Rocco Shares the Story of True Love Behind His Instant Classic, 'l-o-v-e'

19-year-old singer-songwriter and TikTok sensation Rocco first won our hearts with last year's dreamy viral hit "spin you round," and with the release of his latest song, "l-o-v-e," it's clear he's not just a one-hit-wonder.

With its smooth, pure vocals and romantically jazzy instrumentation, the track has all of the makings of an instant classic. The song was written for Rocco's girlfriend, with sweet lyrics that tell a story of a simple and honest type of love, and we just can't stop listening. We got the chance to ask Rocco all about "l-o-v-e," its inspirations and TikTok fame, and he shared it all with us in the interview below.

The Story Behind 'l-o-v-e'

Rocco: The story behind "l-o-v-e" is really two-fold. Firstly, it's very obviously about my girlfriend, Ashelyn, who has been my muse for a growing number of records. The idea of the song came to me in November while we were in New York for a music video shoot. On an off day, Ash and I decided to explore, and we were actually walking down Mott St. in Nolita when the initial melody and hook came to me. The second source of inspiration came from Nat King Cole's song by the same name. My family and I listen to a lot of oldies, and my personal aim was to make a love record that is as timeless as Nat's stuff. Did I succeed?


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What 'l-o-v-e' Means

Rocco: To me, the sacredness of art is interpretation. I hope this song evokes a real emotion and subsequent reflection in a listener. The best case scenario is the song moves a listener towards some sort of action. My mom cried when I performed it live for her. What's important to me is what this song means to you, not what it means to me.

Rocco l-o-v-e single art

('l-o-v-e' via BMG)


On His TikTok Success

Rocco: It's an honor, but par for the course. I cut my teeth making content on (now TikTok) and have been on the platform for a while. I'm really happy my fans have supported me from my sketch comedy days till now!


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Rocco's Favorite Lyric

Rocco: It's probably these lines: "What spells are you castin', 'cause this feels like magic—you take off my baggage." Genuine desire and a deep connection are so powerful and fulfilling they sometimes seem like some otherworldly arcane power. The last line is my favorite, though, as when I'm around certain people, they make me feel so light, like all the everyday worries and bullsh** I'm constantly dealing with erode away. It's a truly beautiful feeling, and if you have people in your life like that, hold onto them tight and never let go.

Rocco with yellow balloon and guitar

(Photo credit: Adam Leung)


For even more on our new favorite music, click HERE to read our interview with Phoneboy and their new single and music video for "Ferrari."