If there’s a song today that’s playing all over the radio, this man probably has his penmanship all over it. Rico Love is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer. He’s curated hits for superstars such as Usher, Nelly, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland. Love is hosting the We Love Music Conference in Indiana during the Black Expo week that will be taking place in early July. The conference will feature industry icons such as Bryan-Michael Cox and Kelly Price. Here are some excerpts from our interview. -andre j. ellington
You’ve written countless hits for many artists. So are there certain amenities that you need to have around you in order to write?
Honestly, when I’m in the studio, I just create. I can have a melody come to me while I’m on a plane, or anywhere. It’s really about living in the moment and connecting to the music. I’m a student. I’m a fan. I respect it, and I continue to work hard to be as consistent as possible, which is why I’m always in the studio.
When you first got into the music industry, you were under the tutelage of Usher. Usher didn’t give you any money at first. Instead, he made you earn it through your talents. What were the lessons that were attained from this experience?
That experience made me want to hustle harder. Creative people can’t eat if they don’t create. We eat what we kill, so it makes it that much more necessary to work hard. If you work for a record company, you get paid every week. If you work for a publishing company, you get paid every week. With writers, artists, and producers, we only get paid if we do well, so Usher made me understand that you have to go get it out here. You have to create a lane for yourself.
What would you say is your most impactful record to date?
Man, that’s so hard for me to say. All of them are like my babies, you know? They said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s really based off of how the people feel about my records.
You always speak about the state of music today and how it has changed over the years. Do you think there’s simply a lack of talent, or are individuals not taking the proper time to study their craft?
I think people love money more than they love greatness. It’s so many avenues for people to be able to make money now, that they don’t have to focus on the artistry. They are so out of love with the business of music that they don’t focus so much on actually being in the industry. That’s why it’s so many great talents that won’t be discovered because they don’t want to. And also it’s so much money to be made on being popular. As long as people can make money off of strictly being popular, then greatness will continue to get pushed to the back, but it’s very important for great people to continue to be great though.
The We Love Music Conference will be taking place in early July. What can millennials expect to gain from this experience?
This conference is dedicated to songwriters, artists, producers, and managers. For them, this will be like a training session where they’ll learn secrets and tips on bettering themselves as creatives. I just wanted to facilitate something for the people that they will be able to learn, grow, and develop from.