The Room, the debut album from Grammy-winning multiplatinum producer and songwriter Ricky Reed, is set for release August 28 via Reed’s own Nice Life Recording Company. Best known for his work with Lizzo, Maggie Rogers, Twenty One Pilots, Halsey, Leon Bridges and many others, The Room marks Reed’s first official full-length following the release of three solo singles from 2016-2017.
The Room is a result of Reed’s remote collaborations mostly created in his NICE LIVE! YouTube sessions, where many of the songs were started and/or worked on by Reed and his collaborators in real time. The songs are inspired by Reed’s and his collaborators’ feelings, attitudes, and experiences in the first half of 2020.
On March 16, in direct response to the current global crisis and the stay at home ordinance, Reed steadfastly moved his producing and writing sessions online from his home studio and published an open letter in the Los Angeles Times addressing the artist community and urging them to “band together by staying apart.” Beginning as a mental health exercise to keep motivated, as well as to help inspire, challenge and gather fellow creatives, Reed took the online sessions one step further; he began hosting livestreams twice per week (Mondays and Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. PT) on his Nice Life YouTube channel, and NICE LIVE! was born. The sessions offer an unpolished look at the conversations between Reed and friends, which are often the flashpoint for a new song or instrumental that Reed will then create live on the spot.
The first single “Real Magic” with Terrace Martin and St. Panther is out today. The creation of the song began during NICE LIVE! 10. Reed and Martin also recently worked together on Leon Bridges’ new single “Sweeter” and St. Panther is featured on the latest soundtrack for HBO’s hit show “Insecure.” The video for “Real Magic,” directed by Jakob Longcob and edited by BROCKHAMPTON-collaborator Spencer Ford, captures on-street interviews with people in Los Angeles describing what “hope” means to them.
Of the album, Reed explains, “When my livestream collaboration experiment resulted in a song that brought me to tears mid-broadcast, I realized there might be some real magic to be found by simply connecting people who wouldn’t otherwise make music together. The result is The Room, a running record of me trying to stay connected with my community, cope with the terror of pandemic, and supply love and energy for the revolution while spending a lot of time looking inward. For me the music is a warmly lit healing place for us all to gather, zoom out, and work through the strangest time of our lives, together.”
The Room features further collaborations from Leon Bridges, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Lido Pimienta, Duendita, Kiana Ledé and John-Robert among others.
Ricky Reed started Nice Life Recording Company in 2014 as a joint venture with Atlantic Records, signing and developing global superstar Lizzo. While Lizzo remains in the joint venture, Nice Life went independent in 2017 and the label earned its first #1 record with Lizzo’s smash hit “Truth Hurts” in 2019. Much more to come from Reed and the Nice Life roster in the coming months.