Spotlight Interview with Sidney Riley


A new single from Sidney Riley brings a classic songwriting style to a current platform with swooning vocals that come through with a smoothness that allures and is able to really take a hold of you quickly. Backing doo-wop vocals only enhance that classic almost 1950's songwriting approach and the chorus is cinematic and bright with a gorgeous tone and plenty of hones and straight forward, heart on his sleeves style.


"It's Always Been You" is gorgeous and woven with a tastefulness that is rarely seen these days as hooks shine and strings sections follow the vocals at those choruses giving everything a wonderful sheen and energy.


This makes those hooks and choruses only more memorable, and the strings keep it up into the bridge as everything flows into each other without a hitch.


The song boasts this massive and cinematic feel and it's the way it builds to that level that makes you have to come back down to earth after the song has ended.


This is a love song, and it has the ability to cause memories of your own to pop into your head.


You feel things from this because you can relate to it, and it works for almost everyone.


Riley knows exactly how to write a song that becomes infectious and can do it with multiple sub genres of pop as he's proven before.


With the release of "It's Always Been You", we wanted to have a chat with the artist just to find out where this track came from and what may be next.


· RAG : Okay so let's start with " it's Always been You". This single has a warming and colorful feel to it. Where did this track come from?

The inspiration for this song started with my now wife and I’s shared love of Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. After her and I spent multiple days and nights driving around blasting that song winging it together, it became special to us both individually and to our relationship. I wanted to create her own unchained melody that was written for her and inspired by the love we cultivated together. From there, I listened to some other iconic and timeless love songs like Elvis Presley’s “Cant help falling in love” and “The long and winding road” from The Beatles, and came up with the original demo of the song that turned into “It’s Always Been You.” After I played her the demo version, she quickly told me she loved it, and added that it was her favorite song of mine, to date. After that, I knew I had to finish it so I could surprise her with it at our wedding in the coming months and was blessed to be able to do just that with the help of some great collaborators. I finished writing the song with a fantastic songwriter and friend of mine named Drew “Druski” Scott, and got the song produced by a super talented, fantastic music producer and friend of mine named Rob Harkness, and surprised my wife with the fully produced and finished version at our wedding during our first dance as husband and wife as a personalized wedding gift to her.

· RAG : I'm hearing some great styles on this song. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Overall, some of my biggest musical influences are Boyz to Men, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Prince were all huge initial influences of mine. When I was young, I was introduced to Boys to Men, and Michael Jackson. When I got to high school, I was introduced to Prince and The Beatles. In college, I was introduced to The Strokes and the beauty of the indie rock genre as a whole. To this day I find myself wanting to write a song with lyrics that The Beatles themselves would be proud to write as if they wrote it, a passionate vocal performance strong enough that Elvis, Michael, Stevie, and/or Boys to Men would be proud to have performed, and with enough style and individuality that Prince and Ray Charles would feel was a unique piece of art.

· RAG : So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?

I was first introduced to music as a cast member of a children’s television show called ‘Children’s Choice.’ when I was 10 years old during 4th grade while living overseas with my family. My sister and I were both cast members, and during that time they held auditions to sing in the show, and I auditioned and was selected. The first song I ever sang on that show was Country Roads by John Denver. That song to this day holds a special place in my heart. After I sang it and got such a positive and supportive response, I thought “yea I kinda like this..” and the rest is history.


· RAG : What's next for you as an artist?


In the short term, I am currently in the final stages of recording and releasing a new song following up the release of “It’s Always Been You,” and I am preparing for a big show in Las Vegas at the rooftop of the Paris hotel in early August alongside some really great and talented friends of mine “Wawas World” at their 10-year anniversary show at the DeafNation World Expo. Long term, I am working on multiple projects, and will collaborating with artists, continue writing songs for artists as I continue my songwriting career, and taking steps toward achieving one of my ultimate career goals of writing songs with and for the best and biggest artists in the world, securing a publishing deal with a global music publisher, and releasing better and better music to share and connect with people, from current fans of my music to new soon to be fans and fans of timeless songwriting overall.


· RAG : What inspires you to write a song?

I live to connect with people. Though I am constantly inspired with both melodic and lyrical ideas, similar to a faucet left running, I am inspired to write a song after meeting new and interesting people and learning more about each person’s unique perspectives and methodologies. I’m a firm believer that everyone is an artist in their own way. Their art can be in the form of traditional art like fashion, painting, or music, or it could be how they approach performing something they are good at, or passionate about. HOW someone does something, and WHY, are more interesting to me than the finished product. I am inspired to discover a unique perspective from a new friend and aim to use that newfound perspective toward creating a song.


· RAG : What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?


I am hanging with my wife and dog Bowie, hiking, working out, and meeting new people seeking out new perspective.


· RAG : Who are you listening to right now?


The Beatles is always on rotation, but I have been recently listening to Imagine Dragons, Pentatonix, One Republic, and Girl in Red.


· RAG : Are you doing live performances?


I have a show coming up in Las Vegas at the rooftop of the Paris hotel in early August alongside some really great and talented friends of mine “Wawas World” at their 10-year anniversary show at the DeafNation World Expo, and am finalizing logistics to perform at Aruba Fashion Week, and will be working to put a band together to get back to more performances around the LA area as well.


· RAG : This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?


First piece of advice is to be an ambassador of gratitude. Be genuinely grateful for all you can, as often as you can. Secondly, Collaborate Collaborate Collaborate. Collaborate with new people, better people, more skilled, etc, someone you can genuinely learn from and be inspired by, and thirdly, seek out opportunities to cultivate connection.


· RAG : Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?


I would like to thank the fans of the song for taking time out of their busy day to slow down for a moment and listen to a song they may not know, by an artist they may not have heard of, and for giving me the opportunity as a creator to share this small piece of humanity-inspired, love-forward art with you.


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