Growing up in New Jersey, Persaud was always surrounded by music. His father, Ricky Sr, engineered albums early in his working career and passed his love of music along to his two sons. His mother, who was always musical but denied lessons as a girl, promised herself that her children would be able to learn any instrument they wanted.
At age 4, Ricky began to play percussion and was accepted to the Newark School of the Arts to study drums. However, it wasn’t until he was 9 that he grabbed a guitar and instinctively knew what to play. “I just picked up a family guitar and started to play, having never taken a lesson. That day it all clicked for me; I knew I had found a way to express myself.” Aiding in the journey was an early musical lesson courtesy of The Beatles. “The Beatles taught me that you can make incredible music within the pop realm and also be socially conscious lyrically at the same time.”