Songwriter and performer from London. She began her creative, musical career by performing at the Palace Theather when she was seven years old. Her very first album “A Dream Come True” was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 2001. Riva was praised by the Royal Family, Elton John, and many more for her talents. She also had her own US tour in the past. Her new music video “Magic” has more than 20 thousand views on YouTube to date.
Congratulations on your new single “Magic”! Is there a story behind that?
Magic is a little lighthearted track about the enlightening feeling of falling out of love. It was borne out of Nashville,with a writer I hadn’t worked with before (Phil Barton) which is so often the way but who I immediately connected with. He asked how I was doing. I asked honestly and surprised myself with my response ‘i’m doing great’. It was something I hadn’t said in a while as in the months before, i’d gone through a sad breakup. That day i hadn’t thought about anything but myself and excitements ahead. I hadn’t thought about the person. I realised i had made it to the others side – there was no more love there and that felt like a good thing to declare in the song we wrote together! And to question where something that once felt all consuming ends up when it’s gone?
How did you find working with Jakwob on this amazing single?
Jakwob has a great, relaxed energy about him. Really collaborative and i’ve happily worked on three songs from the next record with him. Can’t wait for you to hear more!
Did you see yourself as a famous singer at the age of seven while performing on stage for the first time?
I felt like life performing at the age of 7 was just life! I guess that’s the beauty of being young – you do things instinctively, you are so totally yourself in that moment you don’t over question – you just do them because they feel right, without a label or a comparison to measure against. So no, not at all! I knew I was doing something special in that it attracted friends and family (and some press) to make a fuss over it. But that became normal after the age of 7 and people made less of a fuss when it became a way of life for me…living life as school girl but also a performer.
You have been touring in America before the pandemic, was it your first visit to the US?
I’ve Been visiting the USA all my life! Aside from holidays….I first started promoting there at 12 when I released some music with a big major label in what I see as my other life! I call LA my second home. i’ve got many wonderful friends there and have spent many happy times writing and recording between Nashville, LA and NYC. I’m so pleased to see Magic is being so well received in the USA.
How did you feel about performing outside the UK?
Love it – travel is what i’ve really missed this past year. I get my inspiration from being in different places, experiencing new things. Any chance to hop on a plane to perform I will. My favourite cities i’ve performed in so far are Amsterdam, Tokyo and Helsinki.
Top five artists, you were listening to on repeat during quarantine?
Lady Gaga (always!), Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Hans Zimmer, The Weekend. Love a dynamic female vocal and dark epic production.
In the past interviews, you have mentioned a dream to get a pet cat. Did you manage to get a pet? Do you think you are a cat person?
I did!! I forgot I said that but in February I got little Dolly. Named after the Country glamourpuss herself. She’s a gorgeous Ragdoll cat. I’m not just a cat person, i’m an animal person but as i’m based in London currently I want to wait to get a dog till I have more space for it. But it’s only a matter of time…I’d have a farm of animals if I could!
Could you tell us more about your presence in “Creative Lights”?
Creative Light is a series of conversations held with women across the arts last year focusing on the power of the arts and how they can help us refocus at times of change and challenge. I chatted to women from the worlds of Art, literature and music discussing themes such as race, mental health and the global pandemic and how we use our creativity to navigate such areas. It’s all part of a platform and community called ‘This Woman’s Heart’ (TWH) that I set up last year to connect women across the arts. While it’s in its infancy i’ve plans to develop this more.
How do you usually spend time when you are not making records?
Love to keep fit so i’ll be in downward dog somewhere, or doing a hit class. Also enjoy art, so to relax I often sketch. In lockdown i’ve been creating a series of watercolour postcards that I send friends and family! I’d never used watercolours before this year.
What are your favourite places in London? Any particular parks, pubs or coffee shops?
I live in west london and Holland Park is my local…I jog or walk there most days! Love the Ladbroke Arms for a chilled Sunday lunch or Urban Baristas on Westbourne Grove for a coffee while doing emails. Can’t wait for them to all be open for business!
What are your plans for 2021? Any goals you would like to accomplish this year?
I’d love to perform my recent releases, live. I’ve missed the buzz and audience interaction. I accomplished one goal and that was renovating my place…while i’ve faced some obstacles doing it as everything has been a bit slower with the pandemic, it was a aim of mine and i’ve loved the process in quite an obsessive way! I’d like to keep collaborating with new and interesting creatives.