Riley Lynch began performing at just 13, and by 15 had already landed a spot on the national television show The X Factor, where he garnered a loyal following. His music comes straight from the heart and hits hard. He is one of Kinetik's top artists.
We recently chatted with him and discussed various topics, from his new EP to his writing process to current music trends.
Tell us about your new EP for Kinetik. Who produced the album, where did you record it, and how did the whole thing come together?
All the songs you're hearing were produced by Asher Condit. He's an incredibly talented producer based out of Nashville, but we met in Connecticut. These songs are all about my personal life experiences regarding love, lust, friendship, and loss. These are intense emotions we can all relate to and that's what I believe makes these songs super special. We recorded in Asher's old studio in Connecticut, actually, but I've been working on new music in Los Angeles since the beginning of 2022.
Tell us about your songwriting process. What things inspire you to write?
All of my own personal experiences are what inspire me to write. I find there is never a dull moment in my life, for better or for worse, and I always have plenty to write about/reflect on. My songwriting process is really dependent on a few factors, but I like to either start with chords on my guitar or a song concept. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes a chord progression, sometimes a concept, and sometimes all at the same time. There's no greater feeling than being able to put your emotions into a song and get to leave them there.
"Famous" is about dreaming big and proving something to haters. There's a tinge of bitterness/revenge here. Can you tell me more about this song and why you wrote it?
In full transparency, I wrote this when I had gotten home from a particularly bad shift at an old retail job where my manager just blatantly did not respect me. I know how funny that sounds, but sometimes the emotion just leads to the song. It doesn't discriminate about who or what is making you feel that way. Hope she's jamming to it out there. It really kickstarted my use of blunt lyricism.
What song was the most difficult thing for you to write and why?
'Cold' I would say. I wrote that about a past relationship that really messed me up. At the time, tapping into that pain was uncomfortable for sure, but it helped me to address and let go of any residual wounds I had from that experience. Funny enough, a lot of my new music details my mental health, and I'm somehow more comfortable talking about the darkest throws of that versus my past love life.
Many artists are uncomfortable disclosing that they write for production music libraries. This doesn't seem to bother you. Why?
I don't understand why! I love music, all aspects of the industry, and all facets of the writing world. I love being involved and creating with other artists. Any opportunity I get to make things with dope people is a win in my book. I'll never be ashamed of writing for anything! Let alone production libraries, other artists, or myself.
In this age of Tiktok and Instagram reels, music is being consumed in a very different way. The young listeners who use these platforms go straight for catchy 3-second hooks rather than listen to an entire song. How does this affect your songwriting?
I definitely like to keep in mind the relatability of the lyrics throughout any given song. In this new age of music consumption, I want to make sure you can clip songs I write at any point and it'll work as a catchy 3-second hook. I think that versatility is important in a track and that the message remains clear no matter if you listen to 3 seconds or the entire thing.
If you ever hear one of your songs in a TV series. What series would that be and why?
Something moody. Something dark. I love the new Wednesday series on Netflix and a lot of their other dark comedies. I would lose my mind to hear 'Cold' playing in the background of a scene in season 2 of Wednesday. It's got that haunted vibe.
Do you have unusual studio habits or superstitions like surrounding yourself with black roses during tracking?
Not really. The most important thing to me is just to be comfortable and surrounded by other like-minded artists. When you feel safe, the best music is made. Plus, you have the time of your life.
Do you have any live shows, music videos, or any activations planned soon? If so, please share.
I'm looking to be playing live in Los Angeles all through 2023. There have been some talks of a tour, I'm not entirely sure. I'm just grateful for every opportunity that comes my way. Also… plenty of new music. I have a new track dropping with Ron Geffen this December and plans for an EP afterward.
Could you give aspiring artists tips for navigating this crazy music industry and getting their music into production music libraries?
Be yourself, not anybody else. Work with people you love. At the end of the day, the support system you build for yourself is the most important. Make those connections with other artists who do what you want to be doing, and the rest will all fall into place.