Richard Tichelman
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Richard Tichelman

Surrey, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2017

Surrey, Canada
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"A Great start to a New year for Richard Tichelman"

by Alex Browne - Peace Arch News

White Rock South Surrey posted Jan 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Only a few weeks in, 2017 is turning out to be a great year for young White Rock troubadour Richard Tichelman.

At just 17, the hard-working singer-songwriter-guitarist has musical talent aplenty, photogenic looks and the assurance of a much older and more experienced performer.

He's frequently seen at local performance venues – including Sea Festival – and many passersby have enjoyed his busking on the promenade and on the pier.

Central to the appeal of his pop-country-rock style is a welcome humility, pride in his community and a genuine desire to learn, grow and put his best foot forward, whether in performance or in print and video promotion.

Latest confirmation that he's on the right track came early this year when Tichelman – who has been working with Dale Harding, founder of South Surrey's Pizzazz International Model & Talent since 2015 – travelled to the International Model & Talent Association showcase in Los Angeles Jan. 3-7.

Not only did Tichelman win the event's singing-songwriting competition, but he was second runner-up in the event's 'TV real people' category and even received an honorable mention in the 'runway and fashion print category.'

His win provided him a scholarship with New York's Watersound Entertainment to write and produce an original song, while organizers were impressed enough by his participation at IMTA workshops and seminars during the week that he won a prestigious spot at the event's closing night awards banquet.

Just as crucially, his presence at the event, scouted by agents, producers and casting directors, resulted in 24 callbacks signalling interest – too many, as he and mom Tracy admitted, for him to follow up on all of them.

"Usually, getting 10 or 12 callbacks is considered good," Harding said, adding that the feedback she has received is that Tichelman's musical talent is augmented by a look that has drawn comparisons to a young Elvis and James Dean.

"Which is an amazing compliment, because I really admire them both," Tichelman said.

"The agents' compliment to Richard was the fact that he was the total package," said Harding.

"His dress, his style, the time and work he puts into his music – it was clear that he needs to go to a new level."

"It's most definitely the best way I could have started out the year," Tichelman said, adding that he sees the showcase as "a big leap in my career."

He agreed that, very often, presentation becomes an afterthought for musicians.

"I started modelling because I figured if I was going to be in the arts and entertainment industry, I needed to have a foot in every part of the industry," he said.

"For me, now, it's 'sure, I'll do that photo shoot'. And I've gained so much more from doing it – I have more confidence on stage, more confidence in interviews. I've found it's good to get out of my comfort zones."

Seeing video of his performance of George Thorogood's Bad Boy – "a good crowd song," Tichelman said – at the IMTA awards banquet, it's hard to imagine anyone who seems more comfortable on stage – or less shy about encouraging audience interaction.

"They're really with him," Harding commented.

"It was really fun," he noted about the showcase, in spite of an inevitably nervous first day or two in which he was very aware of the usual 'scoping out the competition' dynamic among the participants.

And the singing-songwriting contest was anything but a breeze, he said.

"Everybody had such good songs – there was a lot of talent there."

But it was an experience he wouldn't have traded, he added.

"It was definitely one of my best experiences so far. I learned so much and made new friends."

"And a lot of fans," Tracy interjected, a fact that Tichelman shyly acknowledged.

"I'm probably just as proud of him as his mom," , said Harding, who seldom misses any of Tichelman's live performances.

"I love working with young talent and I'm grateful being part of his journey."

For Tichelman, who opted to leave Elgin Park Secondary to do high school courses online at home – and is just a few steps away from completing Grade 12 – the journey has already included opening for Aaron Pritchett and Emerson Drive, and opening the Abbotsford Air Show.

And he paid some serious dues, and made more friends, travelling east to participate in a music project in Quebec City and playing the Hard Rock Cafe and Hugh's Room in Toronto.

Other key experiences over the last year included an earlier trip to Los Angeles to participate in a performance skills seminar called Vocalize You.

At the end of that event he had the chance to sing his original song, Gambling Man, in front of a panel of producers whose credits include working with such performers as Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Britney Spears.

While he describes that experience as "surreal," the fact remains that such opportunities have left Tichelman with a strong sense of self – and a clear vision of where he wants to go next.

In the next few months he wants to complete a video he is making for Gambling Man, one he hopes will help launch a new recording of original material and provide further impetus to his career.

"I want to be a recording artist, I want to be doing performances in Canada and in the States.

