GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Tony Rich recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Rich revealed his creative muse and discussed his first big break and upcoming album, Speak Me, among other topics.
"Out of all the things that inspire me, it is the intriguing, interesting woman," said Rich. "I don't know her name, I don't know what she looks like [and] I don't know where I'm going to meet her, but … whenever I get in tune with a woman I come up with these songs."
A Detroit native, Rich began his career as a staff writer at LaFace Records, where he penned songs for GRAMMY-winning artists such as Boyz II Men, TLC and Toni Braxton. Under the banner of the Tony Rich Project, in 1995 Rich released his debut studio album, Words, which featured the No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Nobody Knows." Words peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard 200 and garnered Rich his first career GRAMMY for Best R&B Album at the 39th GRAMMY Awards. Rich was also nominated for Best New Artist that year. Rich's subsequent albums include 1998's Birdseye, 2003's Resurrected, 2006's Pictures, and 2008's Exist, the latter of which peaked at No. 31 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
Rich's first studio album in five years, Speak Me, is set for release this summer. The album features 12 tracks, including the lead single "Fade Away."