Austin Riddle’s new single, "Want It" is the definition of smooth. As a classically trained Jazz pianist, this singer/songwriter knows how to create a stunning melody. Using the bounce of a funkified bass line to keep the song groovin’ and adding the embellishments of a piano, Austin describes the experience of wanting someone, and the need to have his affection returned. These feelings of romance mixed with lust are not abrasive. They are tasteful and gently delivered. In fact, the song is crafted with a careful balance that allows the vocals to stand out from the dynamic background beat.
Austin has succeeded in creating a sound that is both classic and modern. The bass line is a throwback to the days of Bootsy Collins and P-funk, while his vocal style is as modern as Drake. In order to hone his style, Austin has collaborated with various R&B & Hip-Hop artists such as Luther Lizama and D-Bibbs. As an artist, Austin uses music as therapy. By sharing his experience, he hopes to reach others who may be going through similar frustrations. Over the years, Austin has developed his songwriting, production, and vocal skills to create the music he loves. He continues to grow while staying true to his classical roots. We look forward to seeing what he does next!
Listen to "Want It" here.
Hey Austin, welcome back to BuzzMusic! Thank you for being here to answer some questions. So let’s get started. How did you get into learning Jazz and Classical piano?
My dad actually started teaching me piano when I was little. I actually took my first youth piano class at the University of Alabama when I was 5 years of age. I then took my talents to the Alabama School of Fine Arts when I was 11. It was there that I grew in my piano skills even taking on Jazz at around 14 or 15.
You’ve been incredibly dedicated to developing your sound and growing as an artist. When did you make the decision to pursue your own music dreams?
I was about 13 or 14 when my dad actually got recording equipment for his home studio. When he wasn’t in there I would go in and make beats and sing over them. It was about that time when I discovered I really wanted to do music for a living. It’s what I love to do more than anything, so I’ve always really known music was what I wanted to make a career in. I’ve always been taught that It’s always good when you figure out how to make a living doing what you love, so that’s my goal and I’m loving the process.
Your music does an amazing job of combining the classic with the modern. Do you have any artists who you would say, ‘influences your sound’?
I would say, Brandy, Usher, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, and Frank Ocean are my commercial music inspirations. Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Art Tatum, and Cory Henry are my jazz GOATs. And I have to say my “Mount Rushmore” of pianists and composers are Franz Liszt, Chopin, Debussy, and of course Beethoven.
You have been very consistent with releasing music and collaborating with other artists.
What has been the driving force behind your dedication to your music?
Honestly, I have a number of things driving me to stay dedicated. Number one is my faith and belief that my purpose is to reach and connect people through music, my favorite of God’s creations. I’m also a strong believer in the fact that we only have one life on this planet and I’m just the type of person that wants to take advantage of every opportunity. My biggest fear is growing old and wishing I had “done more” with my life. I’m truly happy doing what I do and find so much joy in bringing people together through music. As long as I keep that going I feel unstoppable. I know that I’ll never have to worry about regret because I’m doing what truly fulfills my purpose. Who knows, maybe I’ll pick something else up to strive to be great at. Either way, the journey of striving for greatness is so fulfilling. Even more gratifying than that, is being able to walk through my purpose and impact people in a positive way.
What can we expect to see from Austin Riddle throughout 2020?
Of course, expect more music in 2020, but I honestly feel like a lot of growth is taking place. Even when I look back on my first single that dropped a year ago, I’ve come a long way and grown so much. I’m so excited about this my first project to drop on February 28th. It really encompasses my growth over the past year. A lot of self-reflecting and production quality has gone into this mixtape and I have butterflies waiting for it to be listened to throughout the world.