Company Crew

Ricky Fante 

D.C. native Ricky Fante grew up a student of both Gospel and secular Soul music.  His father was an engineer for the Metro and his mother an elementary school teacher, but both were music fanatics, and Ricky grew up listening to all kinds of music, including Motown, jazz and Gospel.  While his influences included artists as diverse as Elvis Presley and the Ohio Players, as he grew into a teen an occasion seeing Stevie Wonder live in Washington D.C. became an epiphany for Fante, and he knew then what he wanted to be.  He joined a local "go go" group (then a popular movement in DC) called the Junior Division, and began playing in public.

After high school he served in the marines for four years, then relocated to Los Angeles seeking a career in music.  He won a record contract in a local talent contest, but never released a disc under the contract.  He then met SoCal multi-instrumentalist Scott Rickett, and the two began an eclectic songwriting and performing collaboration, culminating in their creation of Soul Surfer Records.  Says Rickett, "Here I am a ex-rocker/surfer from Huntington Beach and Ricky a ex- Marine soul singer from Baltimore with this acoustic show that was bringing the house down everywhere we played. We had punk rock surfers to 50-year-old doctors at our shows wanting to buy our music."  The duo independently released the 2001 album Soul Surfing, a low fidelity recording of 11-songs (many first takes) that have an intriguing garage kind of feel and the immediacy of a live performance.  The songs on Soul Surfing combine Rickett's mellow rock/surfer music sensibilities with Fante's Al Green-like wailing (check out especially the great midtempo number, "Who Stole the Soul").  The album works in its own right, and also serves as a good first view of the amalgamated sound that Rickett and Fante envisioned as they began to work together four years ago.  Expect future similar releases from Soul Surfer Records.

Soul Surfer found its way to record executive Josh Deutsche, who was impressed and began working with Fante, pairing him with writer/producer Jesse Harris (who wrote the wonderful "Don't Know Why" for Norah Jones).  The two began their writing collaboration in late 2002 and created a basket of songs ready to record and release.  Fante was then signed by Virgin Records and Rewind was released in July, 2004.  His stated goal for the album was "to bring Soul music back, but in an attractive, organized do soul music for real.  I like that we used all different aspects of the music; it's a natural marriage for me to do it in that traditional sense.  Sometimes songs need to be sung gritty, sometimes soft, and sometimes you have to mix it."

Rewind arrived to a flurry of critical acclaim, with Fante's traditional soul sound being compared to Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke.  A listen to the disc's first single, "It Ain't Easy," certainly has the feel of a gritty Redding song, and the classic beat and instrumentation of late 60s Memphis.  It is a dynamite mass introduction to this new artist.


Scott Rickett

Scott Learned to read music playing the trumpet in grade school, when his Dads trumpet was stolen from school he used the insurance money to buy his first electric guitar (63 Fender Jazzmaster) Dad wasn't to happy. Growing up in New England he spent much of the cold winters playing guitar and learning everything he could about music. Inspired by the great guitarists of the time he worked on learning every song that was on the radio. "I use to record them on a RadioShack mono tape deck that played at different speeds depending on how long the tape was, boy that really messed with the tunings" . While in College he joined a traveling cover band from LA and took off to see the world, after traveling for 3 years he made his new home in Southern California. Scott played in several LA Rock and Glam bands though-out the 90ís before hooking up with David Ezrin. David and Scott became great friends and found a common bond in music. They formed a publishing company and built a studio in the hills of Glendale and started to write and produce lots of music. " David opened my eyes to a whole new level of the music business, he brought me into some of the biggest sessions in music history and exposed me to the greatest producer in music Bob Ezrin"

After years of working with David he started to produce small projects on his own mostly in the rock and Punk world. Then he met DW at the Long Beach Grand Prix and Dw told him about this young actor/singer that had this amazing voice but no band or songs. Ricky Fante came down to my studio the first day and rocked my world. We wrote a song called "Itís All right" in the first 10 minutes we met and had it recorded within an hour. Here is this black soul singer from Baltimore and a surfer rock guitarist from Huntington Beach, two polar opposites with a chemistry together that is undeniable. Ricky and Scott worked together writing and fine tuning their new sound they called "Soul Surfing", breaking it down to the bare basics as a duo they started performing around LA and the Beaches developing a strong following. Scott & Ricky started Soul Surfer records to promote the new sound they had developed and released their first CD "Soul Surfing " in 2000. The recording were ment to be demoís but every where we played people wanted to buy our songs so we put out a CD. The recordings captured some amazing raw moments of Rickyís voice that are priceless and reflect the real soul of Ricky and Scott.

Soul Surfing opened the door for Ricky to do his Solo album with Virgin records and is still selling today word wide.

Scott runs the day to day operations of soul surfer as well as writes produces and plays with David Ezrin and all of the artists on the label. With a 24-7 work ethic and a true love of music his goal is to make Soul Surfer Records a place for artists to create art without corporate interference or controle.




David Ezrin

David Ezrin is the Director of A&R at Soul Surfer Records. David is a legend in rock, having appeared on some of the biggest albums in history. He has worked with everyone from Alice Cooper, KISS, Ozzy, Motorhead, Motley Crue, Berlin, Bonham and Lita Ford, just to name a few. He has more album, tour, movie, TV and video credits than we can fit on this page. David is an important member of our network and brings time-seasoned experience to all of our new artists.

David is the oldest son of legendary producer Bob Ezrin, who has Pink Floyd, Aerosmtih, KISS, Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Jane's Addiction and many others on his resume. David had a unique upbringing, and witnessed some of rock's greatest moments. He actually watched Pink Floyd make "The Wall".

