River Matthews
Hi guys! It's time for an interview. I was lucky enough to ask River Matthews some questions so we could get to know him a bit better. He has a golden voice, and is straight off touring with Rag 'n' Bone Man on his last tour, as well as a standout performance at The Great Escape. He recently released his 4-track Sunshine EP and I am just in love with it. One of his songs, Light the Way, was featured in the latest season of Elementary, so this means the buzz about him is paying off. His cover of Roxette's It Must Have Been Love is just AMAZING! Check out my little interview with him and stream the EP below!

1. You’ve been on the road with acts such as Rag 'n' Bone Man and Coasts. Can you tell me how you were approached to tour with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and how was it to tour with such a star?
Yeah, was a real pleasure to open for him... he's a top guy and his band are pretty special. I think he heard one of my songs while he was recording at the studio and was into it. To make a decision we played a quick game of thumb war… he won, but he let me come on tour anyway. Nice guy.

2. One thing I have to say is that you have such a distinctive voice. I just can’t stop listening to your music. Did the vocals guide you to this specific genre of soul and folk (because it fits perfectly)? What are your musical inspirations?
Ah I'm really glad you like the music! I love and listen to a load of different styles of music, so I guess my voice and the way I sing has soaked up a bunch of stuff through out the years. Although my voice didn’t sound like when I was in the choir at school!
The voices that get me going the most are people like Otis Reading, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin…

3. Out of the songs you have written so far, which one is your favourite and why?
You know, I’m really chuffed with how all the songs have come out, but right this minute I think my fav is a song called Bye Bye Bird, which will be on the album. I wrote it in Wales, in the peace and quiet, and I remember how everything felt good straight away, and it still feels like that when I sg it live.

4. I have read you worked as a musical therapist. Can you tell me a bit more about this? How did it happen and what is the impact it had on your life?
I did, for a good few years. I started working in a special needs school teaching guitar and it kinda evolved out of that. It’s an amazing school with a beautiful outlook on student development, and all the music I did there was about boosting self esteem and confidence in the students. It’s had a massive positive impact on my own life, and probably continues to now. Kids can teach you a lot! One of them being how much bullshit we pay attention to as we grow up!

5. I am in LOVE with your Sunshine EP, especially your song Undo Ordinary and you heartfelt cover of Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love. What made you cover that song?
Thanks! I think I heard it on the radio or something and I was messing around with some chords and it kinda rolled out, and I thought to myself, yeah that sounds alright!

6. Can we expect a full-length album anytime soon?
Yes! It’s coming. Very soon!

7. Was music part of your life while growing up? What drew you to pursue a music career?
Music was always part of my life growing up… my parents played it around the house, 60’s and 70’s stuff mostly. Camping trips with The Beach Boys on the stereo! It cemented itself as a big part of my life in my late teens though.
Music’s always been there and I think it was just that the timing was right to pursue it seriously. I kinda always knew deep down it was gonna surface and smack me in the face one day.

8. What job do you think you would be doing now if you didn't have your music career?
Well I’ve always loved design, and space. I remember telling my mum that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up - a designer - and used to describe to her how I’d organise my pens and paper on the desk! Ha!

9. Who would be your dream collaboration?
Soooo many dreams…! But one of them would be to sing a duet or something with Corinne Bailey Rae, probably just before we get married :)

10. What was the first album you ever bought?
Ah man, I think it was Bad by MJ. Yeah it was… from WH Smith’s, on cassette. Bad.

11. If you were given the chance to pick one artist/band to tour with which one would it be and why?
Right now I’m gonna choose Ben Howard. He’s stand out.

12. What’s your guilty pleasure song of all time?
Turn Me On by Kevin Lyttle. Ha, the lyrics are incredible! “… I got my python hollering for mercy!” So funny!!

13. What music are you currently listening to?
Been listening to The Arctic Monkeys this morning. Lyrics are outstanding.

14. If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. And I’d be skipping over to Madame George all day. There’s so much magic in that album… magic which you rarely see now. It just soaks over you and you can’t wash it off.

15. What is your favourite song this year so far?
I really love Don’t Kill My Vibe by Sigrid… especially the acoustic version - shows off how amazing the melody is, and her voice.

River is going on tour in November and you can check out the dates below!

November ‘Feels Like Morning’ Headline Tour

2nd - Paradiso, Amsterdam
3rd - Statenzaal, Zwole
6th - Crofters Rights, Bristol
7th - The Prince Albert, Brighton
8th - The Islington, London
10th - Ort, Birmingham
11th - The Chapel, Leeds
12th - The Glad Cafe, Glasgow
14th - The Ruby Sessions, Dublin
15th - Roisin Dubh, Galway
17th - Upstairs at Whelans, Dublin