The brooding 23-year old's urbanpop and lovelorn storytelling has impressed on a variety of supporting slots including with acclaimed American rappers Kendrick Lamar and Angel Haze. Most recently he supported George Ezra. In fact I saw both of them at the Brixton Academy.
His electronic-influenced RnB pop first gained recognition on the Adulthood soundtrack in 2008, where he recorded "I Need Love" with British rapper Plan B. Soon after he was signed to Columbia Records and balanced his acting career with his now blossoming musical repertoire. Incorporating diverse influences such as Erykah Badu, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, Ritchie's first EP, The Middle Child, was released in 2013 as a free download for his fans.
Anderson grew up listening to a really broad eclectic variety of music but really developed a love for the Smiths - in particular their frontman Morrissey. However he was really drawn to hip-hop in his teens and started making music using beats he had downloaded to his computer. Initially, Anderson saw himself as a songwriter-come-producer, but was encouraged to sing while attending an after-school music program. He moved to London at 17 to launch his singing career, but ended up falling into acting, appearing in The Bill and Casualty before landing the role of Omen in the gritty British drama film Adulthood which obviously also included his track with Plan B. Two impressive EPs have been released since then, and Anderson’s debut album is due later this year.
Anderson’s style has progressed into something more challenging and contemporary since his initial spring onto the scene. Debut EP The Middle Child featured glitchy atmospherics and subdued soul similar to that of BBC Sound nominee Sampha. Black and Blue has a more complete sound, with pulsing rhythms and melodies which arch off in swirling, almost psychedelic directions. Ritchie’s caramel vocals, meanwhile, flits between a rich tenor and a breathy falsetto – both of which recall Frank Ocean. He’s not afraid to go for the big chorus: singles Stronger Than Ever and the excellent Bloodsport both have charming pop hooks, upon which Ritchie hangs candid lyrics on love and lust.
Anderson himself has said he sees acting purely as a job, but music as his calling: “I enjoy acting, it's fun. Making music is fun too, but it's so much more than that. Making music is what I have to do.”