Royal Road w/ Greg Rider
Let’s find out more about the road that Greg Rider took to be the country artist he is today, and find out more about his fresh new single ‘We Ain’t Royal’.
SB (StarBeat): Profile: Can we get a super quick bio and your Nashville story?
GR (Greg Rider): For sure, so I’m originally from Waterdown, Ontario and I’ve been living in Alberta for the past 4 months. When I was 26, I bought a one way ticket to the Cayman Islands to be a bartender at a resort. I sang at a bunch of places around the island and one night I met this woman who said I should try my luck in Nashville.
I’d never been, so I booked a 10 day trip and when I got there, I fell in love with the city and the challenge. I cancelled my trip back to the Cayman Islands and stayed in Nashville. I didn’t make much money in the first couple months, but then I got my permit to perform and started playing shows around the city 5-6 nights a week and touring on weekends with my band. I jumped into the music industry with two feet. I was either gonna sink or swim, but I felt Nashville was an incredible learning experience on what it takes to be an artist down there.
SB: Formula: Country songs are usually reduced to a sad tale of my dog left and my truck broke down. What made you want to go a different, more real route with your lyrics?
GR: I never want to act like a country boy if I’m not one. I grew up in a small town and had a wonderful family. I struggled to find my way for many years and I always rebelled against a 9-5 because I saw what it did to my parents. I always wanted to tell stories and sing songs that could help the younger version of myself or youth in general that are confused and not sure what to do with their life. It’s not a good feeling, so I felt Music was my escape to get honest music out to the world and not just sing about stereotypes.
SB: Royalty: You recently released your new single ‘We Ain’t Royal’ – what is the story behind this one?
GR: The story behind ‘We Ain’t Royal’ is Nashville in a nutshell. I always felt like I was trying to fit into a group when I’m meant to stand out. I was dressing and acting the part, but I wasn’t truly happy. That city is filled with some very ambitious people that will do anything to get ahead. I’m not gonna act a certain way to get something and I’m not gonna suck up to anyone. I just got tired of playing that game and trying to impress other songwriters and labels. I wanted to write music that would help people and we were constantly writing generic country songs, so I wrote ‘We Ain’t Royal’ and it talks about just being yourself and not trying to act a certain way in real life or social media. We all struggle and it’s okay to not be OK.
Just be yourself cause in the end, we ain’t Royal.
SB: Forward: Do you think more country artists will take this road? It seems we are in a phase of fun honky tonk songs getting a lot of the radio play.
GR: I really do hope so. Country music today is very shallow and faceless. It’s a bunch of generic songs that anyone can sing. There’s no uniqueness. With the big artists there are, but we need some outlaws that colour outside the lines. That’s music to me. We’ve all had a tough couple years and we’ve struggled. I hope that this gives musicians some ammunition to write honest music. The fans need it. I don’t really care to chase radio anymore. Music on the radio has never been honest for me. I hope that changes one day.
Greg on Social: