Live Music: Rochelle Riser
Rochelle Riser, a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, has been compared to prolific women in their craft such as Stevie Nicks, Norah Jones, and Gillian Welch.
With clear, songbird vocals, Riser’s music is a refreshing combination of organic sounds and heart-tugging melodies. Born and raised on a farm in rural Iowa, Riser grew up listening to songwriting aficionados like Carole King and Paul Simon and found her voice singing in choir. She moved to Nashville in 2010 to study music and psychology at Belmont University, but it wasn’t until a few years later she began to take her songwriting seriously. “That summer, I went through a really intense period of growth and growing up. I felt my very small world just bust wide open,” she recalls. “Suddenly, I had a lot to say. I had been writing songs here and there for years, but all of the sudden the songs just kept coming. I was hooked.” In Nashville, Riser began to pick up influences from country legends like Gram Parsons and Willie Nelson, who inspired her with their vocal-centric tales of love and loss. “It’s all about the feeling for me,” she says. “And I find I can write so much easier than I can talk. A great song pulls you into the author’s emotion so you feel exactly what they’re going through. That’s what I try to do in my songs.”
Called “the real deal” and a “voice … spanning the gap between ethereal heights and down-to-earth intimacy,” Rochelle Riser released her debut EP What Was On My Mind under her given name, Rochelle Feldkamp. Since then, she has put in a lot of hours honing her craft, writing more than a hundred songs while gaining some Nashville confidence. “I discovered that writing songs in your bedroom only gets you so far,” she jokes. “And there’s so much talent in Nashville that I could just go out every night and listen to what everyone else is doing. I’ve had to learn how to balance those two parts of me and start valuing what I bring to the table.
Now it’s time to go out and share that.”Rochelle Riser plans to release new music in 2019 while touring regionally and nationally.