Dan Rico • "No Means No"
As a producer-singer-songwriter, Dan Rico finds himself face to face with the music throughout the entirety of his creative process. An attention to detail he has continued to perfect since joining his first band at the age of thirteen. The world of music is a place Dan Rico knows well. And since stepping out on his solo journey in 2015, Dan’s been getting acquainted with the land of Chicago music from a new perspective.
“Chicago has been a nurturing, supportive scene but sheltering. It wasn’t until I moved around the south a bit that I realized the music scenes are super segregated, just like the city. That’s when I decided I wanted to stop making garage rock and started venturing into a sound that’s more diverse and perhaps universal.”
Diving into the next leg of his solo career with the brand new single “No Means No”, Dan Rico’s musical aspirations are becoming a reality. If the new track was a meal, it’s safe to say that “No Means No” would be the mouth watering digest comprised of the essential pop music food groups one needs to survive. It’s smooth, catchy, and demands that you sing, and dance as Rico’s guitar and vocals guide you with their melodies. Dan’s careful curation makes sure every sound and instrument has a place to live as they gracefully bounce alongside one another. That same focus is alive in the visual as well, a passionate sense of creation Dan Rico hopes to provide going forward.
“I’m going to keep writing and recording music and it’s just gonna get better and better. I’m looking for pop music + poetry + realness, frankness about modern culture, the excitements and drawbacks of being alive in 2018.”
Find out more about Dan Rico and the new single in our exclusive Q&A below!
Ok, what happened to you in the bathtub?
It’s like a baptism. In the video there are two versions of me and one is becoming the other. The guy in the suit is shedding the dreariness of life (symbolized by a bleak hotel bathroom) by being baptized in a bath of what I would approximate as creativity. The creative unconscious. Inner nature. In doing so he can escape, let out his inner freak a bit.
What are some experiences that inspired the story behind this song?
This song is really about good people doing bad things. I know so many people who just wanna live their lives and do right or fit in and it’s led them down dark paths, especially with regard to drugs and relationships. I think that’s something that’s more prevalent than you think in everyday life, especially when you’re hanging around artists. That’s pretty heavy so the video celebrates how creating art gives a chance to confront, sublimate, and maybe transcend some of these evils that can otherwise seem unescapable.
I love how random and fun each of the scenes are. How did you and the director stumble upon the concept for this video?
After shooting the video for “Hot to Please” in New York I was so inspired by the process I sketched out an entire treatment for the video at the airport on my way back home. The end result is pretty faithful to the original conception. Luckily I had some serious help from the director Rand Rosenberg who really brought it all to life visually and the art director Ryan Hadarah. I should note this video was a really tough shoot— after doing a couple days of prep we got kicked out of our first motel because they thought we were either shooting porn or an exposé on a drug/prostitution ring. So we had to shoot the entire video in secrecy in a very short amount of time at a different motel.
Pick 2 or 3 Chicago artists you hope to work with in the future. What aspects of their work attracts you the most?
It’s hard for me to name names other than to say I’d like to start working with other producers, (I’ve recorded all my own material so far) potentially taking a more hip hop or pop production approach to my guitar-driven songwriting. Growing up in the rock scene is super insular— musicians rarely collaborate or write songs together unless they decide to start a band. I’m excited to work with any artist that’s dope and takes their craft seriously even if it’s just singing a verse or writing melody. Chicago also has a killer jazz scene with more and more players coming up from the colleges and institutions I’d like to play with or to session with. There’s so much talent in this city it’s crazy.