Raleigh Ritchie talks ‘fitting in’, fame and stage names

In Belstaff’s original podcast series, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, host Reggie Yates talks to successful individuals about risk-taking, confounding expectations and choices they’ve made that have led them to where they are now. 

Throughout the iconic clothing brand’s history, they have had the opportunity to develop deep connections with individuals that have led a life off the beaten path. In this series, Belstaff have celebrated these characters – the ones that have challenged the ‘norms’ in society – and within the episode it’s evident that Jacob Anderson is certainly one to do his own thing.

Although he may be best known for his acting role in one of the most popular television shows of all time, Game of Thrones, Anderson explains that music is where his passion lies. Having released his debut album, ‘You’re a Man Now, Boy’ in 2016, fans are now eagerly awaiting his new album – which he has promised is coming very soon.

The extremely talented musician chooses to use the moniker Raleigh Ritchie – but why? Admitting that he thought he would be a producer rather than a singer/song writer, he decided on a stage name earlier on in his career. His songs were so personal that he felt a lot safer under the name of Raleigh Ritchie, the character.

What else is revealed in the episode? One thing’s for sure – much like a Belstaff leather jacket, it becomes clear just how tough and resilient Anderson is. 

What were the early years like?

Before the successful acting and music careers, Anderson admits to spending a lot of his time in the comic book shop as a little boy, which was ‘more like a library to him’. He explains that music, TV and comic books raised him, but was actually chastised for his taste in music when he was young. While his classmates listened to popular songs, he would never follow the crowd – opting to play the Spice Girls and make his own mixtapes instead.

Has fame changed him?

Absolutely not, it appears. Today, he rides the bus regularly despite being a thriving recording artist and playing Grey Worm in the renowned drama TV series. Often asked ‘why are you taking the bus?’ by members of the public, he simply replies ‘because I have somewhere that I need to get to’. The normality is amazing.

Very much a big fan of doing his own thing, Anderson tells Yates how he loves autonomy and his freedom. While he’s aware that what he does places him a position whereby everyone recognises him, he much prefers to lay low, carrying out ‘normal’ activities such as walking his dog – and buying his own milk, he jokes. 

He’s kept his life more or less the same, which has enabled him to remain human. As a younger guy Anderson often kept himself locked away, making music at lunchtime in school instead of forming friendships and hanging out with mates. Today, he refuses to isolate himself, which is why he chooses to carry out the everyday activities that he does – ‘Why should you trade in your rights as a human being just because people recognise you in and around London?’ Human interaction is massively important to him, admitting that he won’t ever segregate himself again. 

What’s next for him?

His new album, which will be his most personal music yet. And other than that? He’s still figuring that one out.

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