"The next stop is making a name for myself and helping do my part to put White Rock on the map." - Peace Arch News

"Vancouver's seventeen year old Richard Tichelman wins singer/songwriter competitions, a scholarship to Watersound Entertainment in New York"

Vancouver’s 17 year old singer/songwriter Richard Tichelman is well known locally as a “Star in the Making” with an extensive resume of many performances and awards. Richard, under the direction of Dale Harding founder of Pizzazz International Model & Talent, has just returned from the International Model & Talent Association Awards (IMTA) that was held in Los Angeles at the beautiful Bonaventure Hotel from January 3-7, 2017. (

Richard’s week was filled with competitions, workshops, and seminars taught by industry professionals. With passion and hard work, Richard won a Scholarship with Watersound Entertainment/New York to write and produce a new original hit song. Richard received 24 callbacks (Agent interest). Richard won the singing/songwriting competition and was invited to perform at the IMTA Awards Night Banquet & Dinner. He also placed 2nd runner up in TV Real people and Honorable mention in Runway & Fashion Print.

Richard has traveled to Quebec City and Toronto to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe and Hugh’s Room. While in Toronto, Richard recorded original songs while continuing to work on his artistic development. He also attended 10 workshops in LA with several industry producers. Richard had the honour of opening for Aaron Pritchett & Emerson Drive as well as opening the Abbotsford Air Show.

With Richard’s dedication and the wonderful support he has received from his family and community plus now catching the attention of many industry people, no doubt Richard will step into the spotlight with the promise of a very bright future.

About IMTA
The IMTA is the largest and most prestigious model/talent event that showcases models and talent from around the world who are scouted by over 300 top agents, casting directors, producers, and managers from all major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris and Tokyo. The IMTA has launched the careers of many Hollywood celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Ashton Kutcner, Eva Longoria…to name a few. (

About Pizzazz International School of Personal Development
Established in 1979, Pizzazz International is a School of Personal Development, Modelling & Acting dedicated to the importance of Education. For the last 38 years Dale Harding. Pizzazz International has been travelling with her models and actors to the most prestigious events held in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Many Pizzazz models have moved from modelling to become actors as well as entertainers on stage and the music industry. Pizzazz makes a strong statement that excellent training does make a difference and all models/actors should be educated about the industry when deciding to pursue it. As Harding states, “Modeling is much more than a pretty face” - The Promotion People

"Thrill of the stage"

by Alex Browne - Peace Arch News

posted Jul 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Where are tomorrow's stars coming from?

Don't be surprised if some of the biggest names of the future emerge from the current crop of young talents on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Take South Surrey's Richard Tichelman, for example.

The 15 year-old singer-guitarist-songwriter is an undeniably able performer, with an assured presence, and clean-cut appeal.

He also possesses a smile likely to charm the hardest-nosed industry professional, and an unpretentious, agreeably modest manner to go with his obvious musical gifts.

Little wonder that he scored a double triumph recently – winning the Abbotsford Idol contest on June 23, and, closer to home, placing second only to friend and musical colleague Josh Bogert in the Roadhouse Live Talent Contest on June 14 (fellow Elgin Park Secondary student and musical collaborator Ava Carich placed third).

"I didn't set high expectations on winning Abbotsford Idol," the soft-spoken Tichelman (pronounced Tickle-man) told Peace Arch News.

"But I set a high standard for myself. I knew I was up against some pretty good singers and vocalists, but I knew If I could do well, it would be a good thing for me."

Although taking the top spot in the contest was a surprise to him, it's made him all the keener to pursue music, Tichelman said.

"If I can take it to a professional level, that's what I want to do.The thrill of being onstage is something I love – it's such a rush to be on stage; to see people smiling and laughing, even singing along.

"And the bigger the crowd, the better I am."

That's something that Tichelman got to test with one of the prizes of his Abbotsford Idol win – an opening set for headliners Emerson Drive and Aaron Pritchett for the Canada Day Kickoff concert June 30 at Abbotsford Centre.

Even though the venue's full 7,000 capacity wasn't used for that concert, Tichelman's mom, Tracy, still calculates that upwards of 3,000 people caught his 15-minute set.

"It's the largest crowd I've ever played to," he noted. That includes placing third in the BC Junior Talent Search and opening for the Powder Blues Band at the White Rock Sea Festival last year.

He was only in Grade 7 when he took the plunge into the BC Junior Talent Search – his first ever contest.

"I wanted to take my singing to the next level," he said. "That's when I discovered I could do this, that I could take it somewhere.

