The Much Gay team were thrilled to stumble across River Westin on one of our many journeys through Spotify. If you haven't already worked it out, we're huge fans of vintage here at Much Gay, and River's music is exactly what we needed for 2020!
We sat down with River, who, full disclosure, we have to say is an absolutely sweetheart. There are not many people in the World who you can say are devastatingly handsome, but River is one of them. He puts us in mind of a young Elvis, or James Dean, and his style fits in perfectly with his music.
For those who haven't discovered your music yet could you tell us a little about yourself?
"My name is River, I’m a gay indie-pop artist from upstate New York, I’m a bit obsessed with vintage sounds from the late fifties and sixties and those elements definitely make their way into my music and visuals. I just put out my third independently released EP “Candy Cigarettes” earlier this year and I’m currently working on more singles to make it a full length album."
We saw a really moving post that you made on Instagram recently talking about the death of Ennio Morricone on his influence on your music. What other influences drive you?
"Yes Ennio Morricone’s western soundtracks have always inspired me. Something about those distant sounding electric guitar melodies and big orchestral instruments always give me chills. So many other genres inspire me too. I love early sixties music like Ricky Nelson, Del Shannon, Bobby Rydell, and Billy Fury. I actually think I’m going to push that direction even further next. In terms of song writing, some of my heroes are Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, and Brandon Flowers."
Your EP Candy Cigarettes dropped recently and we love it! Do you have a favourite track and what was the inspiration behind the EP?
"'Maraschino' was always my favourite! I think it echoes elements of the era I previously said and encapsulates everything I’m trying to do with my music in one track. I always tend to write in a more storytelling fashion, and all the songs on “Candy Cigarettes” kind of have that loose narrative of traveling to unfamiliar places and finding yourself in the love of your partner. Again, I was just really inspired by the sixties, old western sounds, imagery of Las Vegas…all of that was floating in my head as I was writing these songs."
You're known for your distinctive style. What does fashion mean to you, how does it influence your music and vice versa?
I think fashion is being confident in whatever you are comfortable in. I always try to use styling that brings my tracks to life the best as I can with my zero dollar budget! I’m finally in the process of creating merch for everyone and I’m excited to make some fun things inspired my songs. I work as a graphic designer by day, so like I do with my album art and videos, I’m designing it all myself.
Finally, what's next for River Westin?
Hopefully A LOT more music coming over the next year. I love song writing so much and I already have demos recorded and a theme for my next project... I’ve just got to hurry up and finish this current one first!
River's EP 'Candy Cigarettes' dropped recently and we couldn't recommend it enough! You can check out River's website here.
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