David has spent his life around the music business, giving him the wisdom, knowledge and talent to work with the diverse artists of Soul Surfer Records. David's passion is to make music that matters. To try and help make Soul Surfer Records a home for the only universal language known to humankind. That language is music. Soul Surfer Records will always be a haven for artists and musicians, and everyone else who believes in the power of creative passion and spirit.


Check out this interview on David at "studio to the Stage"

DW Bonner

Dewey "DW" Bonner is the VP of Communications at Soul Surfer Records. DW has been one of the most important people involved in the start-up of Soul Surfer Records. DW is a producer, writer and visionary who was willing to try new directions and ideas to develop Ricky Fante. DW is responsible for Ricky and Scott meeting and originally inspired them to work together. DW has an endless supply of contacts, a work ethic like no other, and brings us strong long-term relationships with all multi-media outlets.


Soul Surfer Classical

Albert Wu, violin

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Irvine Young Artists

Violinist Albert Wu began playing the violin at the age of ten and actively teaches in Irvine, California. Albert Wu has performed in the major halls in the United States, Europe, and Asia. After a concert in 1994, the "LA Times" wrote Albert to be "a promising young violinist with intellect, intensity, and lyricism." In 1998, Albert made his solo debut in Budapest, Munich, Vienna, and Salzburg. In 2001, Albert Wu was invited by Ms. Claire Hodgkins to perform in a special centennial recital for the Jascha Heifetz Society.

Albert Wu is a graduate of UC Irvine and Indiana University where he was a student of Haroutune Bedelian, Franco Gulli, and Yuval Yaron.  His chamber music teachers include Janos Starker, the Juilliard String Quartet, Cleveland String Quartet, and concertmasters of the Vienna Philharmonic & the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.

In addition to winning top prizes in the finals of the Bach Young Artists National Competition, the National ASTA Violin Competition, and the Pacific Symphony Chinese-American Violin Competition, Albert has also been the first prize winner in the Musical Clubs Competition, Exchange Clubs Talent Search, and numerous other national violin competitions. In 2005, Albert Wu was invited to judge the Korean Youth Music Festival Competition alongside Irvine City Councilmember Sukhee Kang.

An active proponent of modern music, Albert has performed, recorded, and championed works by many modern-day composers. His recordings have won  top awards in the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer’s Competition and in the Society of Composers. In addition, Albert has also recorded a Hollywood film score and musical scores for Disneyland’s Magic Music Days.

An active teacher, Albert Wu teaches private students in his home and has served on the violin faculties at Vanguard University, Santa Ana College, Orange Coast College, the Yamaha Music School, the Tustin Music Center, the Corona del Mar High School Orchestra, and at Irvine’s University High School. In June 2003, Albert performed alongside ten of his outstanding private students in New York's Carnegie Hall as members of the La Primavera Orchestra while an additional eight performed as members of the University High School Symphony Orchestra.

In the past, Albert has performed as first violinist in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Pacific Orchestra, and the LA Opera Orchestras. He has been the Concertmaster for the LA Classical Ballet Orchestra, Four Seasons Symphony, The Greater LA Metropolitan Orchestra, Costa Mesa Symphony, OCC Symphony, UCI Symphony Orchestra, La Primavera Orchestra, and the Chicago Pops Orchestra. He has also been Associate Concertmaster for the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, and the American Youth Symphony (under Mehli Mehta in Los Angeles, California). As Concertmaster, he has played under great conductors such as Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Myung-Whun Chung, and Mehli Mehta.

An active chamber musician as well, Albert has performed chamber music with Vienna Philharmonic musicians and for the Taiwanese American Music Festival. In 2001, Albert performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, performing by special invitation with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. In 2005, Albert founded the Irvine Young Artists, a youth orchestra dedicated to the promotion of talented young artists in the hopes of promoting peace through music.

Mischa Lakirovich,  violin

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Irvine Young Artist s

"A violinist with superior style...not a trained infant prodigy but rather a musician..."

Rhein-Necker-Zeitung, Germany

"A fine young artist...his performance on the as natural as breathing..."

Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung, Germany

"A natural performer…with outstanding musical ability..."

The Courier Mail, Brisbane Australia

IYA Artistic Director Mischa Lakirovich started playing the violin when he was four years old and played his first recital at the age of five, studying with his father, Mark Lakirovich, in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia. From the age of six, Mischa has performed and recorded throughout Europe, even appearing in a private concert for Pope John Paul II. Mr. Lakirovich is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Masters Degrees. He is the recipient of the Dorothy DeLay Scholarship and the Juilliard Alumni Scholarship. He was also awarded the Itzhak Perlman Foundation Scholarship for the Aspen Summer Festival.

A frequent performer both in America and Europe, Mischa Lakirovich has performed as soloist with SBS Symphony, Southfield Symphony, Ann Arbor Summer Symphony, Grosse Point Symphony, the Young Artists Orchestra in Aspen, Colorado, and appears frequently as Concertmaster of The New England Symphonic Ensemble performing at Carnegie Hall.

Mischa Lakirovich has made a number of recordings and live performances for Radio and Television broadcasts including the National Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and on television channels Seven, Nine and Ten, as well as direct broadcast on the Radio Vatican. Mr. Lakirovich is currently teaching, conducting and coaching chamber music at the Lucy Moses School of the Arts and has been faculty at Brooklyn College, French-American Conservatory of Music, and a Technique Associate for the studio of Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard Pre-College. He co-founded the Irvine Young Artists with violinist Albert Wu and hopes that through music, the world will embrace peace and harmony.