British Pop singer Riva Taylor chats to us about the release of part 1 of her incredible debut album, This Woman’s Heart.1. A track featured on the album, My Mouth, was given the seal of approval by Elton John when he added it to his Apple Music Playlist saying he loved it. Here she discusses her inspiration for the album and her music and shares her appreciation for Dua Lipa and Stormzy.
Tell us about your new album in your words
‘This Woman’s Heart Part .1’ has taken five years to make. It’s the darker half of my heart, that’s what it represents. It’s seven tracks, and I really hope it takes the audience on a journey.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?
I think I love Jealous; it’s my boldest statement so far. Not just in terms of sentient but in terms of pushing my boundaries musically. I also connect with This Woman’s Heart; I think every artist has a song that tells their story, and that is the one for me. It explores my journey from being a young artist to the woman I am today.
Where do you take your inspiration from for the music and lyrics?
I take inspiration from wherever. It’s funny because I have to be in a place to feel inspired. A lot of people feel that. Maybe I have to take myself off to a different country and be in another space. That’s why I’ve started making so many writing trips over the years. I have to be in that position in my life when the ceiling is falling in, that is when I write.
Do you have regular songwriting partners?
I do, and I’ve honed those over the years. I think it’s healthy to have that. I’ve realised because there are great writers out there, but you have to have that connection with them. James Walsh is somebody I will always go to write with. We wrote Running At Walls together.
There are some fantastic writers over in Stockholm who I’ve got to know. A few of their songs with me are going to make the second part of the album. It’s been great finding those writers, that’s a process in itself.
Who would you love to write and collaborate with?
I would love to write with someone like Stormzy; I think he’s a formidable lyricist. I also like South London Rapper, Dave. I think crossing genres with my music would be a really exciting thing. Emeli Sande is tremendous, and I’d love to write something heartfelt together. She’s right up there on my bucket list.
Who are your favourite artists to listen too?
R: I flick between listening to some of the more established artists like Annie Lennox, who I adore and Kate Bush. I like Imogen Heap. I’ve always loved Katie Melua’s stuff; I think it’s because back in the day I performed with her, and she’s a lovely girl. I’ve also been following Dua Lipa since the beginning. I think her career is fascinating.
Do you ever get nervous about how your music will be received?
R: There’s always a slightly anxious feeling when you put your music out. I think more people are going to listen and enjoy it. Having come from a physical album time, my memory of releasing albums is when they were and this is a naughty story. My dad used to go into Waterstones and move my records up from 24 to number one, so I was number 1 in stores across Surrey. No one knew Britney Spears, they knew Becky Taylor. I’m slightly more anxious that no one can do that now, it’s far more exposing. You throw your music out there onto Spotify and you really hope somebody is going to listen.
What does 2020 have in store for you now, post Coronavirus?
R: Oh my goodness, I hope we have a decent chunk of 2020 left after Coronavirus. The 2nd part of the album is due to come out, so that’s exciting. Hopefully, some live performing. That’ll be a real celebration when we emerge from this, and I can do that, and I can hear this album in the live space. Continuing to travel is something I love to do with my music.