Have you ever fell in love with a song on the radio and wondered what that singer/songwriter was really like in real life?!
Well...this past week, I had the honor of chatting with the amazing and talented, Riley Clemmons about her newest album. For those who may not know, Riley is a 18-year-old singer and songwriter who spreads the word of God through her beautiful, pop-infused voice. She just recently released her first self-titled album on iTunes and is preparing to tour this fall.
Besides just having a phenomenal voice, the entire time I was speaking with Riley, she was full of love, positivity, and raw honesty.
When asking Riley about what was most rewarding about her music, she said the interaction with her fans was the best part about what she does. She mentioned how you truly "can't prepare yourself" for what to expect until it is happening. Seeing people and hearing stories about how her music has helped and inspired others is indescribable.
What is so humbling about Clemmons, is that she doesn't just create her music for herself, but for others and God. With her amazing voice, she could have chosen to put out any type of music, but the fact that she chose Christian and Gospel music is so special. When asked why she writes Christian music, she had the greatest response…
"When I began writing music, I promised myself that I would use it as a way to be honest and vulnerable with myself and my listeners. My faith is undeniably a huge part of my life, who I am, and who I'm becoming. That being said, my faith can't help but show up in my lyrics. God is an active part of my journey - faith isn't always easy, and I think it's important to talk about that. God is a source of hope and light for me, and I want my music to share that light with anyone who listens."
I still remember the first time I heard one of Riley's songs on the radio. The song is actually still one of my favorite songs to this day... it is her song called Broken Prayers.
Of course, I had to ask her all about this song and how she created it. Broken Prayers was Clemmons first single released. She explained how she wanted her first song to be perfect and special...and boy, it was. With over 12 million global steams and the music video receiving over 1 million views within the first month, this song was a hit. I can't even begin to describe how much this song has helped me out personally, so hearing how this song was created made me love it even more.
Clemmons explained how before creating this song, she was going through a rough time in life. She was in a bad spot, and so she went to the studio, talked about her struggles, and soon enough her frustration and struggles turned into her hit single, Broken Prayers. The brokenness that she was feeling combined with the beauty of God was so empowering and brought a beautiful outcome out of a dark time.
Riley shows her true, real self to her fans, and that is why she is so special. When asked about her favorite song, she said her favorite changes depending on her mood...but her favorite of the moment was a song called I'll Stay.
The story behind this song is so beautiful. She was watching on the sidelines as someone she loved was going through a tough time in life. She described this feeling as "a moment of clarity", and there came "I'll Stay". What is awesome about this song is that it came together in just a 30 minute write. Riley shows fans that real struggles and real hardships happen, and that with God, you can get through them.
Riley may be young, but she gives advice beyond her years. When I asked her about advice she would give her younger self, she said to remember to live life one step at a time, to keep in mind that you are a work in progress, and, most of all, never give up.
Be sure to check out Riley's new album and follow her throughout her tour as well! Riley will be touring with Danny Gokey and Tauren Wells on the Hope Encounter Tour beginning September 20th through November 4th and will be a concert you won't want to miss.P.s.: Thank you so much Riley for taking the time to talk with me! You are such an inspiration to me and so many around the world. It was a true blessing to get to talk with you. Praying for continued success for you!