Say hello to Riva Taylor. With the widescreen, filmic elegance of a John Barry soundtrack; a powerful voice of extraordinary purity and a maverick musical bravery which nods to Kate Bush, Enya and Lana Del Rey, Riva Taylor presents Deeper Than Us, the first cut from her forthcoming album, This Woman’s Heart.
Co-written by Riva and Jamie Hartman (co-writer of Rag’N’Bone Man’s globe-conquering Human), Deeper Than Us is a statement track, a song about rebirth and self-discovery, the first chapter in one woman’s journey that provides the narrative for her forthcoming album.
Riva’s story is one that is sewn together with both a gutsy determination, and pursuit of her craft. It started with a trip to the West End to see Les Misérables where she ended up auditioning for the show. Producers won over, she began a stint as Eponine. She was just 6 years old. Roll forward into early adolescence, as a 12-year old she became the youngest artist to sign to EMI – two albums and global tours later artist and label parted company.
In the evolution of Riva, as a young adult she joined friends in South East Asia before heading north to study history at Durham University.
Here she specialised in the US Civil Rights era and penned a dissertation exploring the exploitation of black US Rhythm and Blues musicians by the music industry at the time, observing closely the impact of the British invasion.
Stints at a bank and a legal firm reminded her of why she’d loved music in the first place and once she’d called herself Riva (“It’s a Hebrew derivative of Rebecca: Riva has fire, she’s a woman”) she soon hustled herself a spot on 2014’s hugely successful Video Games Live tour across Europe. Her steely quest to perform also saw her sing alongside Usher and José Carreras, testament to an artist with a sheer breadth to her artistry, and deep love all things music.
Other contributors on the forthcoming album include Shelly Poole (late of Alisha’s Attic and now part of Red Sky July), Bo Bruce, Laura Welsh, (fresh from the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack) and Starsailor’s James Walsh, alongside executive producer Julian Hinton (Trevor Horn’s MD), and Graham Archer (Ed Sheeran’s engineer).