"Each time I come off stage, win or lose, I still have a smile."

Other notable events in Tichelman's already burgeoning resume include singing with the White Rock Children's Choir from 2011 to 2013 (along with Bogert), being selected as one of 12 finalists – out of 4,000 entries from across Canada – for season seven of YTV's The Next Star, and placing second in this year's Teen Fest in Cloverdale.

He's still awaiting word whether he made it into the Star Experience teen songwriting contest conducted by Shaw Multicultural Channel's eveRIAthing show.

And he's also looking forward to seeing the completed version of an original rock opera video project, The Vampire To Sing His Song in the Sun, for which he enjoyed shooting scenes recently for director and composer Issah Contractor.

But what's lost in all the current attention focused on Tichelman – and something that would never be suspected by anyone who's seen his confident rapport with his audiences – is the fact that he has struggled, from his earliest years, with a learning disability.

Ironically, Tracy said, he once used to shy away from music – not wanting his mom to sing nursery rhymes, or hear her and his older sister, Elizabeth, singing around the house – "which was difficult," she added.

Diagnosed with 'written output disorder' – a form of attention deficit disorder limiting verbal self-expression – he was taken out of Southridge School and placed at Fraser Academy in Kitsilano for Grade 3 and Grade 4, before being streamed back into school locally in Grade 5 at Chantrell Creek Elementary.

The expertise of teachers at Fraser Academy – such as music teacher Gary Gillespie – in dealing with students' 'learning differences' made a huge difference to Tichelman's development, he and Tracy agree.

Something clicked musically for him at the age of nine, in Grade 4. Taken with the James Blunt song You're Beautiful, he decided he wanted to sing it at an upcoming parents' tea.

With Gillespie providing guitar accompaniment, he worked on the song for three weeks before debuting it at the event for Tracy and his dad, Bob.

"After that, my mom said 'you really have a talent – do you want to take singing lessons?'" he recalled.

"I have it on video," Tracy said.

"We sat there and couldn't believe it. This was the boy who wouldn't sing anything – or get up in front of people."

His parents and Elizabeth – who just graduated Elgin – have been tremendously supportive of his musical career every step of the way, he said.

He's also very proud of Elizabeth, who has been accepted into UBC but is also volunteering to work at a primary school in Fiji for three months before she begins studies.

"She's always been very proud of me, and I strive to live up to her example," he said.

"Sometimes it's hard because she's a great student."

Tichelman – who recently branched out into writing his own songs, such as Dream and Fog-gotten (sic) – has embraced many influences and styles, he said.

"I've sung everything from a Stevie Wonder Christmas Song to a bit of Bruno Mars and Olly Murs, and some classic rock songs – I like the Beatles and April Wine and CCR and all those guys," he said.

"With my guitar I like to put that funk riff with this R & B scale, and throw a bit of jazz in there, while, vocally, I just do my thing."

Fog-gotten, a more folky, open-tuning song, is a tribute to his late grandmother, who had Alzheimer's – but with whom he could always connect musically ("I'd really, really like to get involved with music therapy," he added).

Tichelman is unstinting in his praise for all the adults who have mentored him, including vocal and performance coach Don Wolf, with whom he's studied since 2011.

"He's such a phenomenal guy, from the stories (of the business) he can tell to getting down to the technical stuff. It's been so beneficial to me – it's not only brought out my voice, but also the performance aspect and working a crowd."

His experience with White Rock Children's Choir founder-director Sarona Mynhardt also gave him valuable exposure to the more classical side of music, he said.

"Sarona has a traditional style of teaching which was wonderful in helping me develop my voice in more than just the pop sound – one of the things I found beneficial was harmonizing with Josh, which is something I picked up and can use whenever I want."

Mynhardt's husband Johan – Tichelman's automobile shop teacher at Elgin Park – has also given him valuable life lessons about the importance of a good work ethic, he says.

"He pushed me and made me become who I am," he said.

He also gives high kudos to the school's guitar teacher, Tom Myring, for being "a phenomenal teacher and a role model" (Tichelman is also grateful for the guitar basics he learned in private classes with local instructor Jesse Birch) and now-retired drama teacher Stan Engstrom, who directed him as a Grade 8 student in the school's production of the musical Grease.

"Stan is a brilliant teacher who always had my back – he taught me how to be big on stage, but also little, intimate things you can do that will draw the eye." - Peace Arch News

"Success accelerates for Richard Tichelman"

It’s been a stellar year so far for Richard Tichelman, but the humble Peninsula-raised singer-songwriter – who turns 18 later this month – isn’t letting that go to his head.

