Stepping Into Your Talent & Potential | Riley Lynch

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

My name is Riley Lynch and I’m a queer, Los Angeles based, alternative-pop artist. I make music primarily about my experience with mental health and as a means to get intense emotions off of my chest. Spending my early years creating for others rather than myself, I’ve presented myself publicly as a lot of different versions of me mainly out of the fear of losing my audience. However, taking the time to grow as a person and a musician since I started chasing music as the be all end all proved to be deeply rewarding. I’m a people pleaser turned radical boundary setter, and we aren’t to be overlooked.

What I need people to know is that I started releasing music when I was 14, was a contestant on The XFactor USA at 15, touring by 16, and had to do all of that growing up in front of a large audience. I felt like I was playing a role at the time. Coming out as LGBTQIA+ at 18 to all of those people was petrifying but also majorly relieving. That was a hugely transformative experience for me and I had to completely pivot as an artist. From that point on I vowed to give myself the freedom to be unapologetically myself. The person/musician I am today is a direct result of that.

It was definitely not easy to get to that place. I have been playing trial and error with myself since I started writing music at 13. It’s a process. I’m 24 now and I’m just starting to feel like I’m stepping into my potential as an artist. I keep pushing no matter how discouraging it can get in this industry, and that resilience has been key for me. This resilience also shows up within my music. The topics I discuss can be tough, but it’s important to show the dark depths of my psyche and let people know that recovery is possible.

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

My writing style and vocals paired with the genre of music I make is what sets me apart from everyone else in the industry. Honestly, when’s the last time you heard a gay punk rock anthem that’s all about condemning “dude’s like that”? I look to my catalog of music as one gigantic vent session. I want anyone listening to feel like we’re getting these things off of our chest together. I will always strive to make sure that my songs come from my own experience with the hopes that anyone listening and relating will feel that much less alone.

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do. 

The moment I realized that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do came early on. Followers would come up to me to let me know the impact that I had on their recovery with their mental health struggles. As someone who was silently struggling at the time, those words meant more to me than I think anyone could have ever understood. I hold those moments so close to my heart and never once have taken them for granted. I have also had listeners of my music show me their tattoos of my lyrics. That is genuinely the highest honor I feel that I could receive as an artist and it motivates me to push that much harder in my musical endeavors.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

The biggest challenge I had to go through was coming to a place of acceptance with my identity while simultaneously being so public on the internet. As I had mentioned, I was on The XFactor when I was 14, and this happened during that lovely period for me where I wasn’t sitting up at night petrified because I couldn’t understand my lack of attraction.
Fast forward a year, I’m a sophomore in high school who went from 100 followers on Twitter to 10K overnight and that number only continued to tick upwards. Now I felt like I had to cater to this audience of what were mostly young women who were interested in me for reasons that didn’t just include my music. As I spent the years afterwards touring, creating, meeting followers and being chronically online, my decision to blatantly ignore my internal struggles with my identity came at a price. I’ve never really talked about this but I started to head down a dangerous path, resorting to using substances to cope with my mental health. My bad behavior eventually landed me in treatment at 17. Thankfully, I have an incredible support system and I was fortunate enough to get the help that I needed early. This time away gave me the space to really look within as to come to a place of understanding regarding my identity and was also the beginning of a really healthy relationship with my sense of self. The work didn’t end post-treatment. I have continued to strengthen my relationship with myself. I am not perfect, and I’ve had my bad moments, but this journey has led me to a place where I’m creating the most authentic music of my career thus far. I’ve been in this game for a decade and I’m just now starting to feel like I’m scratching the surface of my potential. Long story short, avoidance can be toxic. The only option is to grow through. You will end up exponentially better for it.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business?  Why these specific individuals?

The top 3 people I’d want to meet would be Upsahl, Royal & The Serpent, and DeathbyRomy. I am obsessed with the art that these three make and most definitely am inspired by each of them. I wouldn’t even want to meet them to elevate my career, just purely to be able to interact with an artist I admire is an honor enough! I love Upsahl’s writing, Royal’s production, and Romy’s energy.

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
The LA Note and our team of talent networkers, writers, social media managers, and management are excited to present you with unique stories of amazing individuals following their dreams.


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