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Rising Stars: Meet Riley Wells

Today we’d like to introduce you to Riley Wells.

Hi Riley, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always known I wanted to perform since I was young. When it’s in your soul, it’s an innate thing- like, of course I am doing this! And singing will forever be that for me. I was inspired by the music I was listening to growing up – my mom had motown music crooning through our speakers, and I learned to love artists like Earth Wind & Fire and Marvin Gaye. It really clicked when I watched the impact those songs had on my mom; She would hear the first note and drop everything she was doing, saying, this is my song!! Turn it up!! I was like, I need to do that. I want to create songs that make people feel like this. I grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and I started to explore songwriting when I was 11. The moment I began to step into my artistry was when I was 16. I was posting and recording covers on sound cloud, like a piano version of ‘One Dance’ by Drake or ‘Slide’ by Frank Ocean. I think I started to really find my sound through covering R&B and hip hop artists in my own pop-style. Cut to 2018 when I got to Berklee College of Music, I had been writing but hadn’t released anything yet- and then I met some important collaborators: namely producer Ryan Kay who produced my first EP ‘Value’, my summer dance pop single, ‘That Kinda Love’, and my latest pop single, “Every Language.” Finding people that I worked well with encouraged me to start recording my original music and begin my career as a pop solo artist and songwriter from there.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I think the hardest thing about choosing the artist’s path is that it’s a very individual journey. It requires a level of trust with yourself and this sort of inner strength, one I have to constantly build in the good times, so it’s there to lean on when it starts to feel hard or confusing. The thing about being an artist is it’s never concrete or black and white, so when people ask for a roadmap at first it can be daunting. Cause we’re like, I’m just trying to figure out my next step! But I’ve learned to find solace in the wildness of it all- because there’s always new things to learn and new ways to approach a creative career, and that can be really exciting. At the end of the day, I’m doing something that brings me joy and feels good in my heart- and that’s what I’ll always circle back to!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Being a singer and songwriter and being able to share my creative work is such an amazing feeling because it’s like getting to share my heart with people who want to listen. It was a big leap for me to release my first EP because I was like, woah, I’m basically letting people read my musical diary! But then the coolest thing is the way our vulnerability as artists creates this community with our audience, the way people can hear you and say, this is speaking to exactly how I feel. I love that. As I continue to write, I’m finding that my music is naturally getting even more vulnerable and real about my feelings, and that’s especially true for my latest single, ‘Every Language’ that just dropped in February. In my previous releases, I explored reflection on past experiences or the fun energy of desire. With my new song, ‘Every Language’, it’s something that’s really coming from my soul, expressing my whole heart about what’s going on in my life. It’s my feel-good pop wonderland of love and romance, and also makes you wanna dance around your room a little. 🙂

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Stay in touch! Check out my TikTok and visit me on Instagram: @itsrileywells to see my favorite color and how much I love sunsets (plus get news about my upcoming releases) 💜 Love and light, Riley

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Image Credits:

cc Holysmoke Photography cc Holysmoke Photography cc House of Wells

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