He may have recorded his latest single, Leaving Tonight, in New York in March, and finished his first music video – for Gamblin’ Man, released to YouTube earlier this month.

He may have formed a new backup band that rocked the audience on Canada Day at White Rock beach, played to an energized crowd of 240 at the video release event in Abbotsford a week later, and is set to support him in two performances for Sea Festival on Aug. 5 (the second as a lead-in to headliners The Powder Blues Band).

He may have received word that Gamblin’ Man has won him a place as a semi-finalist in the teen category of the international Unsigned Only 2017 contest.

Last, but not least, he may have completed Grade 12 through home-schooling, which enabled him to spend more time developing his musical career.

But Tichelman isn’t forgetting the importance of giving back in return for all the guidance and encouragement he has received from such mentors as guitarist Jim Black (who is helping spark his three-piece back-up band, along with bassist Julia Jakubow and drummer Caleb James).

That’s why last month he was back at his old elementary school, Chantrell Creek, in a assembly in which he mixed performances of four of his songs with life advice for students.

The advice focused on two main points – that young people should always be open to trying new activities in search of their joy in life, and that, rather than simply following others’ paths, they should concentrate on being the best version of their own personalities.

Tichelman, who acknowledges he had his share of being picked on for being ‘different,’ and discouragement from pursuing music during his school years, said he wanted to give a positive message that went beyond singling out negative behaviours such as bullying.

“I decided to try and help the kids in ways in which I wish I’d had somebody to help me,” he said. “Particularly for those kids going from Grade 7 into Grade 8 and, like me, not having much of an idea of ‘high school culture.’

“I wanted to show the kids that if you can find one or two things you really love and can become the best at them, you’ll live a happy life and find joy no matter what other people say. It’s something we all have, it’s just a question of are you willing to put the work and the time in?”

Tichelman has also been busy mentoring other youngsters through guitar lessons, while following his own advice to try something new by studying acting and performing in two short dramas with White Rock’s The Drama Class.

A plethora of community performances so far this year, among them appearances at White Rock’s 60th birthday celebrations, with the White Rock Community Orchestra, and at the Surrey Children’s Festival and the Cloverdale Rodeo, also included singing and modeling at the Pizzazz International Model and Talent showcase in June.

His work with Pizzazz founder Dale Harding since 2015 was instrumental in developing poise and winning the opportunity to record in New York. It was also through a modelling event that he met fellow Pizzazz model Shelby Scott, featured in the video for Gamblin’ Man.

“I met her last October at an event called Faces West on Denman Street, and we chatted. When we were planning the video and when it was suggested that we needed an actor who was blonde, I said ‘I know just who we need.’”

A poetic road-movie style tribute to the possibilities of unexpected romance – Tichelman said it was inspired by the relationship of his sister Elizabeth and her boyfriend – the five-minute Gamblin’ Man, directed by Brandon Deutsch of Element 8 Studio, seems like the beginning of a movie.

A fun shoot, even though it started in December and was finished in May – by which time Tichelman’s winter wardrobe was becoming uncomfortably hot – he said it has whet his appetite for more movie work.

Could acting in a feature film eventually be another ‘something new’ for Tichelman?

“Most definitely,” he said, noting that La La Land has demonstrated that the movie-musical genre is not necessarily passe. “And Beyonce recently created a whole movie around one of her albums,” he said. - Peace Arch News


Still working on that hot first release.



Richard Tichelman, a 19-year-old Singer/Songwriter, from Surrey BC. Original works, Folk/Country and a little bit of Rock and Roll.  He loves the stage.  Also covering classics from the 60's and 70's. Richard engages & entertains his audiences with an undeniable charm.

Highlight Performances

2018; Calgary Stampede, Merit Music Fest, BCCMA Showcase, WR Sea Festival, Roxy Cabaret, Cloverdale Rodeo

2017; winning singer & songwriter of the year at the IMTA’s in LA. Launched 1st official Music Video for "Gamblin Man". Performed the legendary Whiskey-A-Gogo, and a fundraiser in Encinita California.

2016; Quebec City & Toronto record original songs with Producers from House of Wolf and perform his songs as part of the Talent Nation Elite group. 

2015; Celebrities Night Club at the RAW artist showcase, Won Abbottsford Idol, opening for Aaron Pritchett & Emerson Drive’s concerts.

2014; top 12 on the YTV’s the Next Star.


Band Members