**** Critically Acclaimed Debut Album "Paper Heart" produced by Marshall Altman (Natasha Beddingfield, Matt Nathanson) out now
***Opened for James Taylor
***Songs placed on Oprah, ABC's Cougartown, The Lifetime Channel
***Starting next record with Luke Wooten in Nashville (Kellie Pickler, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley)
To Risa, anything can be a microphone, "I remember when I was growing up...I used to sing to the "Flashdance" album, in my family room, using an ear of corn as my mic"
Now Risa is taking her music dreams and making them reality. After Opening for James Taylor, Risa spent this past fall in Nashville recording her debut full length album with producer Marshall Altman (Natasha Beddingfield, Matt Nathanson, Ingrid Michaelson) An emerging singer/songwriter, Risa's song "All The While" won the Songwriters Hall of Fame New Writer Award. Her song "Falling Apart" can be heard in the movie "Queen Sized" on the Lifetime Channel. She has the pleasure of recording with producers and musicians who work with Joss Stone, India Arie, Norah Jones, LeAnn Womack, Martina McBride. Risa performed for New York's Z100 Zootopia pre-show opening for Akon, as well as performed the National Anthem in Giant Staduim and RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Festivals include the Dewey Beach Music Fest, NACA National and Regional Conventions, Westpoint Military Academy as well as performing at several colleges up and down the east coast. Risa's soaring vocals and catchy hooks stay ingrained on your mind long after seeing her perform. For all things Risa check out www.risabinder.com
Ryan Bull - Guitar
Lee Nadel - Bass
John Deley - keys
Doug Yowell - Drums
Anthea White - Background Vocals
Paper Heart - Feb. 14th 2012
Songwriters Hall of Fame Compilation Vol. 3
Risa - EP
Risa "All The While" on itunes
Dewey Beach Music Festival Compilation CD 2006
Quote from Songwriter's Hall of Fame
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"I've showcased literally hundreds of talented new artists over the past 15 years...Risa is one of t..."I've showcased literally hundreds of talented new artists over the past 15 years...Risa is one of those who I believe will truly make it in this tough industry... In fact, I'd bet on it. "
Songwriters Hall of Fame
Risa on the Rise
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"Risa can tune into your emotions. Making her debut into the music industry...she sings with a heart..."Risa can tune into your emotions. Making her debut into the music industry...she sings with a heart of gold"
check out full review at www.itsinny.com
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http://www.explorehoward.com/arts/61975/pop-music-risa-rising/ When pop singer Risa comes to Colu...http://www.explorehoward.com/arts/61975/pop-music-risa-rising/
When pop singer Risa comes to Columbia to perform at the Wine in Woods festival, it will be more than just another gig for the single-named singer-songwriter.
The performance will mark a homecoming for this Brooklyn, N.Y.-based musician, who grew up in Columbia's Thunder Hill neighborhood. In those days she was known as Risa Binder when she performed at local spots like Toby's Dinner Theatre and was a member of the Young Columbians stage troupe.
But after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, the Howard County native decided to put her studies in theater and voice to good use by heading off to the Big Apple to pursue a musical career on Broadway.
She got her Actors' Equity card and did a lot of auditioning for plays. But after a while, the pop spotlight started to look better to her than the footlights.
"I had always written music, and I would go and do open mic nights, and I built a band and just played my music," she explains.
"There were people here in New York who were so helpful. They hooked me up to write with other writers, and I just started building a community in the music world and went in that direction."
Although Risa says she still loves the stage and continues to audition and do staged readings, she's now fully committed to her music, which she defines as "pop rock with country soul." She even says she likes the entrepreneurial side of the music business as much as the artistic side.
Her entrepreneurial skills were useful when Warehouse Productions offered her a chance to record a collection of eight songs for her new EP as a way to promote herself to record companies. Her musical influences are well displayed on the disc, which touches on everything from Top-40 dance music ("Second Time Around") to countrified ballads ("You Made it Rain") and pop candy ("That Kinda Day").
"I love all different genres of music," she is quick to acknowledge. "Everything from Donny Hathaway and soul stuff to James Taylor to more current things. If someone asked me, 'Hey, who are you and how do you fit into this world?' I would say I'm a cross between Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride. I can cross over between the worlds of pop and country very well."
The Howard High graduate is now getting the chance to test market her musical wares as an opening act for some high-profile artists, including one recent gig with pop legend James Taylor at Florida's Sunfest.
One of her songs, "Falling Apart," was featured in a Lifetime television movie and another is used as a theme song for a Nashville news broadcast.
Risa opened for Gavin Degraw and Akon before a crowd of 70,000 people as the New York radio station WHTZ's "Zootopia" concert. That experience provided the impetus to take her recording career far more seriously.
"That day, I looked out and saw all the people that came to the event and I thought, 'I can do this if I keep moving forward,'" she recalls. "So I just started writing more and traveling to Nashville and to Los Angeles. I just believe whatever you put your mind to, you can accomplish if you stay focused."
Risa also won a Songwriters Hall of Fame award for new songwriters for her track "All the While." Her last performance in Columbia was as a finalist at last year's Celebration of the Arts' "Rising Stars" competition.
Her connections in Nashville and New York have paid off in songwriting collaborations with composers who have penned songs for such heavy hitters as the Click Five and the Backstreet Boys. Her live show is keeping her plenty busy on the road these days.
"My band includes players that have played with everyone from Nora Jones to Joss Stone to India.Arie," she says. "My dream would be to be signed to a major or independent label and continue to tour and to write for myself and other people."
Risa will perform Sunday, May 17, from 2-3:30 p.m. at Wine in the Woods, held in Symphony Woods outside the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Admission is $25 general, $20 for designated drivers, $5 for people aged 4-10 and free for children aged 3 and younger. Call 410-313-4700 or go to www.wineinthewoods.com. Risa's music can be heard at www.risasmusic.com.
Risa Opens for James Taylor
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"Risa Binder is also sweet, with influences that range from Donny Hathaway to Martina McBride..... S..."Risa Binder is also sweet, with influences that range from Donny Hathaway to Martina McBride..... She’s proof that you can’t tell a book by her bright, blond, Cobie/Natasha cover. She looks all peppy, and when she opens her mouth, Roberta Flack comes out. It’s awesome. She’s also a University of Maryland grad, like myself, and a native of Columbia, Maryland, a racially diverse planned community planned by the Hulk’s grandfather. Seriously. Look it up." Leslie Streeter, Palm Beach Post Blog
Risa currently has a 90 minute set with originals and cover tunes thrown in..She loves performing both acoustically and with a full band depending on the venue's needs.