KLAW Radio Featured Artist Risa Binder

It’s Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday and today we feature an artist who is drawing praise across the country, currently touring as the opening act for Ronnie Milsap’s farewell tour. This past Saturday night, she drew a standing ovation at the end of her set at the Sugar Creek Casino’s event center warming the audience up properly for Milsap.

Risa Binder is not your normal up-and-coming country singer. Born in raised in Columbia, MD, Binder took a detour through the country hot bed of Brooklyn, NY on her road to Nashville, a borough whose only other contribution to country music was Eddie Rabbitt. But much like it did for Rabbitt, it gave Binder that “New York toughness” that helps one survive the twists and turns of Nashville. Her time in the city didn’t dim the memories of a childhood running through farmlands and deserted barns, it simply honed the edges.


Performing seemed to always be in Risa’s blood, singing from an early age (as she says from the time she could talk) and then following both of her parents into the theater, which is where her love of country music flourished. As soon as she was old enough, Binder moved to Brooklyn to pursue her career, soon finding herself saving all of her money from waitressing to finance trips to Nashville, attending songwriter nights at the legendary Bluebird Cafe and immersing herself in the city’s sights and sounds.

Binder found herself one of the most popular new artists at the 2014 CMA Festiville in Nashville, signing a constant flow of autographs at the Farm Boy/Farm Girl brands booth. After every show she hosts a “Sweet and Greet” for fans, where she chats and signs autographs and serves her guests cupcakes or other treats procured from local vendors.

Risa has been out on tour in support of her debut EP Nashville, opening for such legendary acts as Milsap and James Taylor. The EP was produced by Luke Wooten, the noted producer who has worked with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Kellie Pickler. Her song “Just Like That” from the EP was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Song in a Daytime Drama, after its prominent feature on the daytime drama General Hospital.

Binder and Wooten are currently in the studio on her off-days, working on her first full length album, a project that features songs from legendary Nashville writers Chuck Jones, Matraca Berg, Phil Barton, and more. The first single from the project is in our spotlight today. Risa Binder and “Pretty” is today’s Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday Catch of the Day, new music you haven’t heard, but you’ll want to hear it again.

Read more on KLAW.com here!

Singer/Songwriter Risa Binder Releases Heartfelt New Single 'Pretty'

Having already opened for legends like James Taylor and Ronnie Milsap, its safe to say that singer/songwriter Risa Binder is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. Now riding the success of her critically acclaimed album, Nashville (released last year), Binder has unveiled an amazing new single, “Pretty”.

Produced by Luke Wooten - whose credits include songs with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Kelly Pickler, “Pretty” is a heartfelt song that captures the essence of the human spirit in a positive and meaningful way. Add to it Binder’s own unique vocal delivery and an anthemic, arena friendly, sing-a-long chorus and “Pretty” may just become the beautiful artist’s signature song.

AXS recently spoke to Risa Binder about “Pretty”, touring with Ronnie Milsap and what she loves most about songwriting.

AXS: How did your new single, “Pretty” come about?

Risa Binder: I’m usually the writer on every song that I do but this particular song is one that I didn’t write. I was in the studio working on my record with my producer, Luke Wooten when he said to me “Risa! You have to hear this!” I remember crying when I heard it for the first time because I could relate to the message and I know a lot of other people can to.

AXS: Can you tell me more about the message behind the song?

RB: It’s really a song for everyone. We all have insecurities and flaws but whatever you think are flaws - they’re really not. They’re what make you, you. So even if you don’t feel that way at this very moment, you’re pretty - right now!

AXS: As an artist, what do you look for in a song that you record?

RB: The story in a song really piques my interest. I also love melody. One of the things I love the most about “Pretty” is the chorus. I get to ask everyone to sing with me because I know they’ve experienced those same feelings too. The element of having everyone come together in a song is very powerful.

AXS: What’s your writing process like? What inspires you?

RB: Just being alive is what inspires me. As far as writing goes, I’ll usually get a chorus in my head and then the lyrics or the melody will start to come together. I also love the collaborative process of co-writing and sitting with other people creating a song together. The teamwork is incredible and we leave the room with something we didn’t have when we started.

AXS: Is there something you’ve learned from the collaborative process?

RB: Every time I sit down with someone I learn that you’re never finished. There’s always ways to stretch yourself and get better at your craft. That’s the ultimate. We’re always creating. The main thing I’ve learned is that there’s always a new idea, and just when you think you’re done and don’t have another song in you, you realize that you do!

AXS: What do you like most about writing in Nashville?

RB: There’s a musical synchronicity here that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I remember one night I went to The Bluebird Café and all of Garth Brooks writers were in a round together. I got to hear his record get sung down by the writers who wrote it. It completely changed my life listening to the writer sing their own songs.

AXS: What can you tell me about your next album?

RB: We’re about seven songs in so far. It shows a sassier side of me and I'm super excited about it. I’m used to writing upbeat songs but there are other songs on this record, including one about breaking up with someone when you really don't want to let go.

AXS: You’ve spent the last year opening for Ronnie Milsap. What’s that experience been like?

RB: It’s been an incredible experience. I like to say that every night I get a lesson in legend, because that’s what he is. There are nights I won’t know it where he’ll be standing there in the wings listening to my performance and it’s mind blowing.

AXS: Did you always know that you wanted a career in music?

RB: Absolutely. I remember being five-years-old sitting in my playroom singing and grew up listening to artists like Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Martina McBride. I was always writing songs about boys I had crushes on and telling stories through my songs.

AXS: What excites you the most about the next phase of your career?

RB: I’m looking forward to taking "Pretty" and these other new songs on the road and making new friends and fans as we go. Music is one of the greatest ways to connect people to each other and I can’t wait to get out there. I’m a firm believer that if you give your dreams focus and hard work, they really do come true!

Read more on AXS.com here!

Risa Binder, ‘Where the Wind Takes Me’ Exclusive Premiere with The Boot

Country newcomer Risa Binder is gaining attention for her catchy songs, bubbly personality and deep love for songwriting, and she’s premiering “Where the Wind Takes Me” exclusively to readers of The Boot.

The Maryland native, who recently relocated from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Nashville, explains that this song came to her in the most unusual place — and the story involves greasy fish and chips.
“Its amazing how song titles pop up in my life. I was a waitress at a fish and chips shop in Brooklyn and overheard two friends talking at the bar,” Binder tells The Boot. “One said, ‘What are you going to do now?’ The other said, ‘I don’t know … I guess I’ll go where the wind takes me,’ and I thought, ‘Thank you! That’s a song!’ And I began to write it on a bar napkin.”

“Where the Wind Takes Me” is a B-side from Binder’s latest EP Nashville, which was inspired by Music City. The five-song EP was released in August and produced by Luke Wooten, who has worked with Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch and more.

“It was such an amazing time working with him,” Binder says. “I came in and sang a couple of my songs, and then Luke sent me songs, and what was so amazing was, he just got me so quickly. He understood who I was as an artist, and the songs that he sent me were so great. It was an awesome collaboration, for sure.”

Read more on TheBoot.com here!