Want to know the man huge artists like Justin Bieber, One Direction, Chris Brown, Musiq Soulchild, and Sean Kingston, among many others, go to for a hit single? It’s none other than singer-songwriter-producer August Rigo. The Toronto-born, self-taught musician got his start in the business the old fashion way; hard work, dedication, and more hard work!
His discography of work may precede him, but understand, Rigo is like a volcano who’s been settled for some time and is ready to explode in a major way bringing forth his own music, while lending a hand for up and coming, as well as established artists. August Rigo and I linked up for an exclusive chat to discuss his style as an artist, his record label, pitching songs to artists, getting into the industry and more.
“I always loved singing, singing was my first love,” August recalled about wanting to get into the entertainment industry with his love of performing coming from his family always doing karaoke. From there he went to a performance arts high school and studied opera, among other styles of singing. After that, he then went to college to study dance, specifically jazz. At this point August was really just trying to find where his passion really ignited so he tried many things to see what stuck. For a year he studied engineering, got into creating music, and then decided he wanted to take his talents to the Big Apple
“I use to stand in front of the record labels with a stack out CD’s and just harass people,” he said with a laugh. “Harass VP’s, I didn’t care, I was literally on everybody’s back.” That tenacity of pushing his projects landed him an opportunity with one of those VP’s he was “harassing” and August got his foot in the door.
The self-described “Pop themed with an R&B overtone” artist cites R&B music and such artists like: Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Shai, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and R. Kelly as influences, but Pop music was his first big break in the music industry and a chance meeting with L.A. Reid skyrocketed his career. “I would catalog these songs, like I’d have 20, 30, 40, 50, whatever many songs, and the actual break I got for Justin Bieber, I had a chance meeting with L.A. Reid. I went to his office and after L.A Reid heard my demos, he said I need you to do Justin Bieber, so he ended up taking 3 songs for the My World 2.0 album.” And those songs were “U Smile,” “Stuck In A Moment,” and “Kiss and Tell” if you were wondering.
That chance meeting worked out for Rigo, but often times a record can just sit like an experience Rigo had with another artist. “Sometimes that happens. Sometimes you go into the studio and say I’m going to write this for Justin Bieber, then you write this song with Justin Bieber in mind, and then you pitch it to whoever’s in charge, or whoever you can get that can help it find its way through,” he said adding, “To be honest when I did my songs I didn’t really think about who I was writing for I was just out there writing what I thought was the best song at that time. The Chris Brown song, I wrote that awhile back and I had that sitting in my hard drive.” And that Chris Brown song is his latest “Back To Sleep”off his Royalty album.
Writing songs everyday, whether they will be archived or used immediately, helps August Rio deal with writer’s block. “Fight through it” is his motto, even suggesting reading other books and a hot shower to get the creative juices flowing. His creativity even spawned his own record label, SummerChild Records, with the “Time” singer Ginette Claudette as his first artist. “I just always wanted the ability to put out my own records and not have to be under anybody else’s greenlight.”
For anyone aiming to get into the music industry August Rigo offers up this advice. “The first thing is actually getting in, try to find your way and for me I found a niche in songwriting for people. The second part is nobody tells you how hard it is staying in. You have to be on your A game and stay relevant.” Rigo also states counting your blessings and being grateful for every opportunity as things to keep in mind.
In 2016, August Rigo is in the studio doing sessions with Pitbull and planning to push plenty of content for the fans, and for the people who may not be on the August Rigo train yet. He said we can expect content that shows what he does on a day-to-day to get to know his grind as an artist all the way around.
Keep up with August on social media @augustrigo on Twitter, search AugustRigoMusic on Facebook, AugustRigo on Soundcloud, and visit augustrigomusic.com for all updates. Check out August Rigo’s new single “Versions” from his album The Fall Out below.
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Photo: August Rigo