Growing up on the Cape Flats in Athlone, it was the arts that gave Jarrad a sense of direction, perseverance and drive leading him to write and record his own music. SAMA nominated artist in the Best Pop Album category for his debut album “Break The Rules” released in September 2018, Jarrad Ricketts is currently topping Top40 charts nationwide with his hit singles “Take Me To Your Heart”, “Paradise”, “Thinking Bout”, “New Life” and “Unicorns (Living my best life)”.
This year, prior to the COVID19 pandemic, he visited 70 schools around South Africa, where he shared his motivational talk, and ran a series of his own workshops called “Inspire To Evolve Beyond Fears and Limitations”, where he mentored young aspiring singers, dancers and rappers, using the arts to further develop their communication & interpersonal skills. He demonstrates to children that they can achieve anything they put their minds to despite their circumstances.
Performances include: the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Heart Cape Town Festival, Jazz on the Rocks (Tietiesbaai), touring with the Grand White Party and the Bloemfontein, Cape Philharmonic and Stellenbosch City Orchestras, featuring regularly on South African TV screens performing on SABC 2’s “Hectic 99”, Cape Town TV, SABC3’s “Expresso Morning Show” and SABC 2’s Musiek Roulette and ‘Noot Vir Noot” and performing internationally in Spain, Finland and Sweden. Jarrad continues to deliver energetic performances across genres such as Pop, Jazz, Rock and Swing.
Jarrad is also the Director of JBR Production
s Company, which is a production and management company focusing on directing his own shows, writing for other artists, youth empowerment and community development. He has also been producing his own online shows as well as corporate virtual experiences and livestream shows for other artists. As a public figure, Jarrad wants to use his platform to raise awareness on various social ills affecting communities, leading by example to encourage more people to create the change they want to see in the world. Jarrad has also launched the Jarrad Ricketts Foundation where he is raising funds through various initiatives to meet the needs of dire communities in and around Cape Town, especially during these difficult times of the COVID19 pandemic. He also features on Gospel Mondays on SABC3’s Expresso Breakfast Show.
The Gospel singing sensation, Jarrad Ricketts, is set to launch an exciting new venture tomorrow, with the debut of his TESTIMONY fashion brand.
For Cape Town-born-and-raised Ricketts, 33, TESTIMONY is a fashion brand that has been in development for over four years now.
After visiting more than 70 schools around the Western Cape doing motivational talks and sharing his journey with South African youth, and doing community upliftment projects through his Jarrad Ricketts Foundation, TESTIMONY is the latest project in which the gospel superstar hopes to impact the lives of South Africans.
“After being exposed to so many different people, their lives and situations through my community work I became inspired by the idea that there is POWER in our STORIES. This led me to creating a brand that is focussed on spreading a positive message, where we acknowledge the path God has placed us on, embracing the hardships/struggles and using those experiences to inspire others to persevere. It does not matter who you are, or where you come from, we all have a story, a story that matters and a story that is worth sharing,” he shares.
So why the decision to expand into fashion?
“As a creative I am always finding new ways to express myself, and new opportunities to use my talent to affect and contribute positively to our society. For me it is not only about expanding into fashion, it is about using my influence and platform to create art that breathes hope and positivity into our communities and industry – especially during these difficult times,” explains Ricketts.
Ricketts says that TESTIMONY wants to evoke a culture where we become more aware of the messaging we are putting out into the world and in our headspaces. The fashion brand is also linked to the Jarrad Ricketts Foundation, where proceeds are donated to continue community upliftment initiatives.
The first item in the TESTIMONY fashion range is the “JER 29:11″ hoodie, which Ricketts designed himself.
“This particular item took a year and a half to develop. It was important to me that we focus on creating a cut and feel that reflected who I am, but also maximized on comfortability, while looking tailored. The biggest highlight was seeing TESTIMONY materialize – from the concept, through to developing the garment. From the cut and shape, to the labels, fabric choice, colour, branding, I designed it all. I also had a lot of input from industry professionals and other designers to ensure that I was creating a good quality product.”
Choosing the right colour for the hoodie was once of Ricketts’ most important decisions to launch the brand. In doing so, the TESTIMONY JER 29:11 hoodie is going to give fashion lovers “the iconic hoodie experience.”
“The hoodie is quite an iconic silhouette, and one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing one can own. I saw an opportunity to recreate a garment that not only served that purpose, but to take it a step further to turn it into an item that gives you enough options to personalize the fit and feel for your body.”
“I chose a neutral colour palette as the concept was built around creating a brand that lends itself to a calm, uncluttered and peaceful lifestyle. I want TESTIMONY to be the brand with a difference, one that is conscious of what we are speaking over our lives and putting out into the world.”
TESTIMONY will be sold at HIGH STREET FASHION store in Blue Route Mall in Cape Town and retails at R550 each.
Ricketts and his design team are set to launch additional fashion items later this year.
Q&A WITH JARRAD RICKETTS REGARDING TESTIMONY ORDERS/AVAILABILITY
Which sizes are available for purchase?
It is important to me that we are able to create garments across the size spectrum, so that everyone feels represented. Our sizes range from extra small, small, medium, large, extra-large, XXL and XXXL
Do you deliver orders to areas outside of Cape Town?
We do, all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the delivery cost?
We work on an average delivery cost system, and would then add a delivery fee of R100.00 to the total cost.
Can people purchase orders online? This will definitely be a means of engaging with TESTIMONY in future, but for this initial release we are excited to have our garments in store.