He’s known for his velvety voice and catchy tunes – but please don’t place Jarrad Ricketts in a box.
The 30-year-old singer has so much more to offer the South African entertainment industry than just chart-topping hits, and presenting is one of them.
Jarrad has been selected into the top 20 of this year’s Expresso Presenter Search.
Two favoured hopefuls will join the Expresso Morning Show as hosts but they must first survive the intense scrutiny by judges Dr Musa Mthombeni, Roger Goode and Thando Thabethe.
“Being a graphic designer, songwriter and performer, I’m a creative person and that’s what I bring to the table,” says Jarrad, who was born in Ottery, Cape Town.
“I can potentially find fun and innovative ways to relay content to the viewers. I’m also quite daring, so I’m open to learning and trying new things.”
He entered the presenter search to explore another side of himself.
Growing up, the New Life singer had trouble with public speaking. But he believes growth never birthed from comfort zones.
“To push yourself is to grow,” he says. “The uncomfortable disposition of vulnerability will allow you to be okay with making mistakes, which later becomes a lesson for self-development.”
If he were to venture into presenting, his music certainly wouldn’t take a backseat.
“I’ve been writing and recording new music,” the SAMA nominee says, adding he looks forward to giving his supporters new material soon.
In 2016 he started a school initiative called Living My Best Life, in which he visits schools around the Western Cape doing motivational speaking.
“I want to encourage our children to take their future into their own hands. Making them realize that it’s not about the colour of your skin, where you come from or the amount of money you lack. Instead it’s about being resourceful and creating or identifying opportunity.”
He has since visited more than 70 schools, sometimes even providing meals to kids who are often from impoverished homes.
Living My Best Life isn’t sponsored and Jarrad covers all the costs out of his own pocket, something he hopes will change soon. But even if it doesn’t, a lack in funding will do little to douse his passion for ploughing back into the community.
“Our children need to be reminded just how important they are and what they mean to the future development of this country,” says Jarrad, who will soon branch out into schools in the Northern Cape.
“We have so many social ills distracting our children and causing them to lose hope. I feel it’s my obligation as a public figure to use my platform to help steer the young minds of our country into seeing the power and impact they have to change narratives.”