Check out our exclusive interview with talented Swedish artist RIVER, who just released her new single “We’ll Be Together” ft. Lute via EMI Sweden / Universal Music AB. It’s a sultry mixture of pop, soul, and hip-hop that nestle us into a fervent romance where passion and destruction coexist in intimate symbiosis.
Bringing the classic swagger of 50s pin-up, RIVER is building her own oeuvre sprayed with a refreshing shade of soulful pop while experimenting with a diverse palette of genres. Her upcoming song channels the chemistry between two people who drive each other to the verge of madness – yet they belong together. “Oh you know that I love you / And that bitch can’t do it like I do” chants RIVER.
“We’ll Be Together” is a preview of her upcoming debut EP, which will be arriving later this year.
Follow River @hernameisriver
Hi RIVER, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a hungry girl born in Gothenburg who traveled around the world to find my own truth. I have always been a junkie for the kicks in life. I live for the beauty in individuality and creativity. Nothing makes my heart beat faster than to perceive excellence in art and to strive for excellence in my own creativity. In social contexts I think I can be mistaken to be a very outgoing person, but I’m really a loner who stays isolated as much as I can to dive deep into my own stuff such as writing, making music, or visuals. I’m bound to my creativity and my dreams and it’s hard for me to let go of whatever project I’m diving into. I get obsessed.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, driven, and dreamer.
How did you get started in the business?
Although I’ve been into music all my life, it all really started when I became a traveler and started writing songs and performing on the streets in Australia. I was going through a confusing time when I lost my father and I started questioning my own life and found myself feeling stuck in a cage in the form of others’ expectations of me, unable to hear my own voice. I felt a strong desire to find myself and to break old fears that have been holding me down. So as I started traveling and exploring myself, I naturally turned to music as a way to deal with life. I later ended up living in Mexico for a few years as an actress and jazz/blues singer in bars and festivals. I got to a point where I was ready for the next step towards my career, I wanted to make it my own way, with my own songs and my own style. So I did what felt would be the next best step for my career and went back to Sweden to work on my debut EP and created the bad bitch RIVER. I released my debut single “ONE” in 2020 and later got contacted by various labels and landed a deal with EMI Sweden for my first EP.
How has this changed your life?
My musical journey keeps teaching me the power of my individuality, I’m more confident in my own decisions and enjoy creative freedom. And just the fact that I now got a whole new universe of RIVER to enter whenever I feel like, where I can create without boundaries and be whomever I like whenever I like, that’s life-changing.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
I find it so hard to put it in three words. My current sound could be described as sexy, luxurious, private, female-empowering, unfiltered, dark, and old school-movie all mixed in together.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I’ve always been drawn to individuality in any field. I love people who step outside the expected boxes and dare doing something different, owning their shit. Janet Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Minnie Ripperton are some of my many influences. All of them were girls who did their own thing, and were just very strong-minded individuals.
My musical path is the outcome from that point in my life when I finally asked myself what I wanted to do and not what I thought a hundred other minds around me wanted me to do. I always dreamed and thought big, music is what truly sets my soul on fire. Through music, I discovered the courage to be innovative and be creative freely. And I guess making music has grown into a necessary part of me, just like a pair of arms or whatever.
Do you play any instrument?
Piano and guitar
Do you ever get nervous?
Yeah and the truth is, I like it. To be nervous and just say fuck the fear and do it anyways, that leaves me with a sense of peace and strength. I love to overcome fears. It’s a little reminder that I’m much more limitless than I tell myself and that whatever the ego tripped head is saying is never really real.
Tell us about your new single “We’ll Be Together” ft. Lute?
I wanted to make a song that both tapped into the music of old-school soul that I grew up with mixed with the attitude of current hip hop. To get Lute on the track helped me reach that vision and take it all to another level. The song is simply a personal love-threat-letter.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
To not give a fuck about things that don’t really mean shit. Most of us are freer than we think, the shit holding us down is stuffed into our heads.
How would your best friend describe you?
Loud, mental, stuck in my own universe, bad at picking up the phone, good at disappearing for long periods without any warning, non-judgmental, funny, sensitive, overly enthusiastic, hard working, and kind.
What’s next for RIVER for 2022?
I’m dropping my EP this summer with a couple of singles dropping this spring. Planning a lot of exciting live events with my agent right now that I’ll be updating about if the circumstances allow. Also working on my second music video. Other than that, I’ll stay focused on studio time, keep experimenting with different sounds, finding new inspirations, writing better songs, enjoy my time, having good sex, and wooh…let’s go 2022!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
How To Make Love Like A Pornstar by Jenna Jamesson and Adjö Herr Muffin by Ulf Nilsson.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Are tacos healthy? I love tacos.
And your favorite cheat food?
A buffet of everything I love. Indian paneer masala, Mexican tacos, christmas smorgasbord…etc.
How would you explain your fashion style?
Right now I’m all for sexy lingerie. Too bad it’s cold in Sweden at the moment, so very few get to see my everyday fashion style.
What is your own definition of happiness?
The freedom to make my own decisions, music, and art.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Teezo Touchdown. He’s everything I adore with individuality. Not many know of him yet, but he’s an icon with a beautiful mind that creates beautiful things. I hope to work with him some day.
Best advice ever given?
“Prioritize your creative freedom” – David Lynch
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
At the top of the hill, creating my best shit yet, making my own wigs, writing and producing for other artists, having good stock investments, touring the world, owning my shit.
Favorite song? Why?
“Would You Mind” by Janet Jackson. It’s so sexy. I remember I thought it was so freeing hearing a song so straightforward and real, to hear a woman saying what she likes in bed out loud.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
Quote: ”I’m the only one in the world that matters.” ― Jenna Jameson
Movie: Pulp Fiction
Tv Series: Twin Peaks
Favorite Food: once again, a buffet of everything I love. Indian paneer masala, Mexican tacos, christmas smorgasbord.. Etc.
Travel Destination: Rick’s Cabaret New York
Sports Team: What?