As Crossfade has chronicled the career of twentysomething, Miami-based songwriter Rico Love, his star has continued to rise. Last year saw major Billboard Hot 100 success for three songs he penned for Usher's "There Goes My Baby," Nelly's "Just a Dream," and Diddy Dirty Money's "Hello Good Morning."
More importantly, 2010 also marked the launch of his own label, Division 1. So far, it's drummed up street heat for rapper Young Chris, and the stable's eclectic female artists Sofi Green and Cherlise are hot on his heels.
Now, the industry establishment seems to be taking notice -- this past week in New York, Rico swept the 2011 SESAC New York Awards. (SESAC, like ASCAP and BMI, is a major performance rights organization, though one with more of a boutique touch than the other two giants.)
Out of SESAC's designated 22 top songs of 2011, Rico boasted credits on five, more than any other individual songwriter among the list of winners, which included longer-established names like Swizz Beatz and Nate "Danja" Hills. (Rico and Danja, however, share writing credits for winner "Hello, Good Morning.")
He also scored huge overall: SESAC's official pick for Songwriter of the Year, presented by Universal Motown's Sylvia Rhone, a longtime Rico supporter. "Rico Love is one of the most talented and prolific songwriters in music today," Rhone said in a press release after the ceremony. "He possesses boundless creative energy, a steadfast dedication to his craft, and an uncanny sensitivity when it comes to reaching our number one music consumer - female music fans."
During the ceremony, Billboard reported, Rhone also said they had another hit coming up just for that sector of fans, in Kelly Rowland's forthcoming single "Motivation."
Meanwhile, this week finds Rico in New York working with Pitbull and songwriting duo Stargate. That's the Norwegian pair responsible for recent synth-heavy hits like Katy Perry's Firework, Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow," and Rihanna's "S&M." Together, that team of four is likely cooking up the next big urban-pop radio smash.