We had the good fortune of connecting with Raymond Love and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raymond, what role has risk played in your life or career?
This is an amazing question and as I reflect on my life this scripture from Psalms 27:1-3(NKJV) falls deep on my heart. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.3 Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident”.
I was born into risk from day one as a child with seizures and epilepsy going in and out of the hospital and taking several medications. My parents Anna and Harry Love had to believe in God and choose whether to pull me off life support or not as doctors said I wouldn’t live and if I did I wouldn’t have a quality life. They took the risk to allow me to live and today I continue moving forward. After being healed over three decades later more risks were ahead of me to face growing up in the city of Chicago with day-to-day life, marriage, parenting, and entrepreneurship. These are risks factors because each category has a giant that requires you to choose your path, purpose, and destiny in it.
Growing up in Chicago as a teenager I was very blessed to be rooted in a strong church foundation at Valley Kingdom Ministries International where Apostle H.D Wilson was the Senior Pastor and Elder Barnett was the powerhouse Youth Pastor. No matter how much crime or negative energy transpired the leadership skills gained there taught me I’m not a victim of my situation, yet a victor, and I will not be defeated. Marriage is a lifestyle and can be viewed as a risk too by some in the world today. It took me three times to get it right however I couldn’t get it right until I took accountability and stop pointing the finger at everyone else and begin to work on the four fingers pointing back at me. Today I’ve been married eight years and moving forward strong with my wife Nicole Love.
At the age of twenty-one, I relocated to Arizona to help extend the life and better health of my father. He suffer several surgeries and was told if he didn’t leave Chicago he wouldn’t live. Upon relocating to Arizona I married my second wife April and became a parent to my daughter Raeanna. Parenting is truly a risk anyone blessed with children should want to do yet not all make that choice. Being a father for my daughter after my second divorce and staying present in all aspects of her life financially, physically, and emotionally was not an option for me. Was that an easy choice or did it come with much opposition? No, it wasn’t easy and absolutely it did come with some opposition, trials, and tribulations yet I took the risk to stand in the partnership and create a great lifestyle for my daughter. As I stepped to the plate for the third time in marriage to say I do, I also said I do to parenting Tyvan the son I gain through marriage that has forever changed my life with my wife Nicole Love. Providing for both of my children and making the choices and transitions on their behalf even when they made me uncomfortable financially, physically or emotionally have been my greatest lifestyle accomplishment as a black man.
Finally, entrepreneurship is a huge risk for anyone to take yet I did it over ten years ago with NG Entertainment. The risk is great because you must have money to make money with any new business. I worked several jobs day and night to make this company come alive to what it has become today. If you walk in fear, you can’t take risks in your professional or personal life. Yet with God, I believed that all things were possible. New Groove Entertainment started off with me truly taking the church band I was a musical director for saying let’s try to make some money with our gift and play some music outside of the church. We did our first gig in downtown Tempe at a rooftop restaurant not knowing that until we arrived. We were exhausted before the gig started from loading all the equipment up the stairs and my drummer Willie Sells let me know about it too. LOL~ It paid minimal money, yet the performance was a success, and it was the start to something big. Over a decade later that risk has opened many doors for artists and people connected to NGE Entertainment and has transpired to become one of the Top sought-after entertainment companies in Phoenix, Arizona with world-class musicians, vocalists, and artists today. Many days throughout a month there are multiple events and gigs on the same day at the same time. Having a dynamic direct assistant like Diane Boyd to help keep things moving and organized has been essential to our success as a company.
New Groove Entertainment is a one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs specializing in quality music and entertainment. We offer everything from a One-Man Band, Duo, Trio up to a 12-piece Dance Band. NGE book tribute bands for artist such as Marvin One Gunn and The Bob Marley Tribute show and also Tyrone & Paula Sweet with The Echoes of The Platters show. These shows get sold out results and some have had thousands of patrons at a time. Stay tuned to our website for upcoming 2022 shows. We love to service clients in dance as well which is driven by Nicole Love whether for a special event, ministry, or wedding. Raymond Love is not only an established bassist yet also a Music Producer. NGE gives Raymond Love the ability to produce an artist and their music then represents the independent artist as a booking agent as he does for Loran Cox the leader of Groove Tantra. Follow Groove Tantra newest music releases and shows in 2022 at www.groove-tantra.com.
In conclusion what if I never took that risk and said to my team let’s just play for Jesus and work at church only and not in the marketplace? Where would I be today with NG Entertainment, or would it even exist? I’m grateful for the opposition and the opportunities that came from all my risks personal and business. Consequently, even more, happy I can say at the end of it all To God Be the Glory for the path, purpose, and destiny it has made for my life and so many other artists and musicians that have been connected to me. Thank you so much Shoutout Arizona Magazine for this interview. I truly hope someone is inspired and encouraged by reading this on today. As a result of this interview I hope you too are motivated to take the risk in your personal and business life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Education was something everyone in my family believed in, yet I decided to be the first man in my family generation on both sides to break the generational curse and earn a college degree. What a risk and not just a BA Degree from Western International University in Human Resources either but an MBA Degree Concentration on Human Resources Management from DeVry University as well. Now that I have taken that risk and been the example my son, male cousins, nephews, and others in my family can say it can happen for me too. This was very hard to do while working full time as an adult, being married to a supportive wife like Nicole Love, and running a small business like NGE Entertainment. Today I’m humbled to be chosen to serve on The National Advisory Committee for DeVry University(NAC)provides an opportunity for DeVry University faculty and administration to partner with business professionals in various disciplines for gathering feedback about our programs. I’m truly happy to serve on the HR (NAC) committee as a proud Alumni of DeVry University.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely take them to Tempe Town Lake. I love the water and the peace I get from walking around it. Spinato’s or Giordano’s would definitely be a restaurant stop for some of the best Chicago pizza here in Arizona.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Special thanks always to Herman and Shinelia Little for giving me a foundation to learn how to book bands and become a strong band leader with Ethereal Companies back then but known today as Nu Royal Group. They were truly the foundation and start to Raymond Love learning the game and knowing how to open doors for so many more today.