GRAMMY-nominated songwriter/producer Rico Love was the recent guest for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held at The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Love discussed music education, breaking into the music industry, his songwriting process, and advice for aspiring artists, among other topics.
"I really was kind of like a musical nerd," says Love. "I would watch VH1's 'Behind The Music.' That was heavy when I was a kid. I would sit up and want to watch that all day instead of going outside sometimes … AC/DC, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper — I learned stories of all these guys. That's when I fell in love with Queen, which is one of my favorite bands of all time … I started paying attention to what made music good. I started paying attention to why I liked it."
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Born Richard Butler Jr., Love was raised in Harlem, N.Y., and Milwaukee. His musical influences include Babyface, Hall And Oates, Billy Joel, Elton John, R. Kelly, and Rufus Wainwright, among others. Now Miami-based, Love has worked with artists including Natasha Bedingfield, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Fergie, Monica, and Usher, among others. Love cites Usher as the artist who encouraged him to hone is songwriting skills in 2003 when he was signed to the latter's US Records. Love subsequently co-penned Usher's "Throwback," which was featured on his 2004 GRAMMY-nominated album Confessions. His first GRAMMY nomination came in 2009 for Album Of The Year as a producer on Beyoncé's I Am… Sasha Fierce.
Most recently, Love has worked with artists including Mary J. Blige, Fabolous, Melanie Fiona, and Leona Lewis, among others. He is currently working on forthcoming projects with Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Usher.