Fil Bo Riva


I have been spending time with Fil Bo Riva


as he tells me about the brand-new single, Go Rilla, and the strange inspiration behind it. I ask when more material might come and when music came into his life; which albums are most important to him and whether there are gigs coming up.

The songwriter tells me what he wants to achieve by the end of the year; which artist he’d support given the chance; if he gets time to chill away from his busy schedule – he ends the interview with a great song choice.


Hi, Fil Bo Riva. How are you? How has your week been?

All great, man!

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?

I'm a solo musician but also a band. I would describe our music as a mix of Folk, Soul and Indie. The music plays with strong dynamics and big vocal parts. Hard to describe it but I'd be best to just listen to the songs.

Go Rilla is your latest single. What is the story behind the song?

I first came up with the idea to the song in Manchester in 2016 while supporting Joan As Police Woman through Europe that winter. It was raining outside and I was in the bathroom just before soundcheck.

Somehow, I started staring at this poster of the club we were playing called Gorilla. I don’t know why but I just got a flash inspiration; took my phone out and immediately started singing the chorus, melody and words. Everything else developed some time after when I found other lyrics I had written down after a dream - most of these words suited what I had in mind and so it just ended up being what it is now: a song about unbridled passion and the rapturous idea of escaping the real world.

How do you feel your work has evolved since the start? Do you feel more adventurous and confident as a songwriter?

I noticed a bigger interest in experimenting with other instruments and sounds, but also in the way I write. Sometimes, songs come out longer and maybe a bit too complex. But, that's something that you can adjust while writing. It's good to try different things.

Might we see more material in 2019?

Of course. Our debut album will come out in early-2019. Very excited about it.


Give me a sense of when music came into your life. Did you grow up around a lot of different sounds?

I was around ten…that's when I got my first guitar. I didn't really listen to music but I started playing. We weren't a very musical family but my parents used to listen to good music - stuff like ABBA, Queen or The Bee Gees. Sometime after getting my first guitar, I discovered The Beatles through my neighbours and fell in love immediately.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?

Well. We're still finishing off the last songs for the album, so we'll have it mixed and mastered by the end of the year.

Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?

Playing in front of 3,000 people in Cologne in 2016 was mad. We played a handful of gigs before that as a duo and we were opening for Matt Corby. I've never been so scared before! 


 PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Brill

Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?

Very hard. That's a question where I never know what to answer cos it's always Beatles albums. Haha. So, I would say: ‘The Red Album’, ‘The Blue Album’ and the ‘1’ album.

If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

Today, I'd choose Bon Iver cos the music somehow suites me and the audiences (at his shows) were always very quiet and respectful.

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Focus on your songwriting and on your person. Stay yourself but try and find something that makes you stand out from others. Make everything with love and try to share your work; don't try and do everything your own.


 PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Brill

Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?

Tour dates will be announced this Friday… 

Do you think you’ll come to the U.K. and play next year?

Of course!

How important is it being on the stage and playing your music to the people?

That's something I had to get used to. I didn't like it at the start but I had to get used to it and finally I started finding a way to love it.


  PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Brill

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

Not really - but I'm constantly thinking about finding something

Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

Aretha Franklin - Think


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