Rivera is the new musical project from songwriter and musician Inti Rowland. Born in Chile and raised in London, the music of Rivera has been built between two cities. His songs are soaked in the sunshine of Santiago and coloured by the chaos of London. The captivating debut single We’re Alive is out now.
The single tackles the delicate subject of a car crash on a reckless night. Inti explains “When your confidence runs away from you and you think you’re invincible. The song is about surviving what you bring upon yourself.” As the single builds, Rowland’s rich, warm vocal mesmerises instantly, fluctuating from a stunning falsetto to a deep, baritone akin to Elbow’s Guy Garvey. Musically, We’re Alive combines soaring guitars with subtle electronics and driving percussion to create something dark and full of intrigue.
As a solo artist, Inti Rowland has received praise from a number of publications including Clash and Gold Flake Paint as well as plays on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music to name but a few. Now, under a new moniker, Rivera is ready to hypnotise further listeners with the release of his debut single.
In this interview spotlight, we speak with Rivera about influences, the latest project, challenges and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of We’re Alive below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
Mostly I find it’s about what is relevant to your experiences at any given time. When making work, different points that you might be at, can dictate what vocation you practise and then within that what style you feel suits where you’re coming from. So it might be that one particular story sits best at novel, another a song, it might be that that song is a cocktail of sorrow laced with anger, the song may then be built with these feelings and ideas in mind, leading it to lean to a certain style. But really it’s about the portrayal of the experience, everything else around it is malleable.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
I guess just thinking it through over time, coming to a place where you feel it resonates best. It’s part of the same process of thought when you decide to put work out, refining what you say and how you say it, I would hope, makes the songs accessible. Human experience can be very universal, we go through our lives experiencing similar feelings, despite varying experiences, as a story teller if you do your job well and tap into universal emotion, anyone, anywhere can relate to it based on their own story.
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
Mostly people, friends and faces that appear for a while, disappear, but leave lasting impressions. Different musical tastes is similar to making work, for me, it’s about where you’re at and who’s making music that’s closest in-line with your life.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
This release is part of a series of singles that will be coming out from the Rivera camp over the next twelve months, it’s about showing the world what we’ve been making and getting ready to take people with us as the project grows and the format evolves, there’s a project in the making currently, that’s different to anything we’ve ever done before and expands how the songs can be experienced, bringing them onto a new platform, to show them in a light that further tells a story.
What was the last song you listened to?Tears by Mr.Jukes• Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Vinyl is great, it’s lovely to have some physical, it also really gives space to the artwork. But I’m an advocate for a minimal lifestyle, so digital is great for that, the less stuff in my life the easier everything is.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Spotify is brilliant for instant access to everything, but of course there are downsides from many artists point of view.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Connecting with new fans is a challenge for any artist. I think it’s best to focus on what you’re making and how it’s getting to people, it might be that things take longer to make, or longer to come out, but ultimately if you refine everything you do and continue to immerse yourself in progressing, people come on board along the way. They see your sincerity and drive and they trust you, people have to trust you and that takes time.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
Yeah, we use Facebook and Instagram to launch songs, videos and shows, I (Inti) do a lot of film making and a lot of love goes into the Rivera visuals, so our socials have a lot of content.
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
Thanks for having me, it’s been great to chat!