Heralded by a debut single (“Broken Prayers”) that raked in 16 million streams earlier this year, Riley Clemmons released her anticipated self-titled debut with Capitol CMG on August 3. The wave of songs from the full length album have been received with great sonority. In addition to the viral single, “Better For It” is currently in regular rotation on Radio Disney and the newly released video for “Hold On” accumulated over half a million views in less than 10 days. In celebration of her new release, Clemmons will join friends Danny Gokey and Tauren Wells for a 30-city “The Hope Encounter” Tour this fall. Hitting Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Charlotte and more, tickets for the coast to coast tour are now available at rileyclemmons.com. Riley recently took a few minutes to share with us some insight into her new record and upcoming tour plans.
What does it feel like to have the finished record available for download?
I have seriously been trying to find the words. It’s entirely surreal. Each song on this project is incredibly personal - having the finished project out in the world is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Can you walk us through the creative process of this album? How long was this album in the making?
Everyone says your first album takes your entire life to write - it’s a funny thought, but I agree completely. I started co-writing when I was 13 and from there it was a process of finding the sound and the songs. I wrote all of this project during high school, so the creative process was very direct. I would go to the studio after class every day and my only goal was being honest with myself in every session.
How would you describe the sound of this album as a whole to brand new listeners?
Clean cut, bright pop music, interlaced with soul and truth. Listen to it in your car with the windows down!
Who or what were some of your biggest inspirations in developing this collection?
I love modern pop and old school pop. I listened to just about everything when writing this album - ranging from Fleetwood Mac and Billy Joel to Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake. I pulled different aspects of inspiration from each.
In celebration of your album release, you will be joining Danny Gokey and Tauren Wells for a 30-city “The Hope Encounter” Tour this fall. How excited are you to tour with these guys?
I’m honestly a huge fangirl! I love Danny and Tauren - they’re both incredible writers, musicians, vocalists, and human beings. This tour is going to be something else. I’m thrilled!
Are there any particular tour stops you are really looking forward to?
I haven’t played a show in Los Angeles yet, so I’m particularly excited about that one. Although, I love to explore each city. I really like to find the best coffee shop at each stop!
Are there any must-have items you want to take on the road with you?
I always take dried mango - that’s a staple. I also make sure I have some great books. Comfy sweatpants are also very high on my priority list!
Do you have a favorite song to perform live right now?
I love to perform "I’ll Stay". It’s always a very special moment during the set.
If there is one message you hope people take away after attending a concert this fall, what would it be?
Hope is for everyone - no matter who you are or what you believe. We are truly all in this together - we're never alone in what we’re going through.