Interview with River Matthews

​For those who haven’t heard your music before, who are your influences?
I grew up listening to loads of sixties music – The Beatles, The Stones, The Beach Boys, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan etc. as my parents used to play them a lot in the house. Nineties bands like Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene inspired me to pick up the guitar… but voices like Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding really made me wanna sing!  

You worked in a Special Needs school for a while, how important was music as a form of teaching and therapy?
Well music was pretty much most of what I did at school… teaching guitar one-on-one and using music to build confidence and self-expression. Along with all the amazing things the school do to help the students grow, the work I did just complimented this! For example, it’s an incredible thing to see a student go from not knowing anything on guitar to playing in a band on stage in front of their friends and the rest of the school… just the biggest confidence builder, amazing.

I understand you’ve been working with Jamie Scott who has worked with Michael Kiwanuka and One Direction, how much of an influence on your songwriting has this been?
Jamie’s a pretty unique talent I think when I comes to songwriting… pretty amazing to see him create a song, or turn a melody into something really special. I think just from being around him and watching this he’s made a big impression on my songwriting. I’ve also written a lot with his brother Mike Needle, who’s probably been one of the biggest influences… he’s an incredible songwriter too.

Do you have a process for writing music? Or does it differ every time?
I don’t have an exact recipe for writing… if anything, the melody usually comes first, then a feeling, then the lyrics… and things can change all the time depending on how things are feeling. It’s an impossible thing to nail down! But there’s the magic!

Your new EP Sunshine was just released, what can we expect from the project?
It’s a bit of a follow up from the first EP ‘Feels Like Morning’ in terms of continuing on with the feelings which were in the air during last year. Bit of love, hope and a lil’ bit of heartache! 

Any plans to tour with the EP?
I’m really excited about the tour coming up in November around a few venues in Europe and the UK… watch this space for details!


To listen to River’s music, check him out on SoundcloudSpotifyiTunes and YouTube Channel

For more information on River, visit his WebsiteFacebook Page and Twitter