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Ricco Barrino "Visualizing Goals and Making it Happen"

By Lakesha Woods
Published September 15, 2007; Volume 6 Issue 7
Wow I had a great conversation with Ricco Barrino! You should’ve been on the other line! Ricco made me laugh and he actually pulled my heart strings when he told me of a very trying experience that he had at a radio station with a guest comedian (don’t worry Ricco, I won’t call him out either). Ricco is a down to earth type of guy with a strong vision of success in mind. Ricco is pretty cool too … Did you know that Ricco used to play football? Ricco also started his own group when he was only 11 and Ricco is … Ooops! Am I babbling? WOW! I know it seems as though I’m just going on and on with Ricco this and Ricco that, but actually I’m really bragging. That’s right, I got bragging rights! I was able to have an awesome interview with one of the most talented up and coming musicians of this era. So excuse me for still being excited about Mr. Ricco Barrino. 1-2-3-4-5 … (exhale) Ok, let’s rewind!

Beyond Ordinary

 Now, I suppose I could write this interview out in the format of a simple, ordinary, plain ole’ conversational dialogue, but I’d rather not.  I’d rather tell you a story of a brave man and then leave you with a cliff hanger because his story is right at its climax and his music mission is hardly ready to be concluded. Ricco Barrino, Kassim Ricco Barrino - that is. He’s the oldest of three children and he’s best known as Fantasia Barrino’s beloved brother. His grandmother gave him this unique name which is composed of an Arabic first name and Hispanic middle name. Ricco says his grandmother named him this because he is her first grandchild and she wanted his name to be different. You know I was always told that names carry a lot of weight in the structuring of your personality and Ricco (like his name) is very unique.

He was born and raised in North Carolina, a state which he holds close to his heart. Growing up in North Carolina was sweet, as he describes it. Ricco said that he's been many places but he wouldn't trade living in the South for any other place and he always wants to have a home in North Carolina. Speaking of keeping home near and dear, Ricco shared a very valuable piece of advice: Always keep your face clean with the people at home because when you go away, you may want to come back and when you do come back it is better to be received with love. His friend and producer Keith McMasters (of Grand Hustlers) can be credited for instilling such a great point of view and giving such sincere advice to him. Surprisingly, he says that he does care about what others think. However, he is confident in knowing that if he works hard he will be noted as a respected musician in the industry not just Fantasia's brother.

He spoke highly of his mother and he feels that she is a great speaker, in his own words he said, "My mom can be classed with the best of them ... Juanita Bynum,TD Jakes...". His mother is definitely his motivator and friend. Often offering words of encouragement and advising him to keep his relationship with God in check. He says that his mom keeps him humble and she is his biggest support system including his sister Fantasia and a host of other family members like his cousins, aunts and uncles. He also has the business support of his publicist Linda Lun, and friend Leita Wesley. He says that they all keep it real with him.

He knows his music!

Aside from all of the familiar things that you’ve heard or read about him on the internet, what you may not know is that Ricco Barrino is a hard worker and he knows music. He even has a good business strategy about staying in the business. In his words he says, “If you don’t go mainstream, in five minutes they love you, in ten minutes they don’t know you”. He’s presently riding the waves with his single “Bubble Gum”. When I first heard “Bubble Gum” I was surprised because I was expecting a ballad or something soulful instead of hip–hopish. I asked Ricco if there’s going to be a versatile selection on his album and he said that there will definitely be some soulful sounds, and smooth grooves. However, it appears to me, that his main focus is feeding the radio waves. Nevertheless, he reassured me that he’s not planning to limit his music to just one particular style; I was pleased to hear that.

Ricco has what I call combination talent and if he wants to step outside of the box and do a little of this and a little of that -  I say go for it. As I was doing my research on him, I came across some of his previous recordings with his group “Infinite” and Ricco has the skills to be a bona fide crooner, certified hip – hop head and a cool mellow fellow with those sweet melodies; reminiscent of gospel, jazz and soul. He’s also a songwriter and he's established a company called Sky Writers. His lyrical ingeniousness has been requested by some of the heavy weights in the industry and realizing this keeps him feeling blessed.

Ricco is also a very positive thinker. He uses positive thinking to visualize himself doing whatever it is that he wants to do. He mentioned that as a football player in school his coach once required him to jump hurdles as a technique to assist him in getting in shape. Ricco said that he really didn't know how he was going to do it so he just began to picture himself jumping over the hurdles ... "Before you know it I jumped over the first one, then the next one and I keep on going", he explained with an enthusiasm in his voice. From that point on Ricco said that he would always use that same confidence to get him through situations and even to visualize himself as the artist that he is aspiring to be.

Cliff Hanger - American Idol?

Ricco went back to American Idol, and he was accepted as a contestant ... but will he compete in the next season of American Idol?

He says that he's really not able to speak on it right now. So I guess we'll all have to stay tuned!  His final thoughts where on his characteristics, "I just want the fans to know that I'm a young man that goes through struggles and I'm a regular man that loves women, partying and stuff. I have different styles as a writer and I will give them radio stuff, but if I feel like doing some stuff like Marvin Gaye I will and if I feel like doing some Prince I'll do that when I get ready too, but at the end of the day I want to be known as a total business man and artist".

Ricco, it was a pleasure speaking with you ... thanks for sharing your story and thoughts with Enjoy Life Magazine!