Q) You have quite a unique vibe; your music and your image have such a fresh colorful feeling! Who would you name as being one of your biggest inspirations in the music world?
A) I can’t really name one specific person who has inspired me the most, because while I am definitely inspired by many different artists, it’s in different areas and for different reasons. The people that I admire the most in the industry are not necessarily people who inspire me musically and the people who inspire me musically are not necessarily people who are the type of artist I’d like to be.
Q) TikTok really helped spread your name around the world so quickly. It is so nice to see that an app people use for free truly helps organic reach for artists. We find so many other platforms offer this type of service, but for a very large fee. Was there anything important you learned from your time on TikTok so far and what advice would you have for your fans which are trying to jumpstart their artistic talents online?
A) The main thing I learned – even before TikTok, this was on Instagram – is to always create from an authentic place. Being from a small country, I had a hard time embracing myself fully because my true self didn’t fit in and I knew that if I dressed and expressed myself how I wanted, I might be ostracized. Because of that I always imagined that there was no place in the world for boys like me. When I decided to just be myself and create images and videos that reflected how I see the world and myself in my mind, my content finally connected and found an audience. I think people can feel when something is authentic. I know my content feels highly produced, but I make it all myself so it is technically still homemade.
Also, you have to be tenacious. You have to be able to withstand rejection, both ignore and take on criticism (constructive criticism), and accept early on that there aren’t any handouts for most of us – you just have to keep grinding and improving until you connect. Also remember that if you want to make a living doing creative work, you have to consider it work, not just a passion or a hobby.
Q) The imagination and care you put into all your videos is noticed by so many. You do not see many artists out there trying to bring light and color back into reality; things have gotten quite gloomy… It is nice to see you are helping pump some of that much needed inspiration back into the world. What would be your most favorite part about creating new work to share with your fans? Do you find there a certain area of your art that just flows naturally and maybe one area you find drives you up the wall every time?
A) My favorite part is marrying music with visuals. When we get a song just right and my mind flares up with images of what the music video should look like, how the stage should look when I perform it, etc. I am so excited to release more singles and videos so I can show that side of my art more. When my fans enjoy my art – any part of it – I feel truly seen, almost as if the people who enjoy my art know me better than anyone else, because it’s such a real part of me. It all comes from the realest parts of me and you like it, so you like me. I think that’s why it also hurts so much when people walk all over it. It’s so extremely raw and vulnerable.
I think what always makes me nervous is direct communication because I am a little awkward sometimes. I spend all my time working so I can literally go for days without talking to people about anything except work. It can be a strange adjustment sometimes, but I am getting better at it.
Q) Off topic… What would you name as your top TV show to binge or your favorite movie that you cannot live without right now?
A) It will have to be my all-time favorite movie: Bridesmaids. If you don’t like this movie, I don’t know what to tell you.
Q) You pump so much creativity into every last thing you post; it looks like you cover almost every basis of your creative vision. There are not many artists left in the world who see the entire picture and truly bring it to life. Where did you learn your pinpoint attention to artistic detail from?
A) I think it comes from having a mild form of OCD and being a perfectionist in general. The most minor off detail will stand out vividly and throw off the entire vibe for me. I then work and re-work on something until I feel soothed watching/listening to it. It is honestly a problem because it means I still do everything myself – I even edited the music video for Let It Ring.
On top of that, I am very visually creative and have worked with visual creation since I was a child, so I have developed a specific style and the skill-set required to produce high quality content. I have also reinvested so much of my own money into cameras, computers, and programs that enable me to elevate my vision when the limits become technical rather than artistic.
Q) Congrats on signing with your record label! Atlantic Records seems to REALLY focus on unique outside the box artists that are continually pushing the envelope of mainstream music. Can you tell us a little about the day you connected with Atlantic and what thoughts were going through your mind when this all came about!?
A) Thank you so much! Atlantic Records call themselves an artist led label and they are not lying. I was offered a record deal by four other major labels, but I chose Atlantic because I knew they were going to let me be the artist I am. I knew they didn’t sign me for the numbers, but for me, and I am reminded of that every time we have a meeting and my amazing team is waiting for my ideas, for what I want to do, and support me in doing that, rather than try to dictate who I should be as an artist. Atlantic truly saw me and I feel very at home there. I can’t really tell you what went through my mind when it came about, because honestly, I still pinch myself. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet!
Q) We see that you worked with some amazing producers on your single (Lostboy (Zedd, Bebe Rexha), Lauren Aquilina (Rina
-Also… Does it totally feel like you are living a dream sometimes?
A) I’ve only worked with these people from afar! It’s so strange to share something so intensely personal and intimate as the creation of your first single with people who you’ve never met in real life, but I’m happy they wanted to work with me.
Does it ever. I am constantly afraid I’ll wake up in my parents’ basement by my mom barging in and telling me it’s time for school.
Q) Anything fun and upcoming in the near future that you have not announced yet that you could possibly share with all your fans?
A) I will be on the next season of Dancing With The Stars.
Check out Reiley’s debut song “Let It Ring” below ! Available on all platforms.