RACHEL CHOLST | MAY 25, 2021
Now based in Nashville, TN, Rian grew up on Long Island, NY and began writing songs at the age of 11 after her mother bought her a guitar for her 10th birthday. “My parents always listened to a great wide array of music. I feel like I really got a great music education from both of them,” says Rian. “In high school, my choir teacher pulled me aside and showed me badass women singer-songwriters and that’s when I really started to develop my taste and become basically addicted to songwriting. High school was a hard time for me so songwriting was really a way for me to process my emotions.” Although Rian declared Music as her major in college, it was difficult for her to fall in love with the Classical music course requirements. A few years and major changes later, in the summer of 2019 she decided to make the move down South and focus on her songwriting career in Nashville.
“This song is extremely personal to me,” writes Rian of her single “Funeral.” The song is an attempt to beg for forgiveness. “Whenever I play this song in public, someone from the audience comes up to talk to me about this specific song after the show. They share their stories on how addiction has affected their life and loved ones. They share memories of people they lost. I wrote this song to heal myself. In turn, I hope this song has helped and will help heal others. It takes on new life every time I play it and it is dedicated in memory of anyone who has lost the battle to addiction.”
It’s not hard to see why the song, a stripped-down acoustic affair, is touching to so many people. Rian’s performance is front, center, and emotionally devastating. The singer-songwriter filled Adobe & Teardrops in on her influences and songwriting MO, which you can read more about once you pick yourself up off the floor.
Explain the title of your album. My EP is called Talking To Ghosts because in each song I am talking to/about some sort of ghost. I’m either talking to someone who passed away, a past version of myself, or about where I want to be buried when I die. Each song seems to be speaking to someone who isn’t there to hear the message.
Do you have any songwriting tips you can share? My greatest songwriting tip is to give into the feeling of being inspired. If inspiration for a song comes at an inconvenient time you should try to drop what you are doing and write down your idea. You don’t have to get a whole song but don’t ignore ideas because you are busy or tired.
Do you start off with the music or lyrics first? Why? Weirdly enough, I kind of do them both at the same time. I’ll come up with a melody line and then figure out lyrics. Then lyrics will keep pouring out and I’ll have to figure out the rest of the melody. Rarely will I write either totally separate from one another.
What 5 albums are you going to make your kid listen to and why? In Rainbows by Radiohead – because it is extremely creative yet simple and I want my future kid to know that something that seems simple can be complex.
Tidal by Fiona Apple- because I want my kid to know that women can be angry or angsty and speak their mind in their creative process.
Not A Pretty Girl by Ani DiFranco- because this album changed my life in high school.
Marvin the Album by Frente!- because my mom played this for me so much as a child that I knew all the words by the time I was 4. I want my kids to have that.
Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens- because Stevens’ put his life into the album. He was brutally honest and you can hear him trying to rationalize and heal from his past. I want to expose my kids to this sort of resilience.
Recent release you cannot stop listening to? “Hot & Heavy” by Lucy Dacus