Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., one might say that succeeding in the music industry was inevitable for producer/songwriter/DJ Ricci Riera because, from the day he was born, music was pumped throughout his veins. His father was a piano player for late 70s group The Commodores, and his mother was a music manager who worked with the popular 80s band Exposé.

However, Riera has expressed that his father was not so approving of him pursuing a career in the music business. That didn’t stop him. He started out as a young kid with the hopes of becoming a rapper but, around the age of 14, it was his older cousin who was pursuing a career as a hip-hop music producer that introduced him to the path he would soon take.

“I used to hang out with him and kind of tag along with him at studios and try to get in where I fit in,” Riera told REVOLT TV. “That’s where it started.”

After high school, Ricci took a shot at getting his degree and attended Santa Monica College, but that didn’t seem to be what was in the cards for the soon-to-be hitmaker.

“My whole thing is that I was trying to go to that music program at either University of Southern California or New York University,” Riera said. “Like the fire music industry program. But that shit didn’t work out. I had good grades during my time in college, but I just ended it. It was too much. Trying to make money, trying to pay bills, and I was already making beats that sounded fire to me. So, I was like, I don’t even need school. I felt like I learned what I needed to learn.”

Though the decision to leave school is a huge choice for a young person to make, Riera carried a certain confidence in him that allowed him to keep moving forward.

“I always believed in myself,” he said. “That was one of my biggest things. Even when my beats used to be trash, I always knew for a fact that I was going to make it.”

In 2009, Riera joined forces with another talented individual, Axlfolie, and together they formed the production duo THC. The sounds that they created separated them for any other production team coming out of the West, allowing them to make killer tracks like Dom Kennedy’s “The Ways,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Fuck Your Ethnicity,” OverDoz’s “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” and ScHoolboy Q’s “Oxy Music” — to name a few.

However, Riera shares that it was Kennedy’s “Bet You Want Me Now” that was his first big song, the one that made him feel like he had arrived.

“This nigga Dom just showed up at the house,” he explained. “I used to always leave the door unlocked and he just showed up. He scared the fuck out of me because I had my back turned and I’m like, ‘Bro, why the fuck didn’t you just call me?’ But he was like, ‘Nah nah nah, that’s it right there, keep that playing.’ And he wrote that shit in like 10 minutes. Then I was like, alright, cool, I can do this.”

Los Angeles is one of those cities known to have a distinct sound. Artists like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Tupac set the tone for their coast, a tone that we still hear today through artists like YG and The Game. However, Ricci saw an opportunity to create something different.

“There’s not a ton of artists still that are coming out of L.A. right now. Around 2008 [to] 2010, there was that little wave of the people that I came up with, like the Doms, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, OverDoz, Kendrick, ScHoolboy. All of them made it to the league and it hasn’t really been no L.A. dudes that really made it after that, to be fair. Kendrick, once he crossed over and put out that first album, how many of those beats would you say were West Coast beats for real? Not that many, but he’s definitely West Coast. So what I’m saying is that we had the opportunity to define what the new L.A. sound was.”

And Riera succeeded in curating something new. It would earn him three Grammy nominations: Lamar’s “M.A.A.D City” (2011), ScHoolboy’s “Collard Greens” (2014), and Drake’s “U With Me?” in 2016, his first solo nomination. Still, he attributes a part of his success to staying loyal to his city. In the early 2000s, when he was getting started, Riera admits that Atlanta was running the industry. He told REVOLT TV that a cousin even tried to convince him to move to the ATL, but he couldn’t come to terms with going down there trying to emulate their culture.

“That’s weird to me,” Riera said. “In L.A., everybody was still stuck in that Chronic, 2001 bubble. This nigga Dre just hypnotized everybody; all the producers were trying to make beats like that. Even me; I was trying to make them shits, too. Then Nipsey [Hussle] was the first homie that started getting national attention and it started to feel like the West was coming back, something that we were proud of. My loyalty always stayed with L.A., even when L.A. wasn’t popping, and I feel like that ended up paying off in the long run.”

Around 2014, Riera made the decision to move forward as a solo producer and currently has a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music. But the relationships he’s built over the course of his career have remained the same as he still works with major artists. Since going solo, he’s contributed to A$AP Rocky’s “Fine Whine” featuring Future, Scott’s “SDP Interlude,” Lamar’s “ELEMENT.” and “GOD.,” and Playboi Carti’s “New Choppa.”

But for Riera, it never stops. He also revealed that we can expect new work with MADEINTYO, Lil Boosie, Syd, Ty Dolla $ign, and Anderson .Paak, as well as with new artists Ye Ali, QUADRY, and Smokepurpp.

Despite having accomplished some major goals already, Riera told REVOLT TV what some of his next steps are.

“Because I DJ too, I definitely want to start incorporating the performance aspect more into what I do,” he said. “I have a lot of unreleased songs and that’s just the perfect platform to drop new music and let the featured artist come out and perform.”

Winning a Grammy is also next on Riera’s list and he hopes it happens with Lamar’s “ELEMENT.” Finally, he wants to sign an artist, produce their entire album, and have it go platinum. Although eager and more confident than ever, he expressed that patience is the key to making it in this industry.

“Being patient is really important because the shit don’t never happen when you expect it to happen,” Riera said. “When we did OverDoz’s album, swear to God we thought we was going to be pushing Lambos after that. That shit did not happen. Shit just be taking it’s time, so be patient and don’t switch up. If you quit then you obviously don’t have no chance.”

With his family as his number one inspiration and the success of DJ Khaled as his motivation, there is no doubt that this young, multi-talented music producer from Los Angeles will reach exponential heights.