Toy Story 3 Star Releases Debut Single


( ENSPIRE Music ) Emily Ricks Has Just Released Her First Song in Honor of a Close Friend Who Passed Away

ENSPIRE Contributor: Martin Draus

“First Friend” is a vulnerable, but optimistic song full of tragedy and recollection. It’s the first debut of Emily Ricks, a famous actress known for roles like “Bonnie” from the Oscar Winning Film, “Toy Story 3”. The song is in honor of Nathan Rhoades, a close friend of Emily’s who passed away in a tragic car accident last year. Emily Ricks has stated all profits of the song will go straight to “Nate’s Place”, a foundation created by Nate’s family to support teens and young adults who are recovering from drug addiction.

Emily Ricks is an actress who started out at 8 years old with her first film, “Toy Story 3”. Since then, she has continued her acting career in films like “Wreck It Ralph” and “Beautifully Broken”. Throughout her acting career, Emily Ricks had developed her own music style that she was finally prepared to show the world on February 14th with the launch of her song “First Friend”.

Emily Ricks started writing songs on the piano at age 12 after her father passed away. From then on it has been an outlet to express all of her emotions. “I’ve always been a bit of a loner, so music was always my best friend growing up. I would say the main reason I became a songwriter is that I needed a way to express emotions that I didn’t know how to verbalize normally.”

The song has garnered a lot of praise and Ricks is very happy with the result. “I am so proud of this first single. I wrote it in honor of my first childhood friend Nate who passed away a year ago.” Nate suffered a traumatic brain injury last January and donated all of his organs, saving multiple lives. “For my first song to be about someone so important to me is such an honor.”

Emily Ricks is far from done with her music career, she has already written over 100 songs and is so excited to put more of them out. “Me and my producer are gearing up for the next few releases right now. I can’t wait for everyone to hear.” As for acting, Ricks is still working and pursuing that career as well. “I love bouncing between the two and deriving inspiration from both!”

The first song that Ricks ever bought was “Get It While You Can” by Janis Joplin, who has always been a huge inspiration to Ricks.  Emily Ricks is also a huge fan of Stevie Nicks, Maggie Rogers, Hozier, Allen Stone, and David Bowie. Although “First Friend” leans more towards the singer-songwriter genre, the majority of Ricks’s songs will be more alt-pop. 

Ricks started writing the song the night she found out her friend Nate was in a horrible car accident and most likely wouldn’t survive. The next day she went to see him in the hospital and finished writing it over the next few days. “The song came from a place of grief, but also of reverence for Nate’s impact on my childhood. I’m so thankful I had him as a friend growing up.”

Finishing the song was an important task for Ricks, it was her way of honoring Nate’s legacy and she couldn’t let him down. “It was hard writing a song that hit so close to home. I also very much wanted it to honor Nate and the depth of his character and spirit. It was hard in the beginning to sing it without crying. I remember singing it to Nate in his hospital bed and having to keep starting over in order to not cry.”

Emily Ricks is preparing to release a ton of songs in 2023. The majority of the songs she will have coming out center on past relationships and deriving strength from hard situations. Ricks is so excited for people to hear them and she hopes they can offer a new lens to some very common issues we all face in life. She also has a few acting projects coming soon.

“First Friend” has gone viral and obtained 3 million views on Emily Ricks’s TikTok video. It expands in popularity on social media while continuing to reach out and inspire viewers throughout the country. The song will continue to raise money to support “Nate’s Place” to uphold the legacy and memory of Nathan Rhoades, while helping teens in recovery. This is not the end of Emily Ricks, as we can only wait and see what her new projects will be.

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