Riley Biederer is a 19 year old singer/songwriter from the Northern suburbs of Atlanta. Her distinctive sound can be best described as an R&B infused Pop style. Riley has enjoyed singing since she was a young girl, and at 13 she picked up her first guitar and began writing songs. By age 14, her open mic performances drew strong local acclaim and quickly transitioned to paid three set performances in venues all over North Georgia. At Age 15, Grammy winning producer Matt Still (Outkast, Elton John, BB King, Joss Stone, Lady Gaga, Patti LaBelle, Jewel) discovered her singing and songwriting talent on YouTube and took her to Elton John who immediately signed her to his international music management company Rocket Music (Elton John, Ed Sheeran,). Governor Nathan Deal presented her with the prestigious Georgia Music Hall of Fame’s Bill Lowery Horizons Award when she was 16. Rocket music was instrumental in providing Riley with opportunities to develop of her songwriting and vocal skills. Her work with dozens of established writers and producers in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Canada and France led to her signing a publishing agreement on her 18th birthday with the world’s largest publishing company, Sony/ATV. Riley and Rocket Music parted ways in May of 2015 when Rocket Music closed their North American operations. Riley continued to perform solo or with her band in Atlanta, Nashville, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and France, logging over 350 paid performances before the age of 20. Using youtube covers, many of which were self-produced live recordings, Riley organically built a huge social media following approaching 400 thousand fans, including over 262,000 youtube subscribers and 75 thousand Facebook fans. After leaving Rocket Music and striking out on her own, Riley decided to audition for Season 9 of the hit television show The Voice. As a member of Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani teams, Riley used powerful performances to become the first one chair turn, twice stolen artist to ever make the Voice Live Playoffs. Upon conclusion of the Voice Season 9, Riley and her band were chosen by the international booking agency APA to be the opening support act for Nick Carter’s North American tour which will kick off in Sacramento CA on Feb 24 and cover 24 cities in 32 nights. She will also release her debut EP in February. We got the inside scoop on the latest with Riley right here on Entertwine! Read on for more…
Entertwine: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? My grandmother and my mom were both musically talented, and it was always something in the family. I was super inspired by all the Disney channel girls; Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, etc., so I think a lot of it stemmed from that! I was really into Britney Spears and Mariah Carey when I was younger, and I think that’s where the style influence probably comes from.
What was it like growing up outside Atlanta, Georgia? It’s always been pretty nice! I go into the city a lot for all the stuff I do for music. There are a lot of writers and producers in ATL, so it’s something that was really beneficial growing up here because I could be out of the city life but easily in it if necessary.
How have you been able to successfully utilize YouTube to grow your fanbase over the past four years? You know, it’s funny, it kind of happened overnight lol. I was just posting for fun and enjoying doing the covers, and I recorded a cover of “Diamonds” by Rihanna; it exploded more than usual. Now I think the video has like 9 million views or something crazy like that! After that video is when I was able to really maintain a reasonable amount of views. I’m not sure what it was about that one. I guess Rihanna is just the Queeeeeen! But yeah, I just kept posting and keeping it frequent and it sort of became a real thing!
How did working with Grammy-winning producer Matt Still at just fifteen years of age allow you to begin to hone your talents as a vocalist and performer? I think it totally helped because my first ever studio recording experience was with someone of that caliber. He’s so, so talented and I learned so much about how the process works in just that little time of working with him!
Could you tell us about your experience as part of The Voice Season 9? The Voice was such a cool experience; I mean how could it not be? haha. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done, and I’m super glad I did it. The coaches were amazing and super awesome to work with; the crew and all the contestants were seriously the best. People don’t really understand how much time we literally spent together. All of these people, everyone performing on the show, we became like a little family and I still talk to a bunch of them. It’s a little bit bittersweet hearing things about Season 10, but it was so fun. Also, I got to meet Rihanna…..as I said before, Queeeeeeen lol
What was it like performing as an opener on Nick Carter’s All American tour earlier this year? Yeah, that was also one of the best experiences of my life so far for sure. My band and I got to travel to 23 of the coolest places in the U.S. & Canada and we had a blast. Nick is such a talent, it’s really unbelievable. He puts on a super good show; he and the band are such nice dudes. I’m super glad it all ended up coming together the way that it did!
What have been some of your favorite cities to perform in over the years? This past tour I got to play in New Orleans which was for sure one of my favorites! I also loved Chicago and Boston. Montreal was really amazing as well.
What experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your debut EP “To Me And You”? What can you tell us about each of the featured tracks? Scott and Nate actually wrote on all of the songs over the span of a few years. It’s kind of an explanation of what my life has been like for the past 3-years. “Out Of My Mind” is the first track on the EP and it has always been one of my favorites. It’s like the most hooky song ever, and I’m obsessed with the pre-chorus melody. “Liar Liar” is a little deeper, but the vibe is still really cool. I was dating this guy who basically never thought I was being honest, and I was like “Dude why am I even trying if nothing is true.” So we honed in on the phrase “Liar Liar, pants on fire” (This is how hits are made people), and we played off of that!
“Game Over” is all of my friends’ favorite song. It’s one of the songs that have been around the longest, and it came together so quickly and naturally. It’s sort of about the side chick of an unfaithful relationship. We thought there are so many songs out there from the girl’s perspective or the guy’s perspective, and there’s none about how the other woman must feel, so we decided to take a swing at it.
“Stupid” is also an older one. I was just telling the guys about this crazy party I had gone to and there were so many things that were “did that just happen?,” moments so we decided to just write about it all. Its way more dancey and fun so I really think it added something to the EP. Last but certainly not least is “To Me And You”! This is my favorite track on the album for sure, and I love performing it live. I was dating this guy who was flat out taking everything we had for granted, and I had this other guy who was like “I’m here! You’re amazing! Let’s do this!” It’s about someone not realizing what they have, and someone else being super down and wanting to actually be real and cherish you. We all deserve the best, so there should never be a moment where were with someone who isn’t.
What was it like writing and working with producers Scott Effman and Nate Nathanson? They’re two of the coolest guys ever, like the funniest most talented dudes. I met them when I was like 16 years old, and it just clicked. We have super good chemistry, and they’re two of my really good friends. They were so excited to release the music so it was a really fun process making it all as well.
What’s next for Riley Biederer, musically-speaking? I would totally love to go on another tour. Maybe something bigger, who knows? I’d love to get back to writing for sure, I’ve missed that. I need to start putting some more content on my YouTube channel, and I’m excited to have a little bit of downtime after such a hectic year! I’m excited to see what happens next because I think this year is going to be super great.