From Longmeadow, Massachusetts, comes an artist by the name of Rico Cocchi. Rico is studying at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and majors in Psychology. He mentions if anyone is debating on going to UMass Amherst they should from being, “one of the best public schools academically, financially, and we had #1 dining for the past 4 years in a row.” Rico said. “I was always extroverted but college was really where I started to come out of my shell. I joined a fraternity and found my friend group who always encouraged me to keep going with music.” With majoring in Psychology, he speaks on how he wanted to be a guidance counselor for kids who really needed someone. “My guidance counselor was someone who always steered me on the right path especially when situations in my life were suggesting that I go in different directions.” Not a lot of kids have that type of mentor in their life to help them get on the right path, or to vent to when in need of guidance or advice.
Being a full time student at UMass Amherst, Rico talks about how he has a job lined up post-grad that involves helping with troubled male teens who were removed from their homes, kicked out of school, or went to juvie. “I obviously want to make music a full time career this is just something to help me supplement income,” he says. With the talk about Rico making music and side jobs, he’s been writing songs, little raps or love songs ever since he was in middle school. “I didn’t actually put any music out until freshman year of college and I didn’t start taking it seriously until the year after.”
Talking about music, Rico is currently an independent artist and definitely plans on being signed with a label in the near future. Rico talks about how, “labels are all about making money and when I do decide to go down that path, I want to make sure that I have a say in who gets what.” Getting into this industry of music, Rico started playing the guitar at the age of 10 and when he got a little older, he naturally started to sing. “I loved music from that start but I also wanted to impress this girl I really liked(lol). When I was in high school, I joined a grammy-award-winning music group and we ended up traveling around the Northeast performing and even toured in Europe (Germany and Austria).” I had asked him what made him pursue music, or why he got into making music and this was his answer. “I stopped making music my freshman year of college and really didn’t do anything with it until me and my friend down the hall would smoke weed and freestyle. He told me about a recording studio at UMass and that we should put a song on sound cloud as a joke, so we did. Then we decided to make another, and another, and then we got our first show. With my music background and the beginners luck, I couldn’t help but keep pursuing music.” As most artists can agree, a blow up of one song can lead to a lifetime profession.
When it comes to pursuing music, there’s always someone who inspires an artist to do what they do. For Rico, he speaks on his inspirations for everything he does. “My younger brother is my biggest motivator. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone but for some reason I really want to do big things to show him that he can do big things too. Musically I have way too many inspirations but I really love Russ, Frank Ocean, G-Eazy, Mike Stud, Sammy Adams, and every 90’s pop-punk band that existed pretty much.” Becoming a well known artist takes time, and not everyone can just blow up overnight and be the next big hit. Rico started his career by performing at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The venue holds roughly 200 people and he sold about 50 tickets as an opening act. “I almost got scammed for so much money lol I didn’t know what I was doing. When I was on stage everyone was going crazy having an awesome time. I was an opener but it was clear that everyone in that building wanted to see me.” In this music industry, there’s a lot of things artists would want to change or see more of, but for Rico he says, “there aren’t any changes really I love what I do and I want to do it on a bigger scale every day.” He also brings up, “one thing that I’m going to change for 2020 is creating and posting A LOT more content on all platforms.” In his response, it’s critical for artists to keep posting and staying in the loop to not fall off, or to stay active with their fanbase to keep building that connection. I can say Rico will definitely follow through with his intentions.
I always like to ask artists what type of advice they would give to fans reading, or someone pursuing the same career. For Rico, this is what he had to say, “I have so much advice. There are a lot of basic things like making sure your music sounds good, making music everyday, and being vulnerable. BUT the MOST valuable advice I have is to be your true self, that’s the only way it’s going to work in the long run. Once you do that just post as much media as possible and let your fans have that window into your life. You might not hit everyone but that’s natural. It’s better to be loved by your die hard fans, lose some followers (the people who were never really your fans in the first place), instead of trying to make everyone happy.” His advice is something to live by when it comes to die hard fans. Those are the ones who give you that word of mouth power, and spread your brand around to others who aren’t so familiar with you. Anyone reading, take in his advice and be true to yourself!
Going off of the advice Rico gave, he also reveals some advice when it comes to writing music, “Be vulnerable. I really can’t stress it enough. Fans want to listen to YOU and the experiences that YOU have had so they can relate. My pop / party songs are better received by the masses but when I get personal is when people will send me messages about how they went through a breakup and this song help them through it.” Speaking about writing music, I had asked Rico how his own music has changed over the years and he says he’s developed a lot more skills for writing, recording, and making music in general, “but being more personal is what I really take the most pride in. Sometimes I end up crying after making songs. I haven’t released those ones yet but trust me they’re coming.” If any fans of Rico’s reading this, be on the lookout for his new, more personal music coming! Collaborations are also a big part of the music industry and helping one get known, and for Rico, he’s worked with a lot of artists behind the scenes but vocally, “Cam Randall, Adriana Gomez, and Kevin K.” He speaks on working with a lot of producers and engineers as well. Rico would love to make music with a lot of different types of artists, but mentions how he would like to work with “Sammy Adams, Ryan Caraveo, and Mike Stud,” in the near future. After talking about who he would want to collaborate with, and advice for writing music, I asked Rico what his favorite song or album of his is and he says, “my all time favorite is “Don’t Need You”. To this day, I still can’t believe that I made that song.” He also mentions his latest song, “Never Going Back” for another one he loves, from creating a new style for him being very pop punk.
In these interviews, I always love asking what a crazy fan experience would be, and some even have no crazy fan experiences, or too many! “I honestly have a bunch of crazy fan experiences and each one is more surprising than the last,” Rico says. “At my headlining show I had a fan make me an entire tray of brownies (which were delicious by the way), I’ve had people from other countries DM me videos of them turning up to my songs. I always love when I get videos from girls playing my music that I don’t even know. That’s always a pretty big ego boost.” All over the world, there are fans out there listening to music, and every artist has had that one moment where they realize they went worldwide. As a fan myself, which I’ve mentioned before, it’s definitely a heartwarming feeling hearing about your favorite internationally played.
Wrapping up the interview with Rico, I asked him how his career has impacted his life today. “My career has honestly changed my entire outlook on life in a lot of ways. The one thing that I try and tell people is that the world is SO big and there are SO MANY people. Life is short and the fact that you are living your life to live up to someone else’s expectations is idiotic. You should be trying to become your best self and by doing so, you will naturally love what you’re doing, love yourself, love others, and help many other people along the way.” In his response to my question, I agree with his statement on being true to yourself, and love what you do. It’s your life, live it how you want! I also wanted to ask him where he sees himself in five years, and this is what Rico had to say, “I see myself as completely invested in music. It’s going to be my main source of income. I’ll be doing national tours. I’ll have millions of streams. It’s really hard for me to think that far into the future and get specific because I’m always focus on the present day.” Keep up that positive energy and grind Rico, I’ll be sure to catch you on your tours! Following up, with the If you didn’t have the job you have right now, what do you think you would be doing? Rico mentions, “I’d probably just be working a 9-5.”
For anyone who doesn’t know of Rico Cocchi I’ll be sure to have his media and music platform links down below! Anyone can become who they want to be, and Rico made sure of it within this interview. Hard work and dedication are an important thing in this industry, but staying true to yourself is too.