Newcomer Rico Davis is on a mission; not only to create a name for himself but to also solidify his lane in this ever-changing music business.
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, the rising R&B talent spent the first four years of his life homeless, until his mother was finally able to obtain employment and home for Rico and his sister. Growing up, Rico had many struggles, including being bullied, but his source of escape was his love for dancing and singing.
After graduating high school, Rico struck out on his own and moved to New York City to pursue a record deal. In between writing, vocal lessons and rehearsals, he took odd jobs, and ultimately spent many nights sleeping in stairwells, trains, and parks in order to stay afloat. Along his journey, Rico’s passion for homelessness and social issues became stronger.
Rico’s life experiences are the bullets for his musical gun. In July (2018), he released the first single, “Do U Wanna,” and in September (2018), he premiered a follow-up called, “Hustle Harder.” Both songs will appear on his forthcoming EP, Ethos.
As a co-writer on all of his songs, Rico’s writing process stems from his highs and lows of being an outlier. Having experienced extreme highs of happiness, and yearning for salvation in his lows, his songs take you through the ebb and flows of life’s emotional rollercoasters.
Ethos, the manifestation of beliefs and aspirations is how Rico Davis successfully overcame his tumultuous past, and it is with the same perseverance he will achieve greatness in his musical career.
Get to know Rico Davis!
Describe your sound and tell us what kind of impact you hope to have in today’s musical climate?
RD: I make it a priority to never “describe my sound” because it’s always evolving. What I can say is I’ve studied music since I was ten years old and I’m heavily influenced by blues, soul, hip hop, rock, dance, and world music. You’ll hear all of those elements in my records and my voice is what brings it together. When it comes to impacting the music scene, I’m more focused on reaching people who enjoy my art; the rest will fall in to place.
When did you decide that music was your calling?
RD: My “calling” is to live and experience my life to the fullest. Music is and always will be my Art of choice to share my experience with the world.
Are you a first generation artist in your family or is your talent passed down from other family members?
RD: I definitely have a family full of creatives. My Mother is a writer and dramatist and my Father and Uncle both have singing abilities. But when you grow up in places like Camden, NJ and North Philadelphia, survival becomes more of a priority versus pursuing goals. I’m blessed because my Mom made sure I could focus on actually becoming the “first generation” Artist.
Who and/or what inspires your creativity? Who are some of the past and present artists that you channel?
RD: I’m inspired by love and life. Everyone has a story including myself. It’s damn near impossible to go through 24 hours and not have at least one significant song concept fall into my head from the powers that be. Romance, intimacy, self-awareness, spirituality, and sexuality are what drives my creativity and writing most these days. I channel eras of music versus individual artists. 80’s and 90’s artists had a lot more to sing or rap about, and they weren’t afraid to do so. That same swaggy charisma and courage was brought to their stage shows too – some of the dopest live performers emerged during those periods.
You released “Do U Wanna,” which is a fun, dance vibe, and “Hustle Harder,” which boasts an edgier feel, what other sounds can we expect to hear from you?
RD: I’m a big fan of classical music and rock and roll so you’ll hear records that are lead by electric and acoustic guitars, you’ll hear records that are more emotional with piano and violin, and because I’m a fan of watching things shake there’s even some twerk music for the ladies. Hip Hop and R&B are embedded in me so those elements will be present in just about every record too.
Tell us about your upcoming project? What will fans learn from you and your struggles?
RD: My project as of now is titled “Ethos.” I chose that title because the definition is “a generation defined by their characteristics and beliefs.” As a young man, I’m big on self-awareness. My music is less about “right” or “wrong” and more about speaking truth…my truth. Each song represents a characteristic of mine. Fans hear “Do U Wanna” and they think it’s all about sex when it’s really about asking for clarity from someone you’re vibing with…is this just sex or is it love? Fans hear “Hustle Harder” and they think it’s a cliche song about selling drugs and it’s really about perseverance and making a way out of no way. The morals to my songs are at the center if you’re open-minded enough to get past the honesty and explicitness.
Tell us about your music video for “Hustle Harder?”
RD: I will say that I was inspired by Queen’s video for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We focused on performance shots and the use of light and dark. It’s all symbolic, but I’ll let the viewers have their own interpretations. My business partner Quis Vaughn, who’s featured on the record, delivered like no other on his performance. He’s a swaggy maniac!
Why do you love music?
RD: I use to sit in my 5th-period class and write out my album sales in different countries. I would come to school two hours early just to have the dance studio to myself so that I can put on my annual morning concerts. I use to sing everything instead of saying words. That’s why I love music; it was my company throughout my childhood growing up in Camden. I played sports, and I did track, and I was great at it, but nothing fulfilled me or affected me the way that music still does till this day. It’s a spiritual art form, and it’s eternal.
Where would you like to be in 5 years?
RD: If you haven’t learned one thing about me you’ll learn that I don’t leave my life up to chance. Instead of saying where I would “like” to be I’ll tell you where I “WILL” be. My record label, which I co-own with Dewey Bozella and Quis Vaughn, will be at the forefront of Independent Music. I’ll have successfully debuted the artists on our roster, I’ll be working on my 3rd LP, and last but definitely not least I’ll have achieved many of my spiritual goals in conscious elevation. Should be quite a ride.