Wrap Up And Watch Out: Rian Peters
Rian Peters hopes that 2012 will be the year that sees him reach the big time. In late 2011, the singer, songwriter and dancer went through the process of unleashing a selection of viral music videos on the Internet to reach out to more people, a move designed to help him gain new fans...
The R&B singer took time out from his busy schedule to talk to The Wrap Up's Stephen Almond about his musical influences, his new EP, what "industrial nu-wave pop" music means to him, how important viral videos are for new artists, and he shares some of his future plans.
The Wrap Up: Rian! Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Some of our readers might not know who you are, so can you tell them a bit about yourself?
Rian Peters: No problem! Well, I'm known as Rian Peters and I'm a solo recording artist. I sing, I dance, I write songs and the music that I do is a mix of pop, R&B, rock and soul – which I term, 'industrial nu-wave pop.' The term came from me, as it is a mix of the music I've been brought up on and I've just blended it all into one and given it a futuristic sound through the production and songwriting style.
TWU: Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
Rian Peters: When I was growing, up my mum used to play a lot of R&B and soul around the house, so I heard a lot of Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Prendergrass, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, The Jacksons and all the greats. My main influence is obviously Michael Jackson. He was an amazing talent and he was someone who I grew up really watching and taking in his talent and showmanship. Bobby Brown was also a huge influence on me, he was incredible! I think a lot of people forget about how incredible he was as a recording artist. He had his problems but, talent-wise, he was a great showman.
TWU: You sing and dance, but do you see yourself as a singer who can dance or a dancer who can sing?
Rian Peters: That's a good question! There is a big difference. I would see myself as a singer who can dance. Singing has been something that I've been doing since I was a little kid, even though I started dancing before I started singing, but that was just because I found the natural rhythm of the beat and the music. At three years old, my mum saw me dancing and was like, 'Wow! This kid can dance', and she took me to my first street dance class at three years old. I then came across my singing voice at the age of five and from then on, I just had a passion for singing because it came naturally to me.
TWU: Towards the end of last year, you went through the process of uploading some viral videos to the Internet. Where did that idea come from?
Rian Peters: I've done four virals from one EP. I just came up with the idea, really. I started off with one viral for a video that I recorded and I just wanted to get it out there for people to hear the track that I had done. I then thought that it was time to put out some music for people to download, so I decided to go down the route of doing an EP and I thought that it would be good idea to link the virals with the EP – which was released earlier this month. I think virals are really cool. They're not full music videos, they're just little snippets of what could be a music video.
TWU: Do you think video sharing sites are now the most effective way for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent?
Rian Peters: Yeah, I think it's a really good way to showcase your talent. You've got the freedom to do what you want to do and it's a great way to show people what you can do without having the major labels or the major budget behind you. With the virals I've done, there have been no major labels backing them. It has just been me and other creative people that I know who believe in me and I believe in them.
TWU: It's clear that you’re passionate about having a major input into what ideas you run with. How important is having total creative control over your career to you?
Rian Peters: I think it's really important to have creative control over your career. I'm the type of artist who has always had a vision of what they want. If a record label got involved, that would be great – especially if they understood and agreed with my vision. I'm not the type of artist who won't compromise, though, because they are the ones putting out your music. It's all about finding the right record label and having the right team alongside you.
TWU: Finally, what are your plans for 2012 and what do you hope to have
achieved by the time this year is out?
Rian Peters: My plans for 2012 are to reach as many people as possible with my music and continue on the path to becoming the planet's biggest recording artist (laughs). I hope to have had my record out and to have had a number one single. I'd like a lot more people to know who I am and to have secured a record deal. I want my album out in the stores and for people to be buying it and legally downloading it.
Download Rian Peter's EP, 'Start Something', for free: H E R E
Stay up to date with Rian Peters on Twitter - www.twitter.com/RianPeters
Words: Stephen Almond (@LFCSteAL)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)