Local Forsyth teen star on the rise

Riley Biederer signs with Elton John, receives Georgia Music Hall of Fame award

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CUMMING, Ga. – The sky is the limit for 16-year-old Riley Biederer of Cumming, a talented young singer/songwriter who continues to impress music industry professionals with her strong vocals, heartfelt lyrics and unwavering self-confidence.

In early October, she performed at the 34th annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards in Marietta, where Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal presented her with the prestigious Horizon Award given to young performers from Georgia who show strong promise. To put things in perspective, last year’s Horizon Award was given to Justin Bieber.

Biederer has been playing the guitar and writing songs for over three years and is a regular performer in the Forsyth County and Alpharetta areas where she has a strong fan following, especially among 8- to 17-year-old girls.

Her career received a huge boost when a YouTube video of one of her songs caught the eye of Matt Still, an independent, Grammy-winning producer based in Atlanta who has worked with many big names in the music business.

Still brought Biederer into the studio to record demos of her songs, which he then pitched to a few key people, starting with Elton John.

Biederer, then 14, was sitting in the cafeteria of West Forsyth High School when she received a cellphone call that would change her life.

The caller? Sir Elton John himself, inviting her to sign with his artist management company, Rocket Music Entertainment.

With her career on the rise, Biederer is now homeschooled, which gives her the flexibility to fly to Los Angeles, New York or Nashville to work with the same songwriters who assist stars such as Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Adele.

“Signing with Rocket has been a big challenge for Riley,” said her father, Frank Biederer. “Elton John’s influence can open doors for her, but at the end of the day, she still has to deliver. So far, she is doing very well.”

Biederer began with country music, but in recent months has shifted to a more contemporary sound in pursuit of her dream of becoming a pop star.

She performed one of her new songs, “Who Do You Love?” at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards and invited two more budding musicians from Cumming to play in her band that evening.

Holden Fincher, who attends South Forsyth High School, and Trent Bilodeau from West Forsyth High School are both guitarists in the local alternative rock band “All We Know.”

Deal, who presented the Horizon Award to Biederer, described her as a young performer with “the valuable ability to express her real life experiences in a way that her fans can relate to.”

While those fans eagerly await the release of her debut album, Biederer is continuing her high school studies and trying to live as normal a life as possible for the youngest artist in the world currently signed with Rocket Music Entertainment.

“We are sort of percolating right now,” said her father. “Waiting for things to really take off.”

To learn more about Biederer’s music and her upcoming local performances, visit

www.rileysmusic.com or www.rocketmusic.com.

From 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 1, she will perform at South Forsyth High School during the weHeart Music Festival, a fundraiser sponsored the DECA club. Visit http://weheartsfhs.com/weHeart/category/music-talent for more information.