What is your name?
How did you come up with the name ‘Rider’
Well I’m a ‘glass-half-full’ kinda girl and to me Rider sums me up really well. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, love speed and anything fast and exciting. I’ve moved a lot in my life too so in a way I feel like I’m riding life, coasting along, forever moving to here and there. I’ll probably never stop and settle anywhere. Life’s too short hey!
What is your genre of music?
I would say it’s mostly pop, alternative and dreamy.
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m half American and half English, with both passports. I was born in America but have lived in the UK since I was about 5 years old. I’ve lived all over England as well as South West Wales too. I grew up in a musical family and started writing my own songs around the age of 8 – mostly by playing around on the piano and singing something that would stick. I started to produce my own songs using my dad’s music studio from about the age of 13-14 and I’ve been hooked ever since! I’ve worked in London recently, recording vocals for radio, TV and film but have always worked on my own music in my spare time. I’m a dreamer, I’m an airhead, I’m serious, I’m crazy and I love a good’ol deep chat about anything space, nature, quantum physics or spirituality. Wow, that sounds like I’m writing for a dating site! :-/
Tell us more about your music.
I would say I definitely have a certain way of writing and producing and it seems to create this unique sound. I take influences from so many places. From artists I’ve grown up with to more current sounds I hear today – so many inspirations. Life inspires me! It’s intricate, there are melodic hooks everywhere and there are lots of layered vocals, synths, big drums and guitars. Rock, pop, dream, epic, simple, alternative, biographical and man, I just love a strong melody that you can whistle to.
You Single is set to release ‘A Little Light’ tell us the meaning behind the track.
It echoes a difficult time in my life from about 3-4 years ago. I basically found myself in a love triangle. I also wasn’t sure if I was turning gay or that I was just bi. I felt lost.
To sum up the story, it goes like this:
I was in the middle of a hard break-up with a guy who I had been with for years but I had also fallen in love with a girl who I had been seeing for a while – even though she lived in America. Every time she came to visit we would act as if we were together. Eventually I met another guy who completely changed my life! We started to hang out a lot and he just made me feel better about everything! He knew about this other girl and my hard breakup with my boyfriend and respected me but we were both falling in love. It was so hard for everyone involved. So even though it was a real transitional time in my life he was literally my ‘little light’ that helped me get through the emotional mess I was in.
What was the writing process like?
I found some cool sounds and started to record some midi (using Protools) and then started singing – what eventually became the verse – over the top. It stuck! I remember I almost completely finished producing the track right up to the first chorus having no lyrics yet but with a melody that I loved. I tend to sing gobbledygook until I happen to sing something that means something to me. Time went by, perhaps weeks (I can’t remember clearly) but I came back to the track falling in love with what I had recorded so far (still with no lyrics) and ‘boom’ a chorus melody came straight to me! Sometimes it’s better to walk away from a track than force yourself to finish it. If you hear it after a while and instantly fall in love with it again, that’s a sure sign that it’s worth finishing. I have this agreement with myself now – if the song makes me cry whilst working on it then it’s a goodin’, it’s pure, it’s coming from my heart and I can’t deny that. That’s when I know I’ve created something special.
What was the recording process like?
I remember I felt bad for my neighbors and it was a super hot day so I had to keep putting the fan on in between takes.
In general, once I have my scratch vocal on the track I’ll dedicate a day to really focus on nailing the lead vocal and any other backing vocals that need re doing. I also mix as I go along, always tweaking the production and sometimes re playing parts in and making sure things are tidy.
The video is also out, what was the process like creating the video?
Now that was FUN! We shot it over two days. The 1st day was focused on the indoor shots and the 2nd day was all about the outdoor shots. Thank god the weather was hot and sunny because I think it’d be a very different video if otherwise.
The bathroom crying scenes really tested my acting abilities. I actually cried with some help imagining things in my mind but I was also trying to ignore that I was topless in front of the camera crew. Ha! I loved every second of it though! For some reason my favourite moments when acting are when I’m having to express deep emotions. It’s just fun and a good test!
I remember the alleyway kissing scene was particularly funny because people would sometimes walk by and take a second look whilst we were going at it. We were giggling a lot, that’s for sure!
All in all the whole experience was incredibly fun but also emotionally testing and tough because I was having to really get in my head and relive some of the memories I had.
Will we be seeing an EP or Album this year?
For the moment I’m just enjoying releasing singles and music videos across Vevo, Spotify, Apple Music etc. I love to see people’s reactions and connections to them! There is certainly enough material for an album which may well be surfacing next year … I’ve definitely got lots more to come!
If so what can we expect from it?
You can expect a lot of raw emotion, cinematic segues and really intimate, private lyrics.
AND when will we see it?
This is yet to be discussed but I can’t imagine it being too long.
Do you have any gigs or a tour coming up?
I have my showcase on the 19th September at The Water Rats in King’s Cross, London. Also, another gig is scheduled for the 30th October at the Camden Assembly rooms.
If so where will you be heading?
If I were to tour real soon, my dream would be the US!
What else can we expect from you?
More music for sure and awesome live shows! Probably a lot of skateboarding, long boarding and general silly antics that threaten my life as well, but hey ho!
Are you a signed?
Yes I am! I’m signed to Sapien Records. I feel so lucky because they really love my music and what I do. I feel like my whole life has been working up to this moment. Every artist wants that team around them that loves their music and supports them in all they do. I truly feel blessed to have finally found that in them.
You have had some great coverage from TV and Radio, whats been you most memorable?
