I am C.C. Riley. I am 26 years old. And I am a musician.
One of the hardest things to do is to write objectively about yourself. And to recount the experiences that have formed me into the person and musician that I am could take a lifetime. I suppose that’s how I have come to be a songwriter - it’s the best way I have found to fully express who I am. Everything I write about is purely autobiographical, and as scary as it is to constantly put myself out there in song, it is also a blissfully amazing emotional release.
As far as basics go, I was born in Minneapolis, but my family moved to Iowa shortly after I was born. I was raised (for the most part) in Iowa, although we relocated several times during my childhood. Eventually we settled in the Iowa City area, where I went to high school and college. As a child I was very interested in all forms of music. I briefly studied piano and flute before I decided that my best instrument was my voice. I pursued that talent in high school and went on to study vocal performance at the University of Iowa, where my focus was opera. Upon graduating in 2009, I moved back to Minneapolis to pursue a career in classical music. However, my life shifted dramatically when I was asked to join a rock band. It took me awhile to accept the offer and even longer to feel comfortable in my new role behind a microphone, in rock venues, singing over drums and amplifiers, with way more attention placed on me than I was used to. After joining the band, I started playing the piano again and for the first time, started writing my own music. I became addicted to this great untapped outlet of emotion and I found myself able to say things in my music - both literally and figuratively - that I could never communicate otherwise. Although my time with the band was short-lived, it was very meaningful. To say it was a positive experience would be a stretch, but I am grateful for the learning experiences I was offered. Upon leaving the band, I knew exactly how I wanted to present myself as a musician and the direction I wanted my career to go. As far as carrying out the plan - it’s been a long, humbling, satisfying, frustrating, wonderful process - and I learn new things every day.
I am excited to announce the completion of my debut solo album, You Can Fall in Love Another Time. In this album, I combine my unique musical experiences into a genre I call Blues-Cabaret. I place heavy emphasis on the voice; the quality of sound, the meaningfulness of inflection, the beauty of contrast, and the importance of the story behind the lyrics. I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish thus far, and I look forward with much enthusiasm to what life has in store.