We caught up with singer-songwriter and mega babe Riva Taylor to talk dream collaborations, musical inspo and what’s on the agenda for 2017…
Tell us about yourself…
Hi – I’m Riva Taylor. Singer/songwriter….fitness freak and self-diagnosed shopaholic!! Debut album on the way.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
I’m a planner but with my music and my career – it’s never been planned. It’s something that just happened. A hobby as a kid that became more serious when I got signed! Ok…so I say this is my debut album. It’s my first album using my adult voice, I’m a different person now. I mean …I need to wear a bra now for a start!
How would you describe your sound?
Epic, contemporary, girl-grown-up and reflective
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Hmmmm….FA Cup Final was fun. A proud moment singing for your country and according to my guy friends, a game that’s gone down in history so always a fun chat-up line to say I was there!
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Sam Smith. Love his voice. We did some gigs together a few years back before he exploded onto the scene . He was a little different then, as was I. Would be fun to see how our voices blend now.
Who did you listen to growing up?
Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Aeritha Franklin, Sade and…..The Spice Girls (of course!)
Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
I have a few – but i’m going to go with Kate Bush. Not only do I love her songwriting originality, but I also love the way she experiments with different voices – she always kept my ear interested as a girl. Visually cool too, fusing dance and fashion in a unique way. A true artist!
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Throw me one of Little Mix’s Girl Power tunes and my hands will be in the air – Touch is way up there!
What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
Dua Lipa – Been waiting for its release a while. Like her smoky tone.
What’s been your career highlight/proudest moment?
It was amazing to perform at the Albert Hall for Prince Charles – one of my favourite venues and whenever I have performed there since, I always remember that time and how I felt.
It was also cool to do a promo tour in the US and perform on TV out there. Favourite performance was probably the Jerry Lewis Telethon when I followed on from Country Star Reba Macintyre – who I love! My friends might say it was being interviewed by Usher a few days earlier.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve worked with so far?
I was excited when I was given the opportunity to fly out to LA to write and record with Jamie Hartman, also singer of ‘Ben’s Brother’ whose album I used to listen to on repeat. We wrote the first single together and he has 4 credits on the album. He’s written some amazing tracks recently such as Passport Home with JP Cooper and Human with Rag n Bone Man.
Out of the people i’ve performed alongside – Katie Melua sticks out as a really lovely soul. Genuine and kind. A beautiful voice.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Sigrid, Rag n Bone Man, London Grammar, Haim …..i’m always listening!
What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to break into the industry?
Always voice your dreams and visions to those you work with and try to remain true to those – you know yourself best!
Keep listening and discovering music both new and old and if you like a signer, understand their journey and how they got to the place where you decided to hit play.
Meet as many people as you can in the industry, acknowledge opinions but know that only you have the power to make your voice heard!
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?
Toughest question of the lot!! But today i’m going to put Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera on the reserve list and go for Coldplay – Parachutes. So many great memories of listening to this in my teens…some amazingly deep songs on there.
Where can we see you perform next?
Walled Gardens Fest mid July! Jennifer Page and Beverly Craven will also be performing who I used to listen to as a kid/teen! Great chance to test out the new material.
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
More music will be teased and you’ll be seeing more performance opportunities being announced. Watch this space!! And hope you enjoy!
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