Born in Chile and raised in London, singer-songwriter Inti Rowland has released his debut single as part of his new project Rivera. ‘We’re Alive’ is driven by an uplifting instrumental with a pleasant indie sensibility that fits perfectly with Rowland’s warm vocals. Rowland’s travels across South America have provided inspiration for Rivera, which also sees the artist collaborating with Sam Rowe (drums, backing vocals) and Jackson Dimiglio-Wood (producer). Having gained attention as a solo artist, this new project sounds even more promising.

GIGsoup caught up with Inti Rowland of Rivera to talk about his debut single, his inspirations, and future plans.

What first inspired you to make music?

Music has a lot of intricate components, enabling the maker to be refined, distinct and subtle with each. It’s a very malleable art form and I guess that’s what I first found appealing about it.  

How did Rivera start as a project?

Rivera came about after a hiatus of a previous project, I had put out some records and been on the road a fair bit and decided to stop and take stock. I was working on a collection of new songs that felt very different to anything I’d imagined before. I brought what I had to some of my oldest and closest friends and together we built something new, something bigger than anything we could have created alone, and that then became Rivera. 

What was the process of writing ‘We’re Alive’?

My beautifully lanky Scottish housemate was telling me off for driving too fast, I’d just got a new car that was a fair bit more powerful than anything I’d driven before. The conversation we had in our garden about reckless driving made me think, how so much of our day to day life reflects our deeper emotion, and how by looking at the simplistic you can almost depict further the emotional state of a person. 

You’ve explained that the single is about “when your confidence runs away from you and you think you’re invincible”. Could you elaborate on that?

I’d recently gone through a pretty messy breakup and the concept of flipping a car, coming within an inch of death because you thought you were safe, in a little cocoon seemed like a fittingly dark metaphor. 

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Could you talk a bit about the visuals surrounding the new single? 

I spent some time in South America at the end of last year. I was born in Chile and have family there, but hadn’t yet made it across the ocean. So I went to have a look. I stayed in Santiago for a while, after some time I took a trip north. Headed across the Atacama and up into Bolivia. As an artist and filmmaker, alongside music work, it was only natural to me to document this time. The photographs and footage I took became the visuals for the single and for Rivera as a whole. In truth, the time I spent there had a huge impact on how I feel about identity. 

Should we expect a new EP or album anytime soon?

There will be another single before Christmas and maybe a bonus song/cover too. There are some videos waiting in the wings to go, plus a really exciting project that a few of us are going to be making in Chile over the winter, so keep your eyes on the Rivera socials to see what that’s all about. 

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