As all of you know by now, we have been digging into the Nashville alternative scene for quite some time now. Quite successfully, shall we add! We keep finding raw and contagious talent in music, photography and beyond.

Our latest Nashville hidden gem is an unapologetic 90’s baby and her name is Ria Marie. Get ready, because this one is gonna make you feel nostalgic af. Or maybe old af!

Ria is a Nashville-based R&B artist and she invites listeners back to a golden era for millennials on her new single, appropriately named “90’s Baby”.

With sultry vocals and lyrical references spanning the Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Eminem, Space Jam and more “‘90’s Baby’ has a nostalgic feel that takes me back to my childhood,” Ria explains. 

“So many incredible shows and artists came out of the 90s and they created a new path for how the music and entertainment industry has evolved.”

Ria grew up listening to monuments of 90s pop such as Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson and she weaves these influences into her rich sonic palette splendidly and smoothly. 

Her raw vocal talent was picked up by UK based duo The Producers, who ended up emailing her a few instrumentals to see if they would find the right chemistry. Sure enough, it was a match – a smoky blend of modern R&B with timeless, jazzy undertones. 

More on their collaborations later but in the meantime let’s get to know Ria a little better and learn more about her music and background!

How does living in Nashville shape your creativity? 

Its rapid growth has brought in so much talent from around the country. Living here has given me the opportunity to write with tons of people in many different genres. 

How did you get into music and art? 

My mom had a career in the industry and we had a studio in our house. I’d sit outside the studio door for hours as a child and just listen. I don’t have any specific memory of when I actually got involved in music, I think it was just always there. 

You seem to blend different genres together in a very fluid way. What genre or kind of music was your first love? 

Yeah that’s true, I don’t really think of genres when I write music. I always do my best to follow my creative instinct and whatever comes up is what I go with. You have to trust yourself. My first musical love was RnB and Jazz. 

Who are your all time musical icons? 

My icons have obviously changed over the years but when I was younger it was artists like Whitney Huston, Christina Aguilera and Ella Fitzgerald. Now I have influences in both artistry and songwriting such as Kehlani, HER and songwriters such as Julia Michaels and Max Martin. 

What is your creative process like? 

This is a hard question to answer because my creative process is always evolving and changing. Sometimes I start writing with just lyrics, other times the melody comes first and sometimes it’s both. One thing that always gets me in the writing flow is studying other artists’ work.

What inspires your lyrics? 

Everything! Whether it’s a phrase that a friend says, the name of a dress online, an Instagram caption, a line from a movie or literature. I have notes in my phone and throughout the day I just write ideas down and sometimes I use them and sometimes I don’t. It’s a great habit to form because some of the best songs have come from these notes.

Do you draw inspiration from other forms of art? 

I can get inspiration from anything! One time I created a song after visiting an art museum, the song was called “Blank Canvas.” I love reading poetry because it’s so descriptive and detailed. Lyrics that can make you see or hear a line is where the magic is.

Tell us about your latest release

My new single “90’s Baby” was written at the beginning of 2019. I wrote it with 3 amazing writers, Taylor Dahlia, Juliette Reilly and John Dyke. Originally, I was supposed to have a writing session with just one of them but each of us had separate dates set up with each other so we just combined the co-write. 

The song was written to a pop track but I had a different vision for it. I knew it would sound more like me if it was slowed down and recorded with live instruments. One of my best friends CJ-O produced the track with me and really went above and beyond creating the energy it has now. Lyrically, the song is a love letter to my childhood. I packed so many fun references from the 90s hoping to provide a little nostalgic escape for people from the beautiful mess that is 2020.

How are you coping with not being able to tour and perform? 

I’m starting to get used to it now. It was really tough at first because I had so many trips and shows planned for 2020 but obviously none of those happened. Hopefully I’ll be able to perform in 2021.

What’s the future looking like for you? 

Well I had so much planned in 2020 and obviously, none of that panned out but I’m glad it didn’t. This year ended up being a growing year in a way that I didn’t expect. You can’t plan everything you’ve just gotta be in flow and allow for the universe to take you to where you’re supposed to go.

I like to reference a song I wrote called “Dancing Through the Fog.” It means that you have to keep projecting positivity and dance through what you can’t see in front of you.