During his college years at ECSU, he performed with the group, “Next Episode.” At this time he wrote “A Lonely Night: and co-wrote, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.” The latter was recorded by “Next Episode” for ECSU’s CD compilation project “Check the Resume: Vol. 1.” After the breakup of the group in 1995, he worked as an intern for Intersection Records, an independent record label. While there, he wrote and recorded the demo interlude, “Don’t Look No Further.” When the record company unexpectedly closed, he returned to North Carolina.
Upon returning to the Carolinas, Rico began working with a local producer, Lee Tate. This collaboration birthed the songs “Promises” and “Come Back to Me” in 1997. In October 1998, he participated in a music seminar sponsored by WNAA-FM radio station. In December of that year, he showcased his demo for the Philadelphia Music Conference in Philadelphia, PA. After taking a year away from the music scene, he returned in the spring of 2000 to collaborate on a local compilation CD “Goldsboro 27530.” On that CD he wrote and recorded three songs, “All I Want to Do,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” and “Turn Away.” These three songs were well received on the underground circuit.
In 2001, he co-wrote and sang background on the single “Take Our Time” on Richard Ashe’s debut independent CD, “Anticipation.” The single received good feedback in the Durham, NC area. During that time, Rico began to teach music education in the Wayne County Public Schools. He wrote, produced, and arranged numerous original music selections for several schools from 2001 – 2004.
In the summer of 2004, Rico gave his life to Christ, thus putting him on a different path, musically. He no longer produced music for man’s glory, but for God’s glory. He began to put together gospel music selections and with God’s help, he produced numerous contemporary gospel music selections. In 2006, Rico wrote and produced his debut contemporary gospel CD, “It’s Time.” Rico’s desire that through his music that the body of Christ is edified, God be glorified, and the un-believer is inspired to repent and turn to the Lord.
He is currently working on additional musical selections as well as having served in the capacity of choral director at Rocky Mount High School during 2011-2012 school year. His original composition “Dreams The Impossible Dream" was also performed by the school chorus in the past year’s Christmas concert. He has been working various musical selections of various genres. He currently is a choir director at Charles B. Aycock as well.
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What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
I'm a contemporary gospel artist so I have infused in my music different elements of R&B, Pop, but I still have gospel elements as well.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
My stage name is my real name.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
Dating back to when I was a youngster I was exposed to different genres of music. When I was in college studying music to reinforcement of different musical genres continued and also being a high school choir director I've exposed my chorus to different genres of choral music which in turn continued to reinforce what I've learned previously.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I'm currently working on my LP, I have a single titled "Keep Your Head Up". It is currently on Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, and Google Play. As of right there are no collaborations in the works, but I'm definitely open to collaborating with artist.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
My ultimate goal is the establish myself in the music industry and have longevity. You do that by being a life-long learning who will always be open to learning about your craft. I'm going to work hard every day and surround myself with like-minded individuals you know iron sharpens iron.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
As of right now the single I have out is my favorite. I wrote that song during a period of my life where I was at crossroads, but my relationship with God and trusting in his process got me through the tough times.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Getting the respect due, when you are independent artist some people find it hard to respect you because you don't have to financial backing from a major label.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
It all depends, I've written songs just sitting at the piano. I've written the lyrics first and then the music, It all depends
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Social Media has made the playing field for me level and it allows me an opportunity to connect with my fans.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I listen to various artists because all the artists bring something different to the table.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I'm a high school choral teacher.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
In order for you to be successful you must keep focused on the process.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I would want the industry to focus on musicianship and not want cookie-cutter, but the industry should be focused on originality.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
I love it because it causes you to really bring out some beautiful music and not try to sound like everyone else.