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By SHARON JENNINGS
RIVVRS believes in bringing the music to the people but he doesn’t let the touring get in the way of recording great music.
The Northern California-based musician blends the style of Americana with pop, highlighted by his emotive voice and approachable songwriting.
RIVVRS keeps a tight tour schedule, but took the time to answer the questions from Groundsounds.com.
Tell us about your single and video “Don’t Give Up On Me” and how you came to create it? Does it have special meaning to you?
I’ve always wanted to go out to Joshua Tree and film a music video, but I never had the right song for the concept. I wrote “Don’t Give Up On Me” earlier this year with a producer named Drew Pearson and when we finished the recording session, I knew it was the right song for the video. I was so excited I ended up scheduling the music video shoot without the song being finished; so we filmed everything to the rough demo and then edited the final video once we got the final mix. Joshua Tree is a special place to me and I’m stoked we finally got to film out there. I wrote the song about a difficult time in my life and it was therapeutic in a way to go out there and make the video.
What is the secret to a good collaboration? How did you meet your producers?
I think just being open and authentic to what’s going on in your life and being true to the music you want to make. If you go into a session with no idea what you want to make, it’s hard to find a focus. I get introduced to other writers and producers a lot through friends, my manager, my publisher, at live shows. I tend to find a good rhythm when I work with someone often, so I have a handful of people I like to work with regularly but I’m always open to collaborating in new environments.
What is your favorite kind of music? What is so attractive about that genre?
I listen to a lot of different types of music, but my favorite is definitely classic rock. Anything with blues and soul. You can just feel that music, it cuts through differently. The 60’s and 70’s shine in a special way to me. Knowing that a lot of those records were recorded live to tape makes you really appreciate the musicianship of that era. It’s also what my dad grew up with, so it’s nice to have that interest in common. We’ve gone to a lot of great shows together.
Who are the musicians you most admire and why?
I grew up admiring Bon Scott and Angus Young of AC/DC cause that was my dad’s favorite band and I fell in love with them and listened to their entire catalog. I wanted to be in a rock band when I was a kid, so I bought an electric guitar and grew my hair out. But then I got an acoustic guitar for Christmas one year and started listening to people like Tom Petty and Bob Dylan and it all changed for me. I started admiring people for their writing and the lyrics, and that’s what inspired me most to want to write my own music. Once I started going to live shows, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
What do you enjoy about touring? What is the biggest drag about touring?
I really love traveling and seeing new cities and meeting new people, which will never get old to me. It’s kind of cool seeing a new place every day, but on the flip side it kind of sucks being somewhere for only 18 hours. You don’t really get to experience everything each city has to offer. The hardest part is losing your creature comforts and having to adjust to a new bed each night, but I love playing shows so it’s an even trade off.
What advice would you give other young artists today?
Just to keep working hard and to learn the business side of music. It’s really easy to get taken advantage of if you don’t know some of the basics, so I’d recommend reading up online or getting a book on the music biz and asking for advice from other people you meet within the music business. Otherwise, just make sure you’re enjoying what you do. A lot of people will try to steer you in different directions, but stand your ground and make the music that makes you happy.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
The best place to find everything in one spot is my website, rivvrs.com. Otherwise, social media; instagram, facebook, twitter. I’ll be announcing some shows at the top of 2018, but will mostly be touring in the Spring and Summer. I’ll keep folks updated on my socials, so that’s the best place to find out what’s happening. Also you can sign up for email updates on my website.