Even with a broken heart Riley Wells shines and powers through her new single ‘Walk Away’ from her EP Value. The track has all the markings of a powerful pop ballad. With its smooth R&B beats and ticking percussion, Riley’s elevated voice is pitch perfect and delivers the female pop star persona. ‘Walk Away’ is through and through an emotional elegy which bleeds through Riley’s voice as she belts out heartbreaking lyrics; lyrics like: “Even though I’m glad you came, didn’t think you’d walk away when I needed you the most”. We’d never walk away from you Riley- in fact we can’t get this track off repeat! Riley’s voice is infections and captivating and the tracks accompanying vocalizing harmonies are saintly. Together the elements of ‘Walk Away’ create a composed, collected and soulful sound.
Riley Wells is a twenty year old Pop/R&B singer/songwriter from Connecticut. Her love of creating her own music has been shaped by a wide range of musical influences from contemporary R&B to dance pop, all of which grew when she arrived to Berklee College of Music and started to share her original creations. In 2017 Riley was selected as a Featured Artist for a Canadian Television show, ‘Club one New Releases’. Fast forward to 2019 and she is debuting her first solo EP: ‘Value’. The EP features songs ranging from mid-tempo tunes to dance pop anthems that are relatable, honest and lively melodies. Introduce yourself today to this upcoming star and stream ‘Walk Away’ by Riley Wells today!
Hi Riley, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at BuzzMusic. Can you start by telling our readers a bit about yourself?
Hey guys! Thanks for having me. I'm a twenty year old Pop/R&B artist and songwriter, and I grew up in Connecticut. I had my first performance in front of an audience when I was 8, and wrote my first song when I was 11. I was raised on a combination of Motown artists from my mom, like Marvin Gaye and Al Green, and early 2000s pop influences like Rihanna and Adele. I've always loved how Motown artists were so true in their messages, they didn't hold back about what they were trying to say. Early 2000s pop made you either want to sing your heart out, dance, or both. I found as I started to develop my artistry, I wanted to combine all of that- being real and honest with my message as a songwriter, but also have an energized pop vibe in the way I deliver it. Now I've just dropped my first ever EP 'Value' on digital platforms (!!) which features 5 of my original songs that show my journey from the last year of going from being heart broken and trying to move on, to rebuilding my understanding of knowing our worth and loving ourselves.
What was the message you were trying to convey on your latest track ‘Walk Away’?
'Walk Away' talks about how I met someone who I fell for hard and fast. It was the kind of thing where, I was so blinded by the way it felt, that I ignored all the red flags even though deep down I knew it was a risk to let myself fall for them in the first place. It was such a rush every time I saw them, that I thought it was impossible for them not to feel the same...so, when they left, I couldn't let go. It's sort of saying, damn, in hindsight I don't know why I didn't see it for what it was and I'm glad I learned from it, but at the same time I couldn't believe they could just leave.
What does the creative process look like for you?
I write top line, so a lot of the time I'll be in my feelings about something and then I'll just start singing words and a melody to express how I feel in that moment. With Value, my EP, it was a combination of things; for 'Walk Away,' I was working with my producer and heard a loop and I just started singing the words over it. With 'Candle,' I looked at my friend as she was getting ready to go out and I knew she was going through something painful with this guy, then the melody and lyrics all started coming to me. The songwriting and the melody almost always happen simultaneously for me and I just let it flow from there.
How did your studies at Berklee College of Music impact your musical style?
It's been very cool to be at Berklee, because it's made me see music in a new light. Being surrounded by music everyday, you start to notice that there are so many more layers to it. The way it affects you in a certain way, sometimes it's more intentional than we expect. Like, you don't realize why you feel so good listening to that one song and it's because of the chords happening underneath, or, how certain choruses might be more memorable to you because of a certain style of lyrical repetition. I think I became more intentional about crafting my songs after being at Berklee. I realized that there are more moving parts that contribute to creating a great song, and so when I went through the process of creating the EP, whether it was writing, recording, or co-producing with my producer, I focused a lot on the details. I would be like, let's add in this harmony here..or we could use this drum hit here...so in the end each song didn't come together by happenstance, but each moment and aspect of the song was an intentional decision.
What are you looking forward to in the coming months in your career?
Being my first original music release, it's been so amazing hearing from people about how they have a favorite song on the EP or receiving videos of them singing along. It's the most beautiful feeling to hear when my music has resonated with someone, that I've been able to put their feelings into words or give them something to sing and dance to. So, I'm so excited to keep creating more music and building that connection!! It will be so fun to start performing these songs live and see it happen in real time. I've also already started working on new projects, so definitely expect to hear new music from me coming up in the future!
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