Exclusive: Rico Love Talks Kelly Rowland’s New Album!

Published: Tuesday 22nd Dec 2009 by Sam
rico kelly

That Grape Juice recently caught up with hit-maker Rico Love, the creative force behind chart smashes from the likes of  Beyonce (‘Sweet Dreams’), Chris Brown, Usher and Keri Hilson. With the 27 year old being named as one the main players in the making of our girl Kelly Rowland’s new album, we were keen to find out the latest on the Destiny’s Child alumni’s project.

As ever, we ask the questions you really want answers to! Check out what Rico had to say about Ms. Kelly’s LP, new label and more after the jump…

Sam (TGJ): The industry is abuzz with what Kelly Rowland is cooking up in the lab for her 3rd studio album. Kelly herself has revealed that you’re overseeing the bulk of the project. What can we expect to hear from the record?

Rico Love: I’m doing my best to challenge her as much as possible vocally and challenge myself as far as my en and writing unbelievable songs. I just want to write the best songs; the biggest songs for her. I feel like everybody knows she’s a star in the group but I feel like she’s a megastar that could stand alone and do great numbers, and be a huge success worldwide. I just want to write and album that reflects that. I feel like people got a glimpse of that when they heard ‘When Love Takes Over’, which she performed amazingly, and when I heard it I said “o my God.” People really had no idea and even when I worked with Michelle [Williams], I feel like I bring out the best vocals in people. I try to bring out the best vocals I can in all the artists that I work with but with Kelly I wanted people to know how much of a powerhouse-league vocalist she is and that she can be. Sometimes it’s hard to get that out in a group, especially when you’re not so much the leader of the group, so now she gets her opportunity. She’s got to get her shot to really shine, and I’m going to help her get that.

Sam: So would you say that prior to now, she wasn’t getting the dues she deserved?

Rico: Not from her fans. I don’t feel like the people really knew how great she was. I don’t feel like it had to do with any kinds of politics in the group or anything or anything like that. I don’t feel like the fans really knew how great she is and she can be, and they will know after this album.

Sam: You just mentioned that Kelly had incredible success this year with ‘When Love Takes Over’, which blew up around the world. Some of her Urban fans are quite worried that she may be ditching her Urban humblings. Sound-wise, what is Kelly bringing to the table this go around?

Rico: We saw that that record (‘When Love Takes Over’) worked for her and I feel like it tapped into a market that wasn’t really tapped into before. So I definitely want to focus on that type of vibe and those big House records, those big club records. But I’ve also done big Urban records as well because her voice is so strong and soulful, so I definitely didn’t want to neglect that. I want to give people options so we didn’t do too much of anything. I did want to focus more on the big European records, though.

Sam: Are we talking (Beyonce’s) ‘Sweet Dreams’-esque stuff and ‘Radio’-esque stuff.

Rico: Yeah, absolutely. Those, as well as the ‘When Love Takes Over’ records. I actually did a record with David Guetta with her… that is an amazing, amazing record.

Sam: Is this on [her] album or is this on his album?

Rico: This is for Kelly’s album. I did a record with David.

Sam: How involved would you say Kelly is and how much have you learned from her during this whole process because she’s being working on that album for quite some time.

Rico: I just came in towards the end. These past 5 or 6 months we’ve been going in. She’s been working on it for some time now, but I’m really contributing towards the end. I want to call myself ‘The Closer’; on a lot of records I like to come in and listen to what you have and be like “I feel like this is where we should go.” [However] that’s been my dream; that’s where I really want to be. I don’t want to be a guy who just makes songs; I want to be a guy who produces albums. She taught me a lot. Vocally, she’s just amazing. She’s got so much patience [and] she’s ready. She’s a megastar; just to be in her presence is really an honour.

Sam: Awesome. I know you can’t give too much away, but are there any stand-out tracks for you? A lot of fans are VERY eager to find out specifics.  Are there any tracks that you’ve heard from the album or that you’ve been working on yourself that are epic?

Rico: I did like 8 records so far. She doesn’t want me to say any titles. She wants me to save the titles. She wants to do something special with her fans when revealing the titles. I will say, though, the David Guetta record is huge and I did a record for her with Jim Johnson and she just – oh my God. I just want to say that if I could compare it to anything, it would be like her solo version of ‘Dilemma’. She is performing it amazingly!

Sam: Wow.

Rico: David Guetta is a genius! Trust me, They took it to another level with this one!

Sam: Final question on Kelly – there have been some murmurings about some deal with EMI. Do you know if any of that’s been finalised as of yet?

