Richie Acevedo
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Destined To Be a Creator

Producer/Creative Richie Acevedo doesn't believe in coincidences; he's meant to be here.

PART I

Richie had been in Nashville for 6-7 months at the time I interviewed him mid-June.

Fairly fresh to the city, he already felt as though he found his place here, though that confidence took his lifetime to build.

 For those like me who are visual creatures, here's a timeline to illustrate Richie's life journey.

For those like me who are visual creatures, here's a timeline to illustrate Richie's life journey.

Growing up in Milwaukee taught him life survival skills that carried him into his present day. He credits his grandfather as his pillar, who was the 2nd African-American administrator in the NBA and established important community programs to help people living in the long impoverished city. Even though Richie came from a somewhat ok background, living there was surreal and made him who he is today, along with his other monumental life experiences.

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Fast-forward to 2008 when Richie joined the military, he was stationed in Germany where he performed as an opener for American artists coming through.

He traveled the entire country and even trekked out to the region between France, the Netherlands, and Italy. Being in the military was one of the best experiences for Richie because it taught him discipline and grounded his previously free flying spirit. He learned how to be cultured, how to do business with all walks of life, and how to understand somebody else’s perspective aside from your own, knowing they, too, are human.

Once he was out of the military, Richie utilized his GI Bill to attend Full Sail University in Orlando in 2012. After completing his education, he gave everything away and moved to Seattle, which was another priceless experience for Richie. In the very top Northwest corner of the US, Richie made an immediate impact on the community; so much so, that by the end of the year he was invited to perform at KUBE 93 Summer Jam. All the events in Seattle, however, are only a beta run for what Richie wants to do here in Nashville.

After the Seattle chapter ended, Richie packed up again and left for Atlanta.

He shortly noticed the vibe and atmosphere was different in Atlanta, and it conflicted with his positive spirit.

In the Atlanta hip-hop community, the more negative you are, the more exposure you receive. Especially in hip-hop, the cities that everybody looks to in order to chase their dreams are no longer NY or LA, but Atlanta. Despite the toxic environment, Richie continued to work in the hopes of making a change.

To clarify, Richie believes Atlanta has wonderful and beautiful people, some of the best in his life today; in fact, they’re like family. Though, witnessing the oppressive culture that Atlanta promotes affect his loved ones was difficult for him, specifically the inorganic appropriation of oppressed lives by the big guys with the big money. Richie’s mom taught him at a young age to never glorify the hood you get out of because you want to be out of it.

And so, after returning from a performance in the Dominican Republic in April of 2016, Richie finally realized that he needed to change his strategy as to how he can affect the most change through his talents. That’s when Nashville caught his eye, due to a well-kept secret among the hip-hop community that record label offices are moving from NY and LA to Nashville. Thereupon, Richie told his wife about the city, the two sat down and prayed, gave everything away again in a week, and moved to Nashville for another fresh start.

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PART II

Once in Nashville, Richie won his membership to HOME while attending a Who Knew event.

Unsure exactly what HOME was, he talked to Tom who coordinates the Who Knew events, and Tom reassured Richie that there is no need to worry and to enjoy his membership because it will help him on his path. After visiting the mid-renovation headquarters and instantly hitting it off with Logan’s energy, Richie knew that the space would be perfect for incubating his visions. Today, Richie spends more time at HOME than he does at home, all to say that he firmly believes the universe is doing its thing.

He says he’s been blessed with doors opening for him, that people he meets during one part of his journey lead him into the next part,

where he meets even more guiding people to help him continue further, and the cycle goes on. Richie is passionate about pouring the energy that’s been blessed with into others, so they can also benefit from the overflowing positive energy.

Recently, Richie recorded new material in our top-notch HOME studio with some help from magician Anthony Falcone to be released in August; the music’s aim is to direct people back to HOME. For Richie, the space is not exactly a community center, but rather a beautiful art collective.

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Though Richie produced music when he was younger, he picked up the pace and started seriously producing two years ago.

To him, creating compositions is therapeutic.

Although, he went through a tough period of terrible writers’ block; he was completely frustrated that he was struggling to write out the sounds he had in his head. Instead of continuing to brood, however, he decidedly stood up and just started using technology. While his producing skills have improved since then, he admits there is still a lot for him to learn.

Despite being a mover and creator in the hip-hop world, Richie’s greatest musical influence is actually gospel music.

His uncle was a profound songwriter in the gospel scene, having written songs people still sing today. More specifically, the most influential style is Church of Christ a capella. Next to that, Kanye’s fearless production style of pushing boundaries largely influences Richie. Throwing it back, he believes Pink Floyd, another influence, was 30-40 years ahead of their time when they created their music. They concocted today’s ubiquitous digital sound using all analog instruments; also notable as one of the first multimedia artists, they merged audio and visuals to artistically express ideas. Additionally, Miles Davis along with early Motown music creep into Richie’s creative brain.

Being familiar with a wide variety, Richie believes there are similarities in all genres of music. For instance, the only difference between country and hip-hop is guitar; both sing about problems with women and problems with money. Using that knowledge ultimately to heal people, Richie strives to bridge the gap so people can realize that we’re all walking down the same road.

In the end, art is unfiltered truth.

With the new technology we have, we need to affect change and make a difference both short-term and long-term, not for personal glorification, but to help the world around us.



Written and interviewed by Andra Ingram