I’ve sung live on TV a few times on Strictly Come Dancing and in front of millions for the Eurovision song contest. I have to say for the latter, I honestly don’t know when I’ll sing live again to that many people at the same time. The arena held about 12 thousand and then on top of that it was live in all European countries. How can you beat that? Perhaps Live Aid could come close but I don’t think so. It was honestly one of the most euphoric moments of my life that I will never forget! I’ll be forever grateful for that experience.
I’ve also recorded numerous radio jingles for Radio 2, plus Radio 1, regional stations and many more in North America and Canada etc. I have to say hearing yourself on the radio but no one knows it’s you, holds its own kind of magic.
Who are your influences?
I grew up as a Christian and used to listen to a lot of Amy Grant (whom I still adore). Her album called ‘The Collection’ from 1986 was almost on constant repeat in my bedroom. I would say the production on those tracks have greatly influenced me from a young age.
I’ve gone through phases of listening to certain artists on repeat like Prince, Michael Jackson, Third Eye Blind, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Leann Rimes, Donna Lewis and The Goo Goo Dolls. Each of these artists I feel have all influenced me at certain stages in my life. In more recent years I’ve been loving The 1975, Haim, LANY, The Script and the Rascal Flatts. There’s tonnes though! Also, growing up in a musical family I used to hear my Dad and brother improvise on the piano all the time. They are my number one influences to be honest. I do feel being exposed to a lot of classical music whilst growing up too has influenced me. I would go to many concerts from as young as I can remember with full orchestras performing. I used to sometimes fall asleep – I’m not going to lie – but I loved it all the same. I think the brain takes in more than we are aware of when we sleep too. I grew up singing in many choirs too so that’s definitely influenced my creativity with vocal arranging and naturally understanding harmony etc. It’s been a rich musical upbringing and I’ve been inspired by all of it!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I see myself touring all over the world and performing at all the major festivals, especially in the US – my home. 🙂 I also see myself winning a Grammy and a Brit award or two. I hope to buy a little house by the sea and own an Italian greyhound. Ha! Perhaps that wouldn’t even work with a touring life..hmm. I love dogs though, so much! I have dreams. All artists do. I always say: “dream big” because life’s too short!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I love to see my friends, go to the gym, go snowboarding, skate and tackle some hills with my longboard. Sometimes I just want to stare at a wall though, have a good cup of tea and maybe watch some Netflix documentaries. Whatever my week/month is like I find it important to create a balance.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
Wembley all the way!
Would you be up for collaborating with an unsigned artist or band? If so how can they contact you?
It depends if the time is right and whether or not I’m working solidly on my own music but I definitely wouldn’t say no.
If anyone’s interested they can contact my management at Sapien Records.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
That’s almost impossible to answer because I’ve always been in the music world from a wee babe thanks to my family and upbringing. I would say listening to the radio when I was about 11-12 years old made me more aware of pop music. I would always buy the NOW albums and listen to the top hits. All of that contributed to my desire to write my own music.
Where is your dream festival to perform?
Performing on the main stage at Glastonbury would be amazing, as well as Coachella!
What made you go in to music?
Since growing up with both my parents being musicians, I never thought of pursuing anything else, nor did my brother. We both wrote, performed and composed from a young age. Doing anything else would be weird. My parents never pushed me to do anything specific, it’s always been my choice and I chose music. I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else! Music is my everything, my foundation in life and my rock throughout.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“You’ll never please everyone. Only make music for yourself and you can’t go wrong”.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not just about the industry also just as an artist/band?
I would say:
Keep writing, keep refining your sound. Keep writing what moves you to tears, what makes you jump up and down in pure excitement. Don’t stop! The next biggest song could be right there in your head.
Be knowledgeable about the business side of the music industry. You could get stung in the butt so be careful who you trust and do business with.
Go to as many gigs as you can. You learn a lot – like what to do and what not to do. It’s valuable.
Watch the film: ’The Secret’. Now! It’s about the cause and effect of how we think. It’s a VERY important and invaluable tool to have in life. I guarantee it will change your life!
Practice your instrument as much as you can. Be it singing or playing the guitar, drums or whatever you love to play. Life passes by quick and you don’t want to be looking back wishing you had practiced more. Do as much as you can now and you’ll reap the benefits!
Save money. Save as much as you can!! You’ll need it to pay your band members, touring, rehearsal rooms, gear, merchandise, food, photographers, everything! You’ll just need money all the time – so get good at saving.
Be cautious of people that can talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. There are many people that falsely claim great success and boast great contacts. Genuine people usually don’t feel the need to prove themselves.
If music is what moves you, do it. Do it religiously. Live it and breath it with all your heart and soul. Do it well. Trust yourself and your feelings. One thing is for sure and that is you will not please every person with your music. You sure can please yourself though and no doubt there will be people out there that will love it too. You just have to believe in yourself! People can tell if you’re insecure or not being yourself. Be strong and walk with pride.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Live in the now”. Sometimes it’s not easy to do I know, but once you do, life becomes much more manageable. You instantly eradicate the past and the future – both plague us with worry. It’s not worth it. I’m not saying I do this all the time myself but when I do, boy it helps instantly!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Thank you again. Being polite and conscientious is key and a basic attitude that all musicians (all humans in fact) should practice when gigging and using someone’s venue. Gigging is a social thing so be mindful of how you act around others. You’ll more likely be asked to come back if so.
Extra batteries! Always.
You come off Tour
1/ Where is the first place you go? My bedroom. Close door. Lie on bed.
2/Who is the first person you see? My parents or my loverrrrr.
3/What is the first thing you eat. I don’t…I’m too tired. Ah OK, If I did, maybe fish fingers because they’re always in the freezer.