Lou Ridley has seen her career consistently rise over the last few years. Originally from Texas, she’s found her sound as a Country/Soul singer. Her Texas influence has lead her to a collaboration with the legendary producer supergroup The Chopstars. Now in Nashville, Lou Ridley has seen her career advance to even higher levels. Every new artist must go through trials and tribulations in order to learn the game, and Lou Ridley has learned her fair share. Today, she can reflect on her journey and its origins with 20/20 clear vision.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Texas
How has where you’re from impacted the music you make?
I grew up on country and soul, I can attribute part of that to spending so much time in Houston. That and my love for chop & screw [music]. Haha.
What was your introduction to music?
I got a pretty late start on pursuing music, but I saved up enough money in high school to go to guitar center and buy one of those prepackaged recording kits with a mic & an interface. So I started there I guess lol.
What were your parents and the people closest to you listening to as a child?
Country & Soul. My grandma loved Whitney, Barbara Streisand. Dad was Garth Brooks biggest fan.
When did you decide to pursue music?
After college actually. Late start like i said.
How difficult was it to carve out your own sound? Artists, especially in the beginning can sound a lot like their influences.
I don’t know if it was difficult so much as just.. the natural progression of finding yourself as a person as well. I feel like I carved out my sound when i carved out myself. It all came together at the same time.
What were your initial roadblocks at the beginning of your career?
Same as any artist, no funds, confusion on your identity, etc. a lot of people wanted to tell me who to be. It is a blessing to have a big voice but if you don’t know who you are… the industry will make that choice for you.
At what point did you build your team? (PR, managers, etc.)
Haha, in the last year maybe? My manager has been riding for a while, she met me after my big breakup a few years ago. My creative director has been my best friend for almost 7 years now. Everyone else has slowly descended from heaven onto my team.
How would you categorize your sound and music?
Talk about what led you into collaborating with The Chopstars and allowing them to add their touches to “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
I spent a lot of time in Houston when I first started to pursue music, I was signed to a guy out there. I fell in love w/ chop & screw [music] and there isn’t anyone better than The Chopstars to do it. So, I reached out to a friend and here we are!
You didn’t put out a lot of music in 2020, was it pandemic related?
Somewhat yes. Both due to resources being on lockdown and also… just not wanting to be callous about the severity of the situation by being like ” I know you’re scared of the state of our country but listen to my single!”
Talk about the process that lead up to the release of “Angel/Outlaw”?
Shit I mean during lockdown my friend would send me folders of loops, i would write to them, he would produce them with me and boom. Then I moved to Nashville after “Poor Baby” came out. Once I got here I was able to build a team and we finished out the rest of the songs!
What was the concept behind the name?
I feel like all women have a duality about them. All people to be honest, but women especially. Sometimes I’m an angel and sometimes I’m running around causing mayhem. I think we get to learn to embrace all aspects of our personality. Shadow work is never done and sometimes I let my shadow play.
Artists in 2021 are entrepreneurs. Talk about the day to day tasks artists have to do to create content/promote themselves as a brand.
With all the social media platforms it’s definitely a task to make original content for each one and push it out. I feel like you should do whatever resonates with you and your brand. Not all artists need to be jerking on TikTok. Learn about the agreements you’re signing, know where your money is going, [and] figure out your brand. That’s a big big part of it.
What do you find yourself doing outside of music?
Working my ass off haha.
What’s on your agenda 2022?
A tour, and new music!
What advice would you give your younger self that was just starting out in their career?
Trust the process and trust the timing. Everything is in perfect order.