You’ve probably been a fan of Rico Love for years and didn’t even know it. He has penned and produced chart topping hits for Usher, Keri Hilson, Fantasia, Chris Brown and Beyoncé to name a few. His EP, Discrete Luxury, was released late in 2013 and includes six new tracks including hit singles “They Don’t Know” and “B*tches be Like.” The EP serves as the prelude this debut album, Turn the Lights On, which is also the singer/songwriter’s memorable catch phrase. While Rico has made a name for himself mostly behind the scenes, the new record is his chance to not only expand his repertoire but show and prove that he has what it takes as a solo artist. Our Rico Love Interview…
Parlé Magazine: When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Rico Love: I always knew I wanted to pursue music. Since age 7. I didn’t pursue it until I was an adult though.
Parlé: Who were some of your influences growing up?
Rico: I listened to everything, but I was mainly influences by groups like Queen and Stone Temple Pilot. Of course Marvin Gaye, Alex Cooper, Deft Leopard, Diana Ross. I’m very well rounded and researched. I didn’t just hear one song, I got my hands on their catalog. I wanted to know what instruments they used, who wrote the record, where it was recorded, etc.
Parlé: You’ve written and produced quite a lot, do you have a favorite song of your own?
Rico: It’s hard to choose a favorite because I like different songs for different reasons. Really every song I’ve been a part of is my favorite for different reasons. Some that stand out are “There Goes My Baby” for Usher, “Energy” for Keri Hilson. “Just A Dream” was a big record for Nelly. Those are a few of the favorites.
Parlé: Break down for us the different thought process between writing a song and producing it.
Rico: There’s a big difference between writing lyrics, making beats and producing music. A producer is the one who is developing and forming a song. I don’t make beats, I write the melody. I structure the sound. That’s what a producer does. In Hip-Hop, the producer could be the guy making the beats. I know a million guys who make beats and don’t know how to produce a record. Then I know guys like Kanye West and Pharrell who can make beats and produce records. I create a song from start to finish. That’s what a producer does.
Parlé: If someone wanted to work with you or send you beats, how should they approach you?
Rico: I don’t look for beats. I’m being sued by three people I never met saying I used their beats or stole their song. Relationships are everything, there’s always problems with open submissions. And there’s always somebody that says they know somebody that knows me.
Parlé: Wow! That’s unfortunate. As an artist though, what do you want your legacy to be?
Rico: I have a voice and I want to make sure I’m not wasting my voice. Pac wrote, “Wonder Why They Call You Bitch…” That was a statement to the world. It’s impossible for me to tell you what a good woman is without describing a bad bitch. There’s a balance. I talk about bitches. I make club music, but I’m also making an impact on music. Tupac couldn’t have made “Dear Mama” without making “I Get Around.” He was a controversial figure, but he was real and people had no choice but to respect that. I’m on that level. My music is valid because I live the life you live. I want people to say, “he affected me.” If not I’m just a nigga making money. Who wants to be that? I want to affect the culture. Pac was a walking contradiction like we all are. I’m trying to educate without preaching. I really wanna say something even if it ruffles some feathers. That’s legendary.