It’s been a little over four years since we featured Ricco Barrino on Singersroom.com; last we heard from Ricco was on the track “Hood” featuring his sister, Fantasia. Ricco has been hard at work since that time, releasing an independent EP, Musical Evolution (2013) and releasing a series of tracks while being featured on other artist’s songs such as Colonel Loud’s “California“.
Ricco is set to release his new EP Ferrari Infidelity on August 30th. In an exclusive interview with us, he talks about the meaning behind the title “Ferrari Infidelity,” leaving Grand Hustle Records, and being influenced by Rick Ross.
Joe: Thank you for reaching out to us. I know you have a new EP called Ferrari Infidelity coming out on August 30th. Can you explain how you came up with the name? It’s very unique, as it isn’t two words that you typically hear together.
Ricco: Right! They don’t go together, but at the same time, they’re married. When you’re talking about a Ferrari, you’re talking about expensive, you’re talking about fast, you’re talking about something that most people lust over. At least for urban society, the American dream is to come up and buy a Ferrari. Then you have [the word] “infidelity”; we all know what having nice and exotic things can lead to. When we’re talking about Ferrari Infidelity, we’re basically talking about a lifestyle that is very upscale. I think it’s a more brilliant way of saying what most rappers are saying: “I got this. I got the baby mama.” It’s more of a clever way of saying, “I’m living in the fast lane. I am seeing all of these things go around me, expensive car, fast women.” Just things that go on around me from day to day, and I chose to marry that. Everyone can’t marry it. It’s a hard pill to swallow. In this business, you see it happen every day, so I named my project, Ferrari Infidelity.
Joe: That makes a lot more sense when you explain combining it. That makes it a lot clearer. What would you say are the driving factors and motivations behind the album? Is there a particular theme, or is it a mix of different sounds and themes?
Ricco: A mix of different sounds and themes. What you just said, it’s more of a conglomerate of sounds. Something that is very irresistible, at least for a woman. That’s who try to cater to. That’s where the Ferrari Infidelity came from. Trying to put out something that will make them do, what they do at night. It embodies that R&B sound and piecing it up a little bit; having the maturity in your lyrics and in your vocal tone that matches heavy-driven, drum-based, 808 track. If I could compare my music to anything, you’ve got Rick Ross with Maybach Music, and he owns that world. Then you’ve got me with Ferrari Infidelity. I try to match the quality and really take the time to make my music a piece.
Joe: From my perspective and just listening to it, it does have that R&B sound, with more urban; I don’t want to say an urban/street feel to it, not necessarily heavily gangster rap by any means, but it has that little bit of urban twist/flavor to it.
Ricco: Right! Right! I think you said it right. It’s more of a gangster feel. Now you got different types of gangsters, not just your regular thug. Then you got your boss, the person high on the totem pole and that’s how I want to carry myself. I envision it. I see it. I envision having nice things. I envision through my hard work having whatever I put my mind to. So when you’re talking about my sound, it’s not necessarily talking about selling weight or bang, bang, shoot’em up. It’s basically how I present myself in a boss’s manner kind of like Rick Ross; the Rick Ross of R&B, that’s kind of who I am. Just really making the words very believable and aggressive, at the same time being able to have some elegance to it. Again with Ferrari Infidelity, you’re talking about a fast car. In a sense, you’re talking about an elegant car because it’s hand made. That’s how I like to mix the two when you’re talking about lyrical content, beat selection, and how I approach the beat.
Joe: You mentioned Rick Ross a few times and Maybach Music. Speaking of labels, as I remember looking online; is the EP coming out through Grand Hustle or is it being released independently? I remember you had an EP you put out independently and one before that, that you put out through Grand Hustle.
Ricco: No, independent more so because you have to see things for what they are, and Grand Hustle is my family. They will always be my family. Shout out to Tip, Jason Geter, Chip, and everybody over there at the establishment. What they did because they were so fair was they allowed me to be free, to be a bird. I think a smart man knows that sometimes every department is a department. R&B wasn’t really a real big strong suit at Grand Hustle. We all know that, so they allowed me to still be able to reach my goals. I wasn’t looking for any money from them. They were very fair to me in helping me with the exposure I sought so when it was time for me to spread my wings, they let it happen. I still work with Grand Hustle from time to time. Actually, me and Jason just worked on an artist of his, but as I’ve matured, I realized my lane. I realized that I was better off being independent. Right now is a good time for independent artists, so I am happy. You’re still going to have your everyday problems. As far as me being an artist and sharing my artistry; with the help of my good friend, little brother, business partner & colleague Flen Purvis, we’re getting out there and making it happen. I’m the type of person that I don’t want anything given to me. I want to work hard for it for so I know how to keep it.
Joe: Okay! I definitely hear you on the working hard and not having anything handed to you. I’m of that same mindset/mentality of being the man at the top of the totem pole. I know it’s going to take hard work. Like that saying goes, “If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Everyone would be their own boss.” Obviously, it doesn’t work out for everyone that way.
