Producer/songwriter Rico Love is not resting on his laurels following the success of “Motivation,” the hit song he penned for Kelly Rowland. In fact, he sees the popular track as just another notch on his R&B belt, which includes songs like Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” Natasha Beddingfield’s “Love Like This” and Usher’s “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home).”
“Not to be arrogant, but I have a lot of hits, so my phone stay ringing, but it’s consistent. I think people are more so happy for her than anything.”
After all, he’s got four other tracks on Rowland's upcoming album, Here I Am, (set for release July 26), just wrapped work on Mario’s album, including it’s main single, and is starting work on Usher’s next album in New York City.
Not enough? He’s also working on the solo album of Romeo Santos, the lead singer of popular multiplatinum Latino group Aventura, as well as clocking in studio time with Leona Lewis, Melanie Fiona, Alexandra Burke and his own artists, Sofi Green, Young Chris (Young Guns) and Cherlise, all signed to his Division1 label.
Love’s secret to success in balancing his many projects is a no-days-off work ethic that leaves him with less than four hours of sleep per night.
“I work every single day,” says Love. “I don’t take off as many days as most other producers and songwriters, so I’m working every single day, and I do songs every day. So it’s just about finding time, scheduling, getting in and cutting the records. I make it happen and that’s the name of the game. It’s no excuses—you gotta figure it out. If you got three artists and they need three records you gotta make records for them. You gotta make sure you get it done and that’s the only answer. That’s the only option.”
Love's tireless approach has helped him to craft smash singles for T.I., Chris Brown, Fergie, Monica, Fantasia and Beyoncé. It's likely the trait that encouraged Usher to give Love his start in the business. After working with the young upstart on a few demo tracks, Usher comissioned Love to write material for his classic R&B album Confessions.
“It’s a gift that I have and I became good at it,” said Love of his talent. “When I heard my first song I didn’t even know that I could write songs. Usher just gave me a track and told me to write the song and I wrote ‘Throwback,’ which is on the Confessions album. So after that I just kind of kept doing it... If you work hard at something you’re good at, you’ll become great at it.”
“Motivation” came out of this intuitive process. Rowland had no expectations for the song, but the labels said they wanted an uptempo track. However, “the labels always think they want an uptempo track,” said Rico. The beat played, the melody and words came to him, and the rest is history.
Looking toward the future, Love is striving for longevity. “I always say this to people: ‘If Shaq can be in the NBA for 19 years and dominate for 19 years using his body, why can’t I be in the music industry for 50 years using my brain when my brain is way stronger than anyone’s body? I have to have a successful record company, more hit records. I want to dominate the game. I want to have 10 Top 10 records at the same time. I want to keep going and making bigger and better songs just for the love of music.”
At the rate he’s going, there’s nothing stopping him.
(Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/PictureGroup)