Music-News recently had the opportunity to chat with rising pop artist Riley Brooke, whose latest single "Hardest Part" has already accumulated just under 50,000 streams on Spotify.

How old were you when you first started singing?
I’ve been singing ever since I can remember. I would sing along to a song on the radio when I was little, even if I couldn’t say most of the words. I would put on singing shows for my family at family events. My mom says that she never needed the radio because I would just be singing all day every day.

Do you play an instrument as well?
I’m learning to play the Ukulele, it’s such a unique instrument.

What was that a-ha moment where you realized you wanted to do this for a living?
I began writing songs at a young age. The songs were absolutely horrible and insanely cheesy, but I loved it. I thought to myself, how cool would it be if I turned on the radio one day, and I heard myself.

Who and what are your biggest musical inspirations?
Definitely Sam Smith. I’ve always loved how you can just tell his songs have a story behind them. The same emotion that's in his voice is what I fell in love with about music. I also love Billie Eilish. I love seeing how she has changed and pushes the music world.

Tell us about your new power pop ballad 'Hardest Part'! how'd that come about?
This song has quite the back story. When I went to the recording studio in New York to record my songs, I decided not to record and release one of the songs. My crazy talented producer and I ended up writing Hardest Part there in the studio, which was the most amazing experience. We started by putting together some instrumentals and a melody. My producer then said ok, I’m going to play this on repeat and you're going to see what comes to mind. As I was listening, I started to remember a song that I tried writing on my own a year or so ago when I was new to songwriting. The reason I started songwriting was to cope with the things that happened around me. I wrote a song about coming to terms with an absent father. When I tried writing it on my own, it was hard to find the right words. But there in the recording studio, it came so easily and it felt like everything just clicked.

What's on the horizon for 2021?
I would love to play local shows, continue creating content, and staying connected with people on my socials. As well as showing more of the behind the scenes of everything.

How can new fans find you online?
I share a lot of my music on my Instagram account (@rileycastagno) and I mainly use that platform to interact with the people that listen to my music. My songs are on Spotify and Apple and all the streaming platforms. I also post on TikTok.