Gabby Rivers

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Suffolk-based Gabby Rivers is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter who oozes confidence when on stage with her red guitar. Gabby was a nominee at the 2019 NMG Awards for the category ’18 & Under Solo’ and already has an impressive list of venues where she has performed: Cambridge Junction, Sound City, Latitude, The Apex and her list of gig dates are getting longer…..and she is yet to release her first track!

HC: Let’s begin with you telling us how you started playing the guitar, writing songs and then performing.
GR: I started playing the guitar when I was 13 after doing open mics at the times, once I learnt the basic chords I started to come up with catchy melodies and that’s when I started writing songs, the first few songs weren’t my strongest but the more writing I did the better it got. With the performing side of things, I started out doing musical theatre at the age of 8 and I realised I enjoyed singing the most so I then did open mics from the age of 12 onwards and the more gigs and open mics I did I got more opportunities which was great.

HC: Who are your influences?
GR: Bands such as two door cinema club, Florence and the machine and vampire weekend but obviously there is a lot more

HC: Which song do you most like to perform, and why?
GR: My original song “Game” this is because it’s a really upbeat song and I feel like the crowd like this one best as the reaction is always good and people can relate to it.

HC: Do you play other instruments?
GR: Just the guitar, and singing.

HC: What types of music do you enjoy listening to when you are hanging out?
GR: Mainly alternative/indie music but also R&B, soul music

HC: What’s your song writing process? Tell us how it works:
GR: I come up with a chord progression that is mainly upbeat or catchy and then I first off write the chorus mainly a line that is the main hook of the song and I base the rest of the song around this, so then I do the verses and so on. If I have a strong idea usually a song will take 30 minutes if not it could take up to 2 days.

HC: Do you remember your first gig? How nervous were you?
GR: My first gig was at a pub in Aldeburgh and I was so nervous I had been practicing with backing tracks for weeks before but it ended up going really well.

HC: Are you at college/studying? 
GR: I am currently studying Music Performance Level 3 at Access to Music in Norwich

HC: When you are not making music, what hobbies do you enjoy?
GR: I enjoy dancing and acting in my spare time but also sports such as netball.

HC: What’s your party trick?
GR: I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a party trick but whenever I am at party people try and play my music which is quite funny at times

HC: What musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?
GR: Florence from Florence and the machine because her stage presence and vocal range is incredible and has always inspired me.

HC: Anything unusual happened at a gig?
GR: Something that never happens and is unusual is moshing and crowd surfing which happened at one of my Cambridge Junction gigs which was pretty cool.

HC: When did you last remember a dream?
GR: About 2 weeks ago but I don’t usually remember my dreams

HC: What artist/group would you like to support? 
GR: Local bands I would love to support would either be Bessie Turner or Gaffa Tape Sandy however big bands I would love to support would be Two Door Cinema Club, Circa Waves or Sam Fender.

HC: Do you play/sing solo as well as with the band?
GR: I sing solo stuff at smaller gigs but bigger gigs I do with the band

HC: How did you choose your current band members?
GR: I met my guitarist Jason at multiple open mics, the drummer Coran I met when he was busking and I asked If he wanted to jam at an open mic night and we then just started working together. And finally my bassist I met through Coran as they went to college together.

HC: If you could choose any singer/musician to join you for one gig, who would it be?
GR: Either Florence and The Machine or Freddie Mercury

HC: When did you last wish you were invisible?
GR: When I was 8 at primary school and had to dress up as a banana for a fair trade assembly because I was the only one that could fit in the costume as I was so tall.

HC: How often do you practice?
GR: I usually practice 3-4 times a week not including gigs and college.

HG: What’s Next for you?
GR: Gig announcements are posted on my Instagram @gabbyriversmusic. Last of all my single ‘Game” is being released 25th October and I will release an EP early next year.

Gabby Rivers

This interview first appeared on GrapevineLIVE


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