Name: Kaley Rivera
Hometown: Belmont, NC
Major: Public Relations Major
Hobbies: Singing and playing guitar, sports, hiking, and eating ice cream.
Q. How did you get involved with music?
A. Music began for me at the very moment I could talk and my parents put me in children’s choir. I adored music as a little girl and carried around a microphone putting on mini concerts for my family and dancing around my living room. This passion grew as I got older and it led me to be involved in any music outlet I could. Around 8th grade, I picked up guitar and began to teach myself how to play. Four chords in, I began to lead worship for my youth group and I have been playing and singing ever since.
Q. What/who are your biggest influences?
A. Growing up, Bethany Dillon was hands down my favorite singer. Her song “Beautiful” was the first song I ever sang as a solo. Lyrically and stylistically I have always loved Switchfoot and I picked up guitar because of Colbie Caillat. I also have a slight obsession with gospel music. More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to intern at Elevation Church under their worship leaders. As far as growing me as an artist and leader, they have not only influenced me but also changed my life. But I listen to everything from Folk to Rap, I love it all and have been influenced by a little bit of everything.
Q. Do you write your own songs?
A. I sure do. Writing music saved my life, literally. In high school I went through a battle with an eating disorder as well as a lot of social obstacles. I felt so lost in trying to find the definition of beautiful and came face to face with insecurity. All of my activities were taken away from me because of my physical condition except for journaling and music. One night, sitting on my bed, I picked up my guitar and began to play a melody and sing some of a poem I had written in my journal. Beauty is often born out of brokenness and it was through that time that I wrote my first song. That song brought me through everything and is why I write and sing today. Writing is my victory.
Q. Any advice for aspiring musicians?
A. Be your own biggest influence. There is something to the music world that only you can give and no one will ever hear it if you withhold it or try to sound like someone else. You are unique, so embrace it. Love what you do and always jump at the chance to collaborate with someone better than you.
Q. Where could HerCampus readers hear your music/see you perform live?
A. Check out my website at kaleyrivera.com and buy my Demo “Love is a Color” off iTunes. You can also find me on any given weekend being a part of the worship team at the Elevation Extension site on campus at 11:15 in I.G. Greer or at Elevation Church in Charlotte. I also play at random coffee shops so keep in check with the website or twitter (@kaley_rivera) for updates!
Q. What are your plans after college?
A. My dream job is to be able to play acoustic shows, lead worship, and to write music for other people. I also want to travel, write a book, get a puppy, and run a marathon.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing the rest of your life.”— Jessica Hische
The thing that helps you escape is probably the thing you should live for. Whether it’s music or math, invest in your strength and apply it where the world is weak. Go change something and never hide the rare beauty that you are.