They reckon it takes ten years to become an overnight success.
That statement was almost spot on for Riley Clemmons, who after writing her first song at the age of ten, burst onto the music scene with critical and commercial acclaim at 18 with her self titled debut album in 2018.
With her new album ‘Godsend’ about to drop into streaming services and digital platforms this week, Riley told 96five’s Tim Bain that the way she considers her music has remained the same since those early days of writing in her bedroom.
“The approach to writing remains the same – it’s about writing authentic music and tell stories about what I’m experiencing.
“That could be about my faith and relationship with God, or my personal relationships or my identity – I just experience these and write them down as I go.”
A prolific writer, Riley said that no location was off limits when a song idea pops into her head.
“I write a lot of songs in my car and also at they gym when I’m working out. I write at the dinner table and often someone will say something and I’ll have to get them to repeat it slower!
“Anywhere inspiration strikes is a place to write.”
Her success came off the back of years of hard work, when as a teenager growing up in Nashville she would persevere, despite little to no recognition from the industry.
“I spent years between 14 to 18 sitting in every studio in Nashville, learning from people who were great writers, learning melodic sense and how to put a song together. But for all those years my music never saw the light of day.
“The only reward was the time spent in the studio – that definitely initiated the idea that if you want success one day, you have to put in the work.”
And after a year that has seen many around the world struggling to hold onto hope, her latest single ‘Keep on Hoping’ holds a special place in the young songwriters heart.
“I was feeling really weighed down by the heaviness in the world – constant noise from TV, social media and scrolling through my phone. I wasn’t making time for God.
“I wasn’t making time to hear and listen for God. I had a sit down conversation with myself where I said ‘how are you going to be sound and stable if you’re not making room for the quiet time you need to find hope and peace.
“I wrote ‘Keep on Hoping’ as a reminder to myself and it’s been really amazing seeing how people have connected to the song.”
Riley Clemmons new album ‘Godsend’ is out on June 4 across all streaming services.