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B.C. singer returns to music after life-changing motorcycle crash

Richard Tichelman to release new album this month
Peninsula singer-songwriter Richard Tichelman is taking a philosophical approach to his recovery following a motorcycle accident in May – but is hoping to be able to do personal appearances soon to fully promote his new album In & Out of Love, which drops on July 26.

It may be the biggest cliché in the book — but sometimes, in life, it's true that what doesn't kill you can make you stronger.

Semiahmoo Peninsula-based singer-songwriter Richard Tichelman says he has a renewed sense of purpose after a motorcycle accident a month-and-a-half ago — an accident he acknowledges he was lucky to survive with only a broken collarbone.

And even though injury forced him to push back the release date of his latest album, In & Out of Love, until July 26 (he wanted to be recovered enough to play the guitar during personal appearances supporting the release) he's taking a philosophical approach to everything. 

Ironically, the accident, on Mother's Day (May 12) took place only a block or two from Tichelman's family home in South Surrey.

"It was one of the scariest things in my life," he said, during a recent visit to Peace Arch News.

"I'd just finished filming two videos for the album and we did the wrap up for those. I was close to home, around 167 Street and 20 Avenue, and a lady turned left in her SUV right in front of me. I hit the brakes and flew 90 feet in the air into a ditch."

His speed wasn't a factor in the accident, he said, although he realizes, after the fact, that if he had been going any faster "it would have been the end of me."

As is the way with delayed reactions in such situations, Tichelman said he recalls getting out of the ditch and running back to where the other driver had stopped and where his motorcycle lay. The woman was fine, although shaken up, but the bike — his prized white 2006 Yamaha — was "a goner," he said.

"That was my pride and joy, identical to the bike my dad had when I was growing up," he said. "I loved my bike, but at the end of the day she gave her life so I could keep mine."

It was only while he and the other driver were waiting for the police and an ambulance to arrive that he began to realize that he was hurting — a lot, he added.

After that, things got a little unclear as he was transported to the hospital, although he remembers his family, including his dad and his sister Elizabeth, rallying around him — and particularly the quiet, loving support of his mom, Tracy.

"As much as I was trying to be strong for her, she was being strong for me," he said.

A bare two weeks after the accident, following surgery, he was up and around — although he had to realize, then, that months of physical therapy still await him.

And trying to pick up the guitar, again, told him — in a matter of half an hour — that he would have to wait on that too.   

On one level it's a frustrating delay in a musical career that started when, in his early teens, he was a junior troubadour busking on White Rock pier and has since evolved from some dues-paying country roots into a mainstream pop phenomenon that has won fans and attracted attention on both the national and international stage.

Tichelman's rise has been achieving peak velocity, particularly since the enforced layoffs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His 2022 single Hands not only earned him a coveted spot at the prestigious CMW Showcase, but also won victories in top music competitions, including Jim Beam Bourbon's Virtual National Talent Search.

His 2023 single Red Lights, born of a sojourn in Nashville and benefiting from the production of Giordan Postorino (Alessia Cara) and the mixing talents of Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica) went on to become a chart-topper in on-air play, and clinched him a win at the 2024 USA Songwriting Competition.

A mentorship at Studio Bell, in Calgary, was a prelude to even more exciting developments, including a record deal with XOXO Entertainment Corp/Believe and the production of In & Out of Love.

As the title might suggest, life experience has added greater emotional depth to his musical output, particularly on the new lead single Never Be The Same, which he co-wrote with Nashville heavy-hitters Jimmy Thow and Jamie Floyd, and which explores themes of heartbreak with new-found maturity.  

When it drops later this month, the album, which will be available on all platforms for streaming and download, will be found on

However long it takes to get back to where he wants to be, Tichelman said he's willing to take as long as it needs.

"(Since the accident) I'm finding I like to slow down and take my time," he said. "When I focus on the situation I have to think about what it means to me, and how do I participate in that," he said.

"That incident was out of my hands," he said. "But, clearly, I have some unfinished business.

"I have to think about some of the things I need to do, including some of the things I don't like to do, and think about how I can do that joyfully." 

What hasn't flagged, and what continues to sustain him, is his passion for making music, he said.

"Music is the girlfriend that won't leave," he said. "No matter what else is going on in my life, music is a constant source of joy.

"I'm going to strive to go with the flow and try to keep on in the eternal groove."  


Alex Browne

About the Author: Alex Browne

Alex Browne is a longtime reporter for the Peace Arch News, with particular expertise in arts and entertainment reporting and theatre and music reviews.
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