Check out our interview with 18 year-old London artist Lia Rye who just released her debut EP Fever Dream, the release acts as a form of catharsis for seeing her move on from the fear and longing she initially had when wanting to pursue music.

Beyond her sound, Rye wishes to break the genre stereotypes for black artists and represent those who look like her, whilst sharing her love of alt music.

Follow Jessica @lia.rye

Hi Lia, please tell us a little about you?

Hey! First off, thanks for having me 🙂 I’m Lia Rye, I’m an eighteen year old singer-songwriter and I live in London, UK. I’ve been writing since eight years old and I make alternative pop/rock music!

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative. Chill. Sarcastic.

How did you get started in the business?

Well January 2020 is where it all started with my first Lia Rye performance at the O2 Academy Islington 2 in London aged 15. I released a single a few weeks before the show, which I recorded in a studio with my friends, and things just kind of started from there.

How has this changed your life?

Hm well I haven’t done that much life yet, so I am 100% there are more ways in which it can change due to my music. However releasing my own music, and getting positive feedback on it, has given me an immense amount of confidence, as I struggled a lot with imposter sundowner.

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?

The real question is am I actually in the industry aha. I guess with the small corner I’m in, I just took the opportunities that came my way. I don’t entirely agree with the philosophy of saying yes to everything, because we all have boundaries, but the things I’ve said yes to have positively impacted me. My Instagram page has provided quite a few opportunities for me and I took advantage of them. For example, I’ve received gig opportunities and I signed up to free music incentives, which led to me finding the recording studio where I recorded 4/5 songs on my EP at.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Authentic. Eclectic. Alternative.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

May be kind of weird, but I have no direct influences for who made me want to make music. Sure I have specific artists and songs which defined what I listen to, but my inspiration has always been within. I liked singing, then that turned into writing and that turned into hmm maybe I could try to properly do this. Here I am trying to do this music thing 🙂

Do you play any instrument?

I started teaching myself bass over a year ago! I surprised myself by being a pretty quick leaner but by that standard, I should be a boss at it now… That’s not quite the case. It’s a bit hard organising what to learn when self teaching, but it’s so so crazy to me that I can even play. I had piano lessons for a bit but I wasn’t a fan of them, though I can accompany myself with practice, so I didn’t think I was instrument inclined. I guess I was wrong!

Do you ever get nervous?

Sometimes if I’m not feeling too great. However most of the time I’m pretty ready to go 🙂

Tell us your debut EP “Fever Dream?”

Fever Dream is a highlight reel of songs I wrote from 12 – 17 and it’s a alt pop / rock record. I like the variety I’ve put into the project and it was a huge learning curve for me!

What’s the story behind the song?

‘Fever Dream’ came about through an object writing exercise at college in 2021. In songwriting lessons, we were given a specific word and we had to write for 10 minutes a description or narrative around it. The story describes these multiple scenes a painter is trying to paint but they get “washed out” due to frustration. The frustration stems from the fact that they are trying to recreate a masterpiece, but they can’t. The line “there’s a fine line between perfection and insanity” perfectly sums this sentiment up.

And about your other songs like “Habits,” “One Track Way,” and “Novacaine?”

‘Habits’ is about not caring what people think no matter whether you’re the villain or the hero. ‘One Track Way’ tells the journey of an individual driving through deserted plains ready to meet their maker. I describe the narrative as “my own take on highway to hell”. ‘Novacaine’ explores dependency and how someone can change their beliefs and morals to find healing but in the end, they are only left with their pain.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

You’re good enough. Imposter syndrome was a huge hurdle for me, but it’s getting better now.

What’s next for Lia Rye in 2022?

Just going around doing some more live performances hopefully 🙂 Also potentially working on more music and more songwriting!

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

David Tennant. I’m a massive Doctor Who fan and in general I’m in awe of his talent and the multiple projects he’s done. No offence to anyone else, but I just had to give into my only fan girl wish for this answer.

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

I really want to travel to somewhere in South America one day, I just haven’t chosen where yet. I have absolutely no clue who I would go with. Maybe I’m just blanking right now, but I’m all up for volunteers!

Favorite song? Why?

‘My Love’ – Florence + the Machine. The song gives me a feeling of bliss all whilst being crushing at the same time. Amazing.

What do you think of Social Media?

I think it’s great but also detrimental. The overall distress that it causes is beyond saddening. However, it provides me with a platform to showcase myself and interact with people I never could reach without it. I’ve felt the pressures of it in regards to promoting myself and my music, but at this point I don’t really care. I love all the behind the scenes of it like data and the wider conversations around it, but I refuse to give into the pressures and trends that surround artists today.

Where we can follow you?

@lia.rye on Instagram. It’s pretty chill over there and I share all the cool news about me.