now that you’re a part of the team?
When I was younger, my mom, my grandma and my aunt were obsessed with Coach. They always had a Coach bag. Fast forward to now, it’s so amazing that I’m a part of the Coach family. I was super excited to join Coach because I love what they are doing, they’re really invested in this new wave of aesthetically beautiful clothes and I just love it. I’m just so thankful to be working with them because I’m trying to get more into fashion in general. That’s what I really want to do. And I’m so happy to be working with Coach to start to make that dream come true.
You are known for looks, which really blur the line between men and women’s clothing. Do you feel like there’s more of an opportunity now to blur that line in your personal fashion and in the industry in general?
Oh, yes for sure. I don’t even think of clothes in terms of gender. I have a whole lot more women’s clothes than men’s clothes. I just love the way that woman clothes fit and all that. And I love that a lot of new fashion being produced is very unisex. I love gender roles are becoming less important in the fashion world. feel like everyone should be able to wear whatever they want. And I think it sets me up really well to get involved in more of the business side of fashion because I’m comfortable with both men and women’s fashion. Hopefully, I can help further that deconstruction of gender in the industry.
Who do you look up to for style inspiration?
My two favourite inspirations who also blur that gender-line are definitely Harry Styles and Rihanna. Rihanna was always a girl who could give you looks from everything from girly girls to tomboy. She just wears the hell out her clothes, it’s everything. And Harry Styles who can wear a suit or a dress and just make it look so beautiful. I love, love, love how they do fashion.
How was the process of putting together a What Do You Meme? expansion pack based on some of your most iconic moments?
When I got that call, I was so excited because I love What Do You Meme? We talked about it so much during quarantine, like months and months of planning. We got together and picked out some my favourite reaction pictures. When it all came together, and I got that box the first time, I literally almost cried. My family was super excited about it. And it’s just such an amazing opportunity to be part of a game in that way.
Do you have a favourite card?
It was definitely like my reaction photo talking about my boots. People just love that video of the videos I talked about my boots. So that one definitely sticks out to me.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Right now, I am working on trying to make my own jewelry line. That is my biggest, biggest thing that I’m going to be focusing on in 2021. And I definitely want to act more. I love doing Instagram and making content, but I’m really ready to cross that line from social media into acting – films, tv, everything. So hopefully you see me on a big screen in 2021.
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