Rider Talks Relationships, Horses, And Her Future

Rider is the next rising pop star. The American-born, London-residing songwriter came up as an studio singer recording for commercials and jingles before she released her debut single, “A Little Light”, earlier this year.

Rock On Philly sat down with Rider to discuss the story behind “A Little Light”, and speaking about Rider’s next steps as an artist. Read the full interview after the jump!

Rock On Philly: Have you ever been to Philly before?

Rider: I’ve never been to Philadelphia! But I was born in Bryn Mawr.

ROP: I’d like to hear you explain the story behind “A Little Light” in your own words, because you would never guess from the song what’s it’s really about…

R: Okay! The story behind “A Little Light” took place about four years ago. I was in a relationship that was coming to an end and I just didn’t know how to end it, and around the same time I had fallen in love with this girl from New York who would come over [to London] a lot. So at that time I was questioning who I was, like “Am I straight? What does this mean?” because I had never had feelings for a girl before. So it was quite a weird time, I was going through therapy, and then this other guy comes along and he knew what sort of predicament I was in and he really wanted to be with me. I couldn’t say yes to him because I couldn’t be with him now, I was super messed up. I told him I was in pain, I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know who I was, but he made me happy so I asked if he could stick around. I promised him when I was better I would love him with all my heart, I just couldn’t commit then. There are lines like “You’re my little light/You’re getting me through this pain/I promise I’ll love you like never before when it’s over”. So it’s about all that and how he pulled me through.

ROP: It seems you had quite a career recording radio jingles before “A Little Light” was released. What was that like/Any memorable ad campaigns or sessions that you did?

R: It wasn’t just radio jingles- I’ve recorded vocals for film and TV adverts, anything that needed a bit of singing on it I would record. I remember I had to sing like a horse once…

ROP: A horse?

R: It was a TV commercial with a horse character and they needed someone to sing but they told me I had to sing like a horse! Like “Really? You’re actually gonna have me do this?” But yeah anything where I had to sing like an animal was interesting. There was actually a Dove advert that ran worldwide that I provided vocals on so you might have heard that, but that was about three or four years ago. I was on holiday in Canada and we put on the radio and I heard me singing one of [the adverts] that I recorded like two years ago! It was so surreal.

ROP: That’s gotta be so cool and weird having your voice somewhat internationally known.

R: Yes but no one knows who it is! You’re just a singer and you’re doing your job. But I feel blessed that I’ve been able to pay rent and feed myself from singing.

ROP: We’re just getting off a summer that was full of incredible album releases- what have you had in rotation as of late?

R: I find it hard to attach to an album that I can listen to all the way through, so I’m quite selective with artists where if I know they’re bringing out an album I’m going to love it all. Sure enough, I really liked HAIM’s album. That’s one where it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, if I’m driving, or walking down to get the train, instantly I’m feeling it. I enjoyed M83’s album last year. I also love LANY! The guy’s voice is a dream. I really love their stuff and it makes me feel so relaxed when I listen to their music.

ROP: What do you have in your plans for the rest of 2017?

R: Well in terms of an EP or an album, I have enough material for an album but I think as today’s music industry is ever changing and it’s really different now, so I think instead we’re just going to test the waters with “A Little Light” as it’s my first big single. If I wanted to release an album tomorrow I could, but we’re going to gauge on reactions and figure out the best move. I can’t wait til we tour! If I had it my way I’d be out there right now. Tour-wise I’m hoping to grab a tour with someone, we actually looked into grabbing LANY’s five London dates but they already had a support act booked for the time they’re over here. My management is currently putting feelers out there. We do have a gig in London on the 30th of October- if anyone from Philadelphia ends up in London around then, please come! It’d be a dream to tour America, I kinda want to do that more than the UK!

Follow Rider’s Facebook page to keep up with her latest updates!  

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