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INTERVIEW: Rider

Hi Rider, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great thanks! There’s a lot on my mind and it’s all exciting stuff.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “A Little Light”?

I wrote, recorded and produced the track myself. I remember half way through working on it I went through weeks without listening to it and then suddenly I fell in love with it again and wrote the chorus super quickly and finished producing it in a couple of days. Sometimes you just have to leave a track for a while and come back to it with a different mind set – and sometimes that can be weeks and months!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Very much so! It was about 3-4 years ago. I was basically in a love triangle as well as questioning whether or not I was turning gay or just bi. I wouldn’t say it was a full breakdown but it definitely changed me forever. To sum the story up 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.

How was the film experience?

It was a lot of fun!I feel it definitely tested my acting abilities. The bathroom scene was amazing because I had to make myself cry (after having to imagine sad things in my mind) and then sit topless in the bath in front of the camera crew. It was so funny and weird at the same time! I wanted it to all be as real as possible though, as if I was reliving my memories. It worked and I felt pretty exhausted after it. I love acting and will do anything to express and evoke what the song’s about – it has to be real!

The kissing in the alleyway scene was also a laugh to film because people were walking by sometimes and would stop in confusion and stare. It made it more exciting to film though. All in all, it was filmed over 2 day. The first being all indoors and the second, outdoors.

How was the recording and writing process?

Like I mentioned before, the writing process was pretty stop start, stop start, over some weeks but because I tend to record my vocals as I go along, a lot of the backing vocals stayed. I then dedicated one day to really nail the lead vocal and tidy any other parts up. I tend to live with a scratch vocal for a while before I go in and record it for real too. I also produce and mix the track as I go along. I remember the day I recorded the lead vocal and it was so hot! I had to keep turning a fan on in-between takes!

What role does the UK play in your writing?

I have to admit before I moved to London my writing was influenced very much by American artists and the American culture – it had more of a country aspect to it (which I still love). Artists like Faith Hill and the Rascal Flatts are amazing and have always held a special place in my heart. Since moving from the country to London though with it’s unique energy, mixed cultures and fashion I felt it really helped me grow into who I am today. I know I still very much hold an American sound but that’s where my roots are. London helped me grow up in ways like no other city could due to my work and experience in the music industry here over the years. I like to think my music now holds a balance between the sunny/perfect idealistic views I still have of America and my memories there and the more gritty darker energies of London. Not that London has only be a dark and gritty time for me. It just holds such strong energies of all kinds and I like to think my writing reflects that now.

How does the 80s influence your music?

The music playing on the radio and TV back then has grateful influenced me and still does! Some of my favourite films are, ’The Labyrinth’ starring David Bowie, ‘Flight Of the Navigator’ and ‘The Never Ending Story’. If you listen to the film scores and songs in those films you’ll hear where I’m coming from. It’s pure 80’s goodness! I just love the power drums, the sliding fretless bass parts and all the intricate counter melody synth parts. I can’t help it. It just makes me go all goo inside! I feel lucky to say that I had a happy childhood, so I guess the music from my early years still fill me with happiness and that feeling of familiarity and feeling safe. The same goes for the 90’s sound too! As a result I gravitate to those sounds when I’m writing. I also love some of the fashion in the 80’s – how the men and women had long permed or straight hair, the all American tanned skin look and how women wore their bikinis with the high waistline. It’s hot! I don’t know..maybe it’s just me. It’s how I first viewed the world as a child and it’ll always influence. I do know some people expressed the 80’s very differently and as a result had the worst time in that decade but for me, it was all about feeling happy and safe at home, playing with my toys, watching cartoons and cool films. It was the best! It was happiness.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

Of course there’s new material. I’m always writing and producing new tracks. It’s never-ending! I love what I do and could never stop – unless I lose my mind and forget how to use a computer perhaps. There’s definitely a lot more songs to come and I really cannot wait to release it all!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I’m releasing my first single ‘A Little Light’ on the 15th of September but we’re still discussing the dates of further releases. Rest assured though, we won’t keep you waiting long!

What aspect of your life will you be diving into this new material?

I can’t help but find a lot of inspiration from my relationships, be it from 10 years ago or from yesterday. Anything that evokes pure happiness and ecstasy to utter sadness, anger and frustration. These are the things that really get me. Of course I have my views about the world and the problems we face as a human race. In fact, I’m very passionate about those issues but I prefer to write from a personal angle because that’s what effects me the most.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! Definitely. We have no secured dates yet, but again, this is something we’re still discussing.

What else is happening next in Rider’s world?

As well as my gig on the 19th September at The Water Rats in Kings Cross London, I have another gig on the 30th October at the Camden Assembly rooms. Come along!

On a daily basis I’m working on new songs – picture me sat infant of my computer playing the keyboard and singing into my mic. I always have to fight to keep my back straight! We’ve also planned to shoot a new music video in September for my next single, which is super exciting! Shhh, I can’t spill any more beans! All in all we have a lot planned and myself and my team at Sapien Records are working around the clock to make sure it drops in style.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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