Ricco: I see what you’re saying. You just explained Ferrari Infidelity. If everybody could own a Ferrari, it would be as common has a Honda Accord. I look at my life. I look at my career. I look at my work that I put out as such. This may sound a bit cocky, but I want to be able to play a record and literally make a woman want to give herself to me. That means I am going to go at it. Again, when you are a Ferrari, you have to carry yourself in such a way. I love women. I love them for who they are. The queens that they are. I appreciate them for the fact that they give the singers an outlet to even be able to speak with you today because without the women, what good is the music. Us guys can listen to it all day, but you have to attract them, and that Ferrari will attract a woman. With this music, I want to attract a woman.
Joe: Would you say that you have a favorite track on the EP? I’m really enjoying “Come To The Money.”
Ricco: I think that’s probably my favorite right now, and it’s all because it was really no pressure. Most of the music on the project/EP was without pressure. “Come To The Money” had that feel-good presence to it. Uncle Frankie was able to christen me and let me use the track. He gave me his blessing. That’s just one of those two steps; it’s almost like you turn on Frankie Beverly’s “Before I Let Go.” You get that feeling that no matter how old you are, you are going to dance, you’re going to two step. It just never fails, so with that track, it’s probably my favorite as well. I like “Facetime” because it’s colorful. Of course, you know the message. We have the video done for that one, so I am excited to put it out. All of them are great. They’re solid songs. I try not to get married to them too much because I know they’re solid songs. I just put them out and keep going. You might talk to me in a couple of months, and I might say, “Yeah that’s cool. I got this new favorite one.” That’s a lot of artists. Right now, “Come To The Money” is my top favorite.
Joe: Not to jump too far ahead in the future as Ferrari Infidelity hasn’t even come out yet, but if I remember correctly, you have a full-length LP coming out in October.
Joe: Do you have a name for that LP yet?
Ricco: Not yet. I don’t know, that’s a good one. I think that’s more of the piece. This LP is more aggressive. It has live sounds. It has a more broader feel. I’m still giving you Ricco, but the good thing about me is that I am not a one trick pony. I can give you that R&B; then I can sneak stuff in like “Come To The Money.” Then the train ride speeds up. You start to hear the progression and the maturity. Years in the making. You’ll start to hear great songs. Bigger songs. I know it’s all in God’s timing. Let’s just say things were going really strong a few years back. These songs you would have heard, and they probably would have been so big that maybe they wouldn’t have made sense. Now you hear these bigger records from these artist where I could go and play you these record and say, “Wow, I could hear you getting Adele to feature on this record or Aloe Blacc. I could hear you getting somebody like Michael Kiwanuka.” Then you can still come back and get it raw like someone like a TIP (T.I.) or a Jay-Z. So that’s what I am trying to bring to the table. More of that Ferrari Infidelity sound to where it resonates. Where it isn’t just regular music; it’s something you pick apart and try to figure out various parts. Like, “Okay what instrument were they using.” Kind of like Drake. When you hear a Drake record, you sometimes find yourself trying to dissect it like, “What was 40 thinking? What was this producer thinking about? What made Drake say that?” Those types of things.
Joe: With Ferrari Infidelity coming out in a few weeks, how can people stay up-to-date with what you have going on as you put out the videos for the additional singles, etc.?
Ricco: Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. They can follow me at @RICCOBARRINO. Check it out what’s going on. Right now we’re putting together a series of release parties that will have a live band. Just to give a feel and see that “This guy really has some talent.” First, we’re going to start in Fayetteville, NC because they have shown me so much love as if I am a resident. They go above and beyond, so we’ll start there on the 17th. We’ll end that run in Fayetteville on the 20th then we move to Columbia. Right now we’re setting up for a Greensboro, NC show. We’re trying to put together a Charlotte, NC show then we’ll move up to Raleigh and come to Atlanta. Right now it’s just about grass roots and growing the music. Putting the work in. Not just being an artist, but a musician. I want to share my craftsmanship with the world. That’s constantly what I am working on. As we would call it in North Carolina, “I’m shooting in the gym. I’m Stephen Currying the whole thing.” I’m standing right there at the free throw line, and I’ll keep shooting till I perfect something. So when you hear it, you’ll get a sense of master craftsmanship.
Joe: I definitely understand as it goes back to that whole mentality of working at what you’re doing until you reach that level you think is suitable for you. Everyone has a different definition of what success is. For some people, success is money. It could be a Ferrari. For some people, it’s just knowing that you’ve achieved your dream.
Ricco: Right! That’s it. You nailed it.
Joe: Thank you. I appreciate you taking time out to speak about Ferrari Infidelity. Ferrari Infidelity comes out on August 30th. Looking forward to listening to it and seeing your career grow. Wishing you success in everything.
Ricco: I appreciate you. I’m very humbled by this interview, and I look forward to talking to you soon in the future about bigger opportunities and what is going on in my life. Hopefully, I get enough work done that it’s hundred times that we do this interview. Thank you for having me.
Joe: Of course, not a problem. Thank you for reaching out to us.