Music Q&A: Rider

American-born but London-based, the multi-instrumentalist talks about being inspired by her composer dad, new single You and the songs she wishes she'd written

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What informs your music and songwriting?
My music and songwriting come from so many different places in my head and heart. I always have finished songs and soundscapes floating around in my head and sometimes I can quite simply be driving and suddenly the harmonics the car is making can trigger an idea – which has happened a couple of times. I do find watching films and the music and songs that accompany them really do inspire me. There’s something so strong about music and visuals together. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything stronger! Of course I have my favourite artists and songs over the years that have inspired me too, be it just the melodies, a chord structure or the timbre of instruments used. There’s definitely not just one or two things that help me. It’s almost too complex to explain!

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I grew up in a musical family and so composing, performing and practising were an everyday occurrence. It was natural! Hearing my dad’s music that he’d compose and produce in his studio really inspired me and how he and my brother would improvise so beautifully on the piano. I learned to play the piano from a young age too, which helped. Eventually I started to make my own songs whilst sat at the piano and I used to cry because what was happening and what I was creating in the moment was so powerful to me, even if it was just two chords and a simple melody. As I grew older my dad let me use his studio equipment and boom! I was producing my own songs and I used to stay up till the early hours of the morning working on them.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’m producing and writing new material. It’s never-ending! I don’t think I could ever run out of ideas so whenever I have some spare time that’s what I’m doing. I literally live and breathe my music. I currently have about 15 new songs on the go right now that I’m super-excited about and then there’s hundreds of other ideas that have been quickly recorded or tracks half-produced. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to go through the files and listen to everything I’ve started or just abandoned. You’ve just got to follow how you feel with certain ones though and concentrate on only the best.

How did you come to create the song You?
I was in the honeymoon period of a new relationship some years ago whilst still trying to get over another relationship that ended. I was so happy in this new relationship though that if the guy had asked me to marry him the next day I would have said yes in a heartbeat! I had never felt those feelings so strong before and I was just so blissed out with happiness. The song You is a perfect description of this time. It was all new, I was falling in love, I was feeing vulnerable and knowing I wanted to commit to this person.

What are the messages or feelings you are looking to put across in the song?
That true love is real and it’s amazing! When you know, you know. Even though you have to fight through the darkness to get there sometimes, you can find it. I did and we all can!

What song do you wish you had written?
Gosh, there’s loads! Here’s a few that spring to mind. Angel by Sarah McLachlan, Fields Of Gold by Sting and Destiny by Zero 7. There’s so many more that I love though and many upbeat songs too.

What’s your worst lyric?
“You were just a game I was a fool to love, Never know that I could smash it.” Um, yeah. Nice, hey? Lol. Thanks for having me! Rider x

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