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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Riley launches music website, performance career

  • “Music was my passion in life,” said Jason Riley, 31, of Hannibal, about his youth. He was explaining why he used losing a job a year ago - when U.S. Cable was bought by Charter - as an opportunity to begin what has become a full-time musical career.
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  • “Music was my passion in life,” said Jason Riley, 31, of Hannibal, about his youth. He was explaining why he used losing a job a year ago - when U.S. Cable was bought by Charter - as an opportunity to begin what has become a full-time musical career.
    “I took the opportunity to get heavily into song writing, and over six months had written between 40 and 50 songs,” Riley said, adding that at the same time he had the idea for a website, beatopia.net, for fellow musicians, “to bring together hip hop artists, producers and music makers.
    “I saw the need for that,” Riley said. “The way marketing and advertising is, I had the idea for an online magazine., which he described as “a place on the web for local hip hop to grow,” adding it offers ”a sense of community for musicians.”
    On the website, comments may be made, and it has a facebook page. Beatopia.net also offers a free music session, Riley said. “It could be a lifeline for a new artist without resources. “I am excited about the potential of it,” he said. The website was launched on Sept. 1, 2011.
    Also performing live shows
    Reporting his music background started at Hannibal High School, where he graduated in 1999, Riley said “Craig Buck was a big inspiration to me. “I had always been passionate about music and had played everything from hard rock to top 40s.” He was in several bands, playing in the Kansas City area.
    With his music, Riley says is he “trying to bridge our traditional culture with the new.“ His original compositions are “very much a classic type,” Riley said. He believes “music should be audible and have some kind of message or story.”
    When he writes a song he uses his sequencer, commonly called a “beat machine.” He described it as “an orchestra in a box” because “It gives you the creativity of having everything.” He records the melody, then adds background music. He also has instrumental songs that are used by others to record their words.
    In addition to writing songs, Riley and his brother, Josh, are singing at area businesses. He uses the name “Lifelike”  because “it represents being able to tell about real life situations.” His 21-year-old brother uses the name “Josh.0”
    Their first show was in April of this year at the Cougars Den in Quincy, Ill.
    On Halloween the Rileys will return there for a Halloween party at 9 p.m. They will award prizes including four free dinners for the best costumes.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We have had a lot of support from local businesses,” Riley said. On the Fourth of July they sang at Mugshots bar in Hannibal.
    Today, Sept. 29, they will perform at Scribbles lounge at the Hannibal Inn.
    Another gig is on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Rookies Sports Bar in Hannibal.
    Riley explained one of his songs, “Vindicated,” was dedicated to his young daughter, whom he was not with at the time. In part he wrote, “I swear to you that I will make it better, no matter what, what the circumstances are that I have to weather. We will  be together. Don’t ever let them tell you I don’t love you, no never. I know you, baby girl, you’re always in my heart forever.”
    Once when he sang “Vindicated,” Riley reported, a man about 90 years old “complimented me on the song”. Others have told him they don’t usually listen to this kind of music, but enjoy what he are doing.
    “I want to stress I know how that type of music gets a bad rap, so with my songs I try to have positive messages - getting through hard times.”
    Anyone wanting to discuss his website, beatopia.net, or his music may call him at (573) 470-9570.
     
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