As he prepares to drop his debut album TTLO on May 19th, we caught up with producer/songwriter/artist Rico Love to talk about his upcoming project. In the new interview Rico Love talks about making quality music, how he knew his songs would be received well and what he think is missing from R&B music today. Check out the new interview below.
YMMW: Your album TTLO is due out on May 19th, with being a producer and songwriter for other artists how does it feel to have finally your own album coming out in stores?
Rico Love: I think it’s the most empowering feeling I ever had, when you write for other people you kind of leave your record in their hands, the record companies they decide when it goes and how hard they work at it, which single is the right single. But when you make your own record, your empowered enough to say this is when I want my album to come out, this is when I want this song to come out, this is the roll out that I have, and being in the game as long as I have been in it I’ve been able to see how things work firsthand. How things go wrong, how things go right, how some things are left up to chance. So being in this place is the most comfortable I have been in a long time as an executive, an artist, songwriter and producer.
YMMW: Tell us about your thought process when going into recording your debut album
Rico Love: Initially I was just picking songs, my thing was just writing a great song, but I think towards the end of September was when I was getting around to a stride of thinking up a concept and consistent theme. I think artists should be given that time to create a body of work that is consistent I don’t believe in rushing anything. So I’ve been working this record for the past two and a half years, it’s just that In September I started figuring out what songs made sense. A lot people make records and they just make songs and they’re just figuring out what song to put on the radio, I made an consistent body of work of great records that tell a story so it’s been a very strenuous process but I enjoyed it more than anything I have done creatively.
YMMW: With this new album can we expect to hear any guest features?
Rico Love: Not many guest features I got Raekon on the album and I got a new artist by the name of Armani Caesar she’s just a dope artist who I found on instagram I thought she was dope I asked her to put a verse on the record and she killed it, I got Waka Flocka on the album doing ad libs. It’s a great body of work I didn’t want to fill it up with features. I had an incredible record with Monica but I couldn’t get the sample to get cleared in time and that killed me because, I thought the song was an incredible part of the story but sometimes politics of the game happen, I couldn’t get the sample cleared, hopefully if we get it cleared we can get a repackage of the album.
YMMW: I saw an interview with Case where he was asked about the state of R&B today and he had stated that R&B has lost its Identity. Being a successful producer and songwriter for many R&B acts do you agree with that statement?
Rico Love: Absolutely you have R&B singers who are rapping on records, when I say rapping I don’t mean rapping as rappers I mean sing rapping on everything talking about slap it up, bend it over, pop it all this twerk stuff all this turn up stuff, and I feel like they forgot that the essence of crooning, was to woo woman and to talk to them and was to show a different side of men to show a different type of aggression. Because people may say it’s sensitive but I think it’s a different type of aggression. We aggressively admit to who you are and how you feel about a woman. A lot of these guys are forgetting that and that’s why I was happy to do that with my single Somebody Else, I was man enough to say “Oh man I messed up” and a lot of guys want to be pimps and players and they forget that the strongest thing we can be is men. The strongest way we can relate is to approach in honesty and realness. So I agree with what he is saying wholeheartedly, I definitely don’t consider myself an R&B artist this is not an R&B album, I’m singing on most of the songs when you listen to the records you will understand they’re not R&B songs they’re just songs I feel like they don’t have a genre, I borrowed from so many differnt things. There are a few records that have that R&B essence, but they are just good songs and I feel like the world and all cultures can relate it.
YMMW: When you first stepped out from behind the scenes and into the forefront as an artist, did you expect your songs such as They Don’t Know and Bitches Be Like did you expect the listeners to receive so well and become the success that they have?
Rico Love: Yeah I really did, I’ve been writing song so such a long time I really did believe in quality records and quality music. I’m shocked when certain records aren’t received, I’m more shocked when they don’t work, I really believe and still have faith in a really great song and a lot of people have given up and abandoned that, they’re so caught up in the fluff and the turn up With me I’m one of the few who still believe in a good and important song.
YMMW: We know that you were working with Tiara Thomas and was on your label, but now seems like that partnership has dissolved, what happened with that partnership and are you going to sign any up and coming acts that we should be on the lookout for?
Rico Love: Right now I’ve been so caught up in developing my brand, but this artist, Armani Caesar she’s not signed to me, but I think she’s incredible and I would love to be a part of her project going forward and she’s actually on the album like I said earlier. There are a few people I think that are really talented and really dope. There’s this one rap artist I was checking out earlier, that’s from Miami named Hoody and I just thought he was dope. So there are some people I look at that I think are really talented but now, I have tunnel vision I’m just focused on the album. I definitely love producing and writing records and being a leader and example to up-and-coming acts, but now I feel like you can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. I want to focus on this and win at this so everything else I do can fall in line.
YMMW: Do you find it hard running your own label while working on your album as well?
Rico Love: Yea worth doing is difficult though that never bothered me, I was always wearing multiple hats, when I did a Nelly’s album I did 7 songs on that album 5 songs on Beyonce’s 7 songs on Kelly Rowland’s 6 songs on Usher’s I never was the guy who ran from the hard work I did the work. Doing the work is the easiest part to me because I was comfortable doing multiple things so that was never the problem.
YMMW: What song do you feel is most personable to you on your debut album TTLO?
Rico love: Run from me and Day’s Go by, I just think those records embody how I was feeling at the time.
YMMW: With Somebody Else currently out do you have a follow-up single planned?
Rico Love: I have a choice between a few; I want to wait for the album to come out to see what people think. I have this song called Day’s Go By that’s a very incredible record and I also have a record called Happy Birthday that I think is going to be huge but, I want to see what happens.
YMMW: We saw on Monica’s instgram that you two were working together again and I know you said before you two were working on a song for your album, will you be working on her Code Red album that is coming out soon?
Rico Love: I didn’t get a chance to work on it yet, but who knows what will happen.
“I just believe people don’t care to know until they know that you care. I sincerely wholeheartedly care about this project and about what I’m doing; this is not something that I take lightly this is not something that’s a game to me, these records I’m creating they really mean something to me and I know this album is a classic and I’ve been a part of classic albums and projects and I know this album has that. I can’t wait for people to hear it I just hope people really take the time out to really listen – Rico Love”.