Soul-uplifting songs

Young musician Riordan Stewart-McDougall. 151974

By JUSTIN FLYNN

TALENTED young musician Riordan Stewart-McDougall can’t wait to perform at Ocean Grove’s Uniting Church.
The 18-year-old from Grovedale discovered she could sing at the age of 12 and then taught herself to play the acousitic guitar when she was 13. She still doesn’t know how to read music and is fully self-taught.
“My eldest brother had an acoustic classic guitar, but he stopped using it, and one day I just started strumming,” she said.
“I was 12 when I started (singing), so I listened to a song by another artist and started singing it. It progressed slowly. I’ll sometimes cringe when I hear myself, but I received a lot of encouragement.”
Riordan writes all her own songs and said her genre is influenced by her devout Christianity.
“I like to weave it (her faith) in with all the lyrics,” she said. “It’s who I am.”
Her first single, ‘A Reason to Live’, gained airplay on radio station 96three and Riordan self-released her first CD, ‘Find Yourself’, in 2013, and then released ‘Give Me My Heart’ in November 2014.
Concertgoers at Riordan’s show can expect to hear these songs and a few that she has never performed.
“I’m going to be playing an acoustic set of songs and some are unreleased,” she said. “You can expect to hear some new songs.”
Although Riordan’s songwriting is influenced by her faith, she loves to dance and loves words and reading.
She says telling stories through music is one her favourite things about being a musician, but it’s her songwriting that allows her to convey her innermost thoughts.
“I love both (singing and songwriting), but I do enjoy the songwriting side because it’s so creative,” she said.
Riordan said she loved Ocean Grove.
“We’ve been to the beach a lot,” she said.
“It’s beautiful there.”
You can catch Riordan’s show on Friday 8 April at 7pm. Tickets are $10 per adult and $5 per child, which includes drinks and nibbles. Tickets are available at the church office between 9am and 11am Thursdays and Fridays or at the door.

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