Rico: I know she’s working out her situation and like I said, she wants to make that a surprise for her fans and make the big announcement; but whatever is going on is going to be a big situation. She just wants to make sure that she gets the best situation (and team) that’s going to promote and market her to the best of their ability.

They (her new team) just weighing out their options and making sure everything is right; everything they want to happen is going to happen. She’s a megastar; she’s a Grammy Award-winning singer; she was in the biggest female group of all time; her team are making sure she and her new project are treated in a way which reflects that.

Your thoughts?

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  1. kelly love December 22, 2009

    so excited!!!!!!!!!!!! she is going to bring it this time!! cannot wait to see all her efforts!!!

  2. Anon December 22, 2009


    Meanwhile: Rated R is up in sales this week, and is outselling Graffiti.

    Also, Robin Thicke outsold Graffiti in his first week.


  3. Jweezy December 22, 2009

    Ummm……..this thread is about Kelly Rowland…..

  4. kelly love December 22, 2009

    Anon!! who gives a s***! this is about kelly!!

  5. anonymous December 22, 2009

    omdayzzzzzzzzzz…..nw i cant wait 4 her album any longer…kelly is a bad b****…woooo…the female singers betta watch dere back cuz 2010 is Ms.Kelly’s year…

  6. Fedde December 22, 2009

    OMG I cant wait!!!!!

  7. Sibel December 22, 2009

    OMG! This made me EVEN MORE excited. GREAT interview Sam. Kelly gon’ ROCK!

  8. Me December 22, 2009

    FINALLY! Somebody is giving Kelly her propers. This little tidbit of information has me even more anxious for this album. I don’t want any leaks(and I know Kelly doesn’t either) but I wish we could get something now; a buzz single or another collaboration. It would be cool if there was a video for the remix that she did with Mario. I just need something to hold me over because I don’t know if I can wait until the summer of 2010 for new K-Ro music. I know she’s going to knock this one out of the ball park. People have been sleeping on Kelly for years and I can understand why. Kelly spent years sleeping on herself but she’s awake now and it’s time for the U.S. to wake up too. Get ready for Kelly to be one of the hottest acts of 2010. WORLDWIDE!!

  9. iSOLoveKellyRowland December 22, 2009

    I’m SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!! I know Kelly is gonna take overrrr! Mark my words!!!!

  10. Rickky December 22, 2009

    WOW…This has got to be one of the best interviews ive read that has got me so hyped for Kelly’s LP….From Rico Love comfirming wat we all already knew about her bein a powerhouse and a megastar…(i knw the haters will flock) to her label change is gonna be a big deal…I feel like she knws where she is going with her music and she has found her genre…she has found a zone that she can dominate and no one will touch her…Kelly is here for the kill and im proud that even despite of the hate and comparisons she still comes out on top…I mean come on she got Rico workin on most of her album she gonna be HOTTTTT

  11. halo December 22, 2009

    That’s great news……Bring it on Kelly. We believe in you, you can make it.

  12. Me December 22, 2009

    Did you steal this from “The Prophet”??????????

  13. Kenney December 22, 2009


  14. TheRealists December 22, 2009



  15. TYler December 22, 2009

    I’m glad somebody in the industry is talking about her like the star she is. I’m hoping that she blows up big, but frankly, I don’t trust the record-buying public to care about her. They are too trained to only want one sister at a time. Maybe they’ll break out of it, but I doubt it. Either way, I hope her new team helped her make a great album, regardless of its commercial potential. Look what Solange did – she made a classic, even though no one bought it.

  16. tAEbR33ZI December 22, 2009

    I love kelly and i am waiting for her latest LP i will be coppin that love you mama!!!

  17. KingNoah3000 December 22, 2009

    it’s nothing new from what we been hearing..but nice read..thanks

  18. G.LaSalle December 22, 2009

    I’m happy they are focusing on big vocal records for Kelly because her voice is so strong.
    I cant wait to hear the third album from Ms.Kelly!

  19. S.P December 22, 2009

    gud 4 kelly, i think shes really s***, and yee she kills when love takes over, now on non related news, sam why wont u post that rihannas album is up 62% on sales? rihanna is the s***, hate all u want but she gon do 2x platinum with diz album.

  20. sugar December 22, 2009

    @ anon & sp

    One thing you two dont understand is that this is the holiday season so people are buying that rated R cause its cheap.

    Chris Brown did not sell much cause his album is not in any stores and people cant wait to order on line. check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBibkAVcgtY so tell me can your girl rihanna pull that? of course NOT.

    WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES THE OTHER OPENS. my boy will came back

  21. Andre Le Dale December 22, 2009

    Rico is telling everything that I have already knew about Kelly. Her voice has always been powerful and soulful. She just needed to believe in herself. I’m looking forward to this album and I can’t wait to here that David record, Kelly her self said she’s so excited about that one. I’m also glad she’s taking her time with this project. LOL now the bitching I wish Kelly would toss them wigs a side she is drop dead GORG with out all that plastic on her head,

  22. Lenor December 22, 2009

    im soooo excited for kellys new album, this interview was great! 2010 is all about kelly!

  23. sugar December 22, 2009

    and another thing is rihanna turned her back on chris after everybody else turned their backs. same thing will happen to her remember what she said about Tierra Marie? and remember that accountant who said she was broke? and now chris? this girl has issues too so sit down somewhere and keep quite you two.

  24. KingNoah3000 December 22, 2009

    why are yall talkin about Rihanna and Chris Brown..disrespect and very immature.

  25. KingNoah3000 December 22, 2009

    why are yall talkin about Rihanna and Chris Brown..disrespectful and very immature.

  26. Andre Le Dale December 22, 2009

    Hey Sam Janet Jackson just got another number hit on the Dance Charts with “Make Me” 19 # 1’s total……

  27. I Love Music December 22, 2009

    I am happy for Kelly, and I am looking forward to hearing her new music. I am glad she got the right people behind her this time. I see big things for Kelly. I just hope she improves on her stage performances. Some of her solo performances I have seen in the past bored me.

  28. Joe Sullivan December 22, 2009

    wow…. im excited!!! it just wasnt her time before! but now… she’ll be making waves….

  29. Joe Sullivan December 22, 2009

    i need to hear like ONE song!!!!
    just one

  30. tj December 22, 2009

    OMFG IM SO READY!! Kelly is doing da damn thing….

  31. sugar December 22, 2009

    chris brown is still # 3 on itunes albums so STFU haters

  32. Raychel December 22, 2009

    @sugar this ISNT a chris brown post!
    @anon this isnt a rihanna post!!
    anyway good for kelly!! I heard dilemma part 2! that was really good. I cant wait for her album

  33. sugar December 22, 2009

    @ Raychel

    Have you taken your medication? i think you forgot, go sit your ass somewhere in the corner.

    Go Chris Go
    Grafitti Spread chris browns name Spread

  34. Raychel December 22, 2009

    In case you forgotten, this post is about kelly. yea, kelly ROWLAND. so if you have something to say about CHRIS and his album go to a blog site where he is or chris daily…mmkay?

  35. Fierce December 22, 2009

    This has just got me so hyped up. Please roll out that single already Kelly.
    I’ll probably be buying about 3 copies of her album one for my car, house and then purchase it on itunes. 2010 is gonna be a blazing year for her.

  36. loso December 22, 2009

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited I have been hearing so much about this album and about Ms. Kelly I definitely will be coping at least 3 albums also I know this is her time and I am so happy to be a fan right now because I am going to be here to support her all the way to number one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Jesse December 22, 2009

    i wasnt excited at all when i heard rico was at the helm but im so relieved to hear hes gonna stick with the tone on her work with guetta that has catapulted her to superstar status in europe, she has never sounded better than on “when love takes over”

  38. lyric_lee December 22, 2009

    FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY – SOMEONE IS GIVING HER THE PROPER RESPECT SHE DESERVES – MULTIPLATINUM GRAMMY AWARD WINNING *SOLO* ARTIST!!!.i for one cant wait for this new album because something about her new approach tells me that shes out for blood this tyme – she is really in the driver seat now and is pulling out all the stops – new management new producers new sound – she is really not playing around this time – ive never seen her more focused before – the self confidence is on a billion right now and ITS ALL ABOUT HER – havent heard her mention bey or michelle or anyone – she only talks about her now and thats how it should always be – BETTER LATE THAN NEVER – im really hyped at the fact that shes creating a buzz for herself as well and ppl are realy anticipating what direction she is going in on this album – i for one appreciates her diversity for the pop rock to rnb to dance and house – she couldve kept it samey and took the simply deep route on her other albums but shes bold enough and smart enough and eager enough to want to broaden her horizons and try new sounds to kepp HER TRUE CORE FANS happy and satisfied – ms kelly i wish u alllll of the success throughout the duration of your career and in al of your endeavors – BRING ON ALBUM NUMBER 3 AND THE TOUR —-GOD I CANT WAIT FOR THE TOUR!!!!!!

