Kelly Riley was born in Albany, NY and grew up in Old Saybrook, CT. One of her strongest early musical memories was not unlike that of many other American kids; singing songs in the car on family road trips. There was one slight difference, however: "I used to try and teach my little sister to sing harmonies with me. I think we were about 4 and 5. I have to admit, she got a little frustrated with me", she says smiling. Kelly moved on to singing for hours at a time by herself in the family's refinished basement: "I would sing and act out scenes from musicals like 'Funny Girl' and pretend I was performing in front of lots of people". At 13, she fell in love with playing the guitar after she borrowed her brother's and couldn't bear to give it back. She began writing songs about the same time: "I didn't study how to do it or think about it much, I just knew I wanted to express myself through music. I had already been writing a lot of poetry and singing any chance I got, so when I started playing guitar, it was kind of a natural progression for the songs to begin to flow. "
Kelly did eventually go on to study: Composition, Arranging, Recording, Production and Voice at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she began the steady process of gaining more knowledge and experience as a singer and songwriter and performed with bands across the genres of Pop, Rock, Jazz, Dance, in the varied settings of clubs, cabarets, theaters, weddings and cafes. She eventually hit the singer/songwriter scene and knew she had found a home. From the beginning, Riley garnered recognition. Her first time out on the competition circuit, she picked up a Finalist Award from the Boston Acoustic Underground Series. After that, the awards and accolades kept rolling in: Finalist/Lilith Fair, Songwriting Award/Berklee College of Music, Grand Prize/Providence Song Slam/, Top Prize/Nashville Songwriter's Association Competition, Performance Award/Northern California Songwriter's Association , Songwriting Award/ASCAP, Artist Feature/Berklee's Heavy Rotation Records Compilation, Honorable Mention/Great American Song Contest and then, opening shows for Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett and having her songs placed on national and international TV programs.
In her work as an accomplished vocalist, songwriter, guitar, bass and piano player, Kelly Riley has become a polished and recognized musical tour de force. Riley's career continues to blossom. As she adds to an ever increasing touring schedule, she is truly just hitting her stride. And with the upcoming release of her second CD in Summer, 2011, there's much more to come.