While at the Royal Conservatory, Rik began performing at local jazz clubs in the evenings. He gives insight, “Our band was given the keys to an old theatre in town where we could rehearse daily. This had a huge impact on my development, especially as a bandleader.” While still a student, Mol joined many of his teachers at the Royal Conservatory in groups such as the Metropole Orchestra and Nueva Manteca.
Rik Mol’s stylistic evolution over the years originate from the wide array of musical influences from his youth when he listened to almost every genre – from Earth Wind and Fire to Stevie Wonder as well as Miles Davis. “In my teens, I wasn’t only into the classical training, and jazz, but also partial to pop music. But, I never boxed myself into any one genre. I was eclectic by nature,” Rik points out.
By 2006, Rik was ready to bring his years of study, performance and schooling to fruition with his debut release, What’s On Tonight?! The album was an award-winning blend of instrumental and smooth jazz that gleaned global airplay for him. He followed up with his second album in 2010, entitled Funk on Me. Rik gives insight, “Within Funk on Me I wanted to push the limits of traditional jazz by blending funk, pop and soul and vocals from acclaimed British soul singer Nate James.”
As early as 2004, Mol was winning competitions and gleaning awards – just a few of which include; The European Trumpet Contest, the coveted Prinses Christina Concours, as well as the Prins Bernhardfonds Culture Award. While the awards and recognition were important, they gave Rik the opportunity to work with other artists – just a few of which include: Steve Lukather, Chaka Kahn, Candy Dulfer, Basement Jaxx and Jamiroquai’s Derrick McKenzie.
In 2013, Rik headed back into the studio to work on his third project to be released later in 2014. His evolution from playing the trumpet as a background instrument has arrived at a new apex. He is now the front man, treating the trumpet as a vocal instrument. His brass is the central focus of the melodic phrasing in his compositions.
Rik’s Mol’s artistic adventure is powered by much more than simply the three piston valves of his trumpet and it all began with that old blue suitcase. Maybe the suitcase is sentimental or a bit magical? However one thing is surely true, it symbolizes Rik’s lifelong journey through jazz… which still has a million miles to go.