  39. Cume December 22, 2009

    Its already happening,ppl r already seeing dis bright n shinning light,her twitter followers increased by 2019 in less dn 2wks.I LOVE KELLY SO MUCH,go GET em.

  40. Care Bear December 22, 2009

    Rico Love sounds like good works. His resume is not great with charting hits. This project will be a challenge for Rico and Kelly. With the recession, high unemployment, and foreclosure will make this project get put in the back and downgraded. Kelly and Rico will need more than just music.

  41. NiCe December 22, 2009



  42. Chile December 22, 2009

    If Kelly fux this project up too, she might as well give up and become a permanent feature guest on everybody else’s work.

  43. Fierce December 22, 2009

    @ CHILE

    If she happens to flop with her 3rd album in the states, she could always ditch releasing her stuff domestically and stick being an international artist that she is already, which is better.

    And who are you to tell someone to give up? Sit the f*** back troll.
    Artists have been flopping on charts daily in this recession, while Kelly still has her international fans who will hold her down.

  44. geminiblacc December 22, 2009

    It isn’t just international fans that hold her down. I am from the states and I hold her down so lets not make this a ‘international vs. states’ fan as kelly thinks that ALL her fans are important. @ Chile what project has kelly f***** up? Kelly has done everything that SHE needed to do. there is a team behind every superstar that puts the ‘super’ in the ‘star. kelly’s people were too busy worried about another client of theirs. It was her TEAM who dropped the ball TWICE! What astonishes me is the people who ask “isn’t she still married?” or “how old is her brother?” or “how many kids do she have now like two?” that is crazy….she was apart of one of the biggest selling female group of all time and people still need to read her bio? Her team dropped the ball big time and we all know that. Kelly didn’t f*** up nothing but i do wish that she would have left and gotten management with Brandy told her to. YEARS AGO. that is all.

  45. geminiblacc December 22, 2009

    *new management WHEN Brandy told her to.

  46. dan December 23, 2009

    of course here is no post that rihanna sold 80 000 this week…cause they hate rihanna…! Bet if she sold only 1% less than the week before they were jumping on her an yelling “flop flop flop!”…but no word on selling more than the week before…

    bet, “hard” is doing the work for rated r!

    congrats to alicia with 400 000

    subo…so unreal…once again 600 000….

    cant wait for kelly to come back! ms. kelly was great and so underrated! put it in was big here in europe, especially the freemasons remix.

    you can get that money in the uk, too, girl!

  47. Cyimo December 23, 2009

    @Anon Graffiti did not flop, it’s 52k retail sales(over the counter) only in America, considering that the most of the stores in US are still not stocking his album that’s 52K IS reasonable……….

  48. Cyimo December 23, 2009

    @Anon Graffiti did not flop, its 52k is retail sales(over the counter) only is America, considering that some major stores are still not stocking his cd, media only reporting negative staff and bad cd reviews because of the incident and still the album has not been promoted 52k is a reasonable amount.

  49. Ashley V. December 23, 2009

    Thanks for posting this Sam. I really hope that Kelly’s album will be as great as Rico suggests. She deserves much success. Her previous albums were not great but they were pretty good. They just didn’t do as well as they should have, for some reason. I just hope it won’t be too much on the “pop” side. These days more and more R & B/urban artists can’t seem to do albums without pop songs. I understand that such artists want to have worldwide sucess and don’t want to fit into one category but for goodness sake I am rather fed up of it…Anyway, I’ll stop ranting. I can’t put into words how much I want Kelly to do well. INFINITE success to Kelly (and Beyoncé and Michelle).

  50. dblog December 23, 2009

    Even Kelly sold more than Rihanna (who i may say has been one of the most poular artist in the last 3 years) first week sales and you still hardly hear about her in the US, so imagine if she was promoted the right way. She has alot of potential.

  51. geminiblacc December 23, 2009

    I so agree with you Dblog

  52. Chile December 23, 2009


    Kelly f***** up because she chose the WRONG singles. Not only that, but all of her interviews for her two albums saw her talking about Beyonce all the damn time! She has the option to not talk about her even if asked. She has been so dumb and naive to this whole process and its a shame. Kelly has had one of the best head starts in the world. She is from one of the biggest girl groups ever, and she is still a mediocre performer.

    People always want to blame the staff behind her but Kelly has been to all of the morning shows, her videos have played well, advertisement ALL over major cities like NYC, CD signings, guest appearances, club performances, interviews and even more recently she hosted a show with Isaac Mizrahi. She may not get the same push Beyonce gets, but she gets a waayy better push then most. And im sorry, the music industry is a business, u would be a fool to think Kelly can pull in the same numbers as Beyonce. Its just the truth.

