Rico Belled was born in the Netherlands to a Spanish pianist and his Swiss wife; growing up in such a multicultural environment, he was exposed to many styles of music and started playing piano at age 11, exploring everything from classical music to jazz. At 15 Rico started playing gigs with local bands doing Pop and Blues, slowly getting interested more and more in the bass, which he started really practicing at age 17.
In 1989, Studying Electrical Engineering at the TU Delft, Rico met Roy Cruz in The Hague and joined his weekly Sunday night band at ‘De Pater’ exploring the world of Funk and Jazz playing Fender Rhodes. These sessions broke down all stylistic walls as the band would go from playing Weather Report tunes to full on James Brown Funk, featuring as many as 10 people on the little stage, playing for a sold out house every Sunday. While getting an education in art of jamming, Rico soaked up a lot of bass stylings from Roy and started really shedding and playing as much as possible.
Realizing music was his passion, in 1992 Rico decided to give up engineering and attend the acclaimed Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. Graduating with the highest honors a year later, he was already playing with a few different groups in the L.A. area and in the following years made a name for himself as a session musician, on bass and keyboards.
Another breakthrough came when he joined Don Randi and the house band at the world famous Baked Potato in 1994. Doing the gig regularly for about 2 years, Rico met a lot of wonderful musicians and started writing his own music, performing at the same club with bands of his own.