    Her popularity overseas is not that huge either. Its bigger then the states, yes, but she isn’t an international SUPERSTAR. Kylie Minogue is an example of what an international superstar is. How many international tours has Kelly had? LOL exactly. just because you have a couple of popular singles and some packed live performances, doesnt mean you are that huge. When u have successful all out tours around the world, thats when u can be called a REAL international superstar. Kelly can only slightly say that is true via her work with DC, but not on her own solo efforts. lol imagine! hahaha

    Get it together stans…..to the masses, Kelly is nothing above average. Hell, even Rihanna can sell out a show faster then Ms Kelly…and Rihanna’s live performances are not worth any money. Kelly…ur boring girl.


  53. aj December 23, 2009

    First i wanna say kelly is coming hard!!! #2010 watch your wigs they will be snatched. eyes will be guldged out. lol! to ChILE above me. who takes the time to write a full article of negative ish. Lets just say Kelly never had fair treatment her albums were never pushed they(management) her albums like she was a newcomer she was not on every tv show. She was not on oprah not jay leno not dave letterman. she was on one late night show one morning show. It was horrible handling. Hey but a new team a new start. It will work wonders. weather ppl want her to be greatess at what she does or not she will because she owe to herself and the true fans. So cCHILE get a life and let me say this we dont know you so sit down go have some babies..

  54. KELLYFANNIE December 23, 2009


  55. geminiblacc December 23, 2009

    Chile please. Kelly can suggest a single to the label but that doesn’t mean they are going to go with it. Kelly didn’t have the ‘best start’ ever because beyonce was being marketed while she was IN Destiny’s Child. Any artist who is handled correctly can pull the same numbers as Beyonce. Look at Gaga, her album hit SEVEN million sold and people said that she was a fluke and wasn’t talented. Her team is f****** serious. An artist can only do so much, and be in one place and one time so it’s the team behind that artist that is supposed to hold them down, and that didn’t happen for Kelly. There is NO way around that. The team behind her royally screwed her and that’s the truth.

    To say that she is NOT an international superstar, you must be kidding yourself. Maybe you dont know that international means that it’s concerning with two or more nations. You mean to tell me that Kelly isn’t popular in two or more nations? GTFOH Kelly has been selling out shows for the past two years, hosting events, performing at award shows, hosting shows on the radio as well as TV based off her own footwork and international appeal. Kelly is going to get her chance now that she is with someone who doesn’t have a ‘conflict in interest’. And as much as people dont want to admit it. I would hardly call 2 platinum albums unsuccessful.

    – that is all.

  56. geminiblacc December 23, 2009

    Oh but about all her interviews being about Beyonce. I totally agree, I couldn’t stand that. I now know after she put that other reporter in her place that this go around it isn’t going to be like that. hopefully it wont be. I think they are damn near trained to compliment each other.

  57. Fierce December 23, 2009

    @ geminiblacc

    Say it sis.

  58. loso December 23, 2009

    @CHILE pls stop HATING!!!!!!!!!! damn Kelly is definitely an International Superstar!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry to burst your bubble. I was just on another site and When Love Takes Over is still number one in Costa Rica and Belgium so please stop saying she is not an International superstar. I guess the fact that she is nominated for Song of the Year and performing at this years NRJ Awards does not make her an International Superstar. Please stop making yourself look stupid. You are failing to realize that Kelly’s both albums went platinum and she has had multiple #1 singles around the world not just 1 or 2 countries but I am talking more than 10 countries. You also fail to realize that Kelly was the first one out of Destinys Child to win a Grammy if her team would have taken there time after that and marketed her well then trust me there would have been no stopping her, but oh well like I say everything happens for a reason and now its her time. Go Kelly!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Dave December 23, 2009

    *PRAISES THE GOOD MAN, THE LORD* O M G!!! This is just too much for me. I believe Kelly is going to give me everything I need. They are NOT playing with this album. They want to give her that crossover, that R&B vibe she has as well as dance, pushing her vocals, top of the line producers & tryna get her to write & have her the best writing material. This is just all too much for me to take in at one time *FAINTS!*

  60. simon March 27, 2010

    Matthew’s death is nearing every second. go kelly kill him.

  61. simon March 27, 2010

    Chile you are one of the assholes we are sending straight to hell tonight. you r egonna fry until ya black ass ass unrecognisible. go kelly kill this s***.

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