Between touring the world with her band R5 and starting her own clothing line, Rydel is one of the most influential, hard-working gals on the scene at the moment, and definitely someone to watch this year. She has a strong YouTube and social media following as well, constantly keeping in contact with fans and growing her opportunities for success in the busy entertainment industry.
We got the chance to speak with Rydel and hear all about her success with R5, how she manages so many different projects at once, and what she has coming up this year.
Taylor Magazine: Tell us about you and what you do!
Rydel: My name is Rydel and I’m 24. My main profession is being the keyboard player for the band R5 – I’ve been in the band for 10 years now! Recently, I launched my own clothing line and online boutique.
Taylor Magazine: How did the band get started?
Rydel: The band is made up of myself, three of my brothers and my boyfriend who is the drummer. We’re a close-knit group! It’s one of those things that came out of nowhere – it was a total garage band type of thing. When the boys were jamming out in high school they just said to me one day, ‘Rydel, you should play keys for us!’ I had taken piano lessons, but I only really knew the basics so I decided to just self-teach. All of the boys are self-taught as well and I just started YouTubing how to play the piano.
Taylor Magazine: Had it been something you’d always wanted to get into?
Rydel: I never thought I’d be in a touring band. I grew up dancing so that’s where I thought I was going to go. One thing led to another, and the band happened. It was a big surprise but I love working with my brothers and my boyfriend. I’m so glad that my mum raised me and my brothers really close.
Taylor Magazine: Can you pinpoint a time when you realised that this was something that was going to be successful?
Rydel: The very first time was when we played the Orange County Fair. My oldest brother was on Glee, and right after that tour we played the fair. It was the first time around 100 people showed up to see us and that was the first time we noticed that we had fans.
“My boyfriend and my brothers are definitely my best friends, so working with them is absolutely my favourite part.” – Rydel
Taylor Magazine: What has been a real career highlight for you?
Rydel: One of the huge moments that I always look back on is the fact that we’ve been able to do three world tours. A big moment was when we played the Greek Theatre in L.A. – it’s a huge venue which was insane! Our biggest show to date was Buenos Aires in Argentina, which sold out to 8,000 people. All of those little random things have been great.
Taylor Magazine: What’s happening for you outside of band life?
Rydel: The clothing line thing I’ve just recently started and it was something I always wanted to do. My mum and I have always talked about it and I knew that I wanted to do it and went with it. I’m going to keep working that out.
Taylor Magazine: Because the band is mainly men, is it quite nice to have something a bit girly outside of that?
Rydel: Yeah absolutely! I definitely have a really girly side, but I have a tom-boy side too. The clothing line is such a girly thing – photoshoots, picking new items, checking trends.
Taylor Magazine: How do you manage your time? It sounds like you have a lot on!
Rydel: I wake up really early! I’m a fast worker and so I just get lots done. I’m way more productive in the mornings so that’s my important time to get things done. Then when it comes to 6pm, I can chill and watch Netflix.
Taylor Magazine: Is there anything that you’re obsessed with at the moment?
Rydel: Modern Family! It’s so funny. I’m glad it has so many seasons!
“We post a lot together and we’re very real. We’re always ourselves because we’re always around each other. Our authenticity and being true to ourselves is appealing to people I think.” – Rydel
Taylor Magazine: How would you spend your dream day off?
Rydel: I’d still like to wake up early. I’d help my mum cook a big breakfast for the family and then we’d go and play baseball. I’d eat a big lunch (I’m a foodie!) and I love going to the movies, so I would fit that in somewhere! A family orientated day for sure. We always play cards, so that would be in there too.
Taylor Magazine: What is your all-time favourite movie?
Rydel: I love Tangled!
Taylor Magazine: All-time favourite song to perform or listen to?
Rydel: I love listening to our song “Lay Your Head Down” – it’s a cute love song, kind of slow. To play, I love performing “Did You Have Your Fun?” because we usually close with it, so we just go mad. We’re rocking out as hard as we can and it’s totally different to how it sounds on the record when we do it live.
Taylor Magazine: You’ve travelled a lot – what place has stood out for you?
Rydel: I love Tokyo – the Japanese fashion is inspiring for me. I’d love to go to Dubai, Singapore, India. We’ve been to Tel Aviv once as well and I’d love to go back there.
Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Rydel: Keep smiling! Don’t lose your work ethic, because it’s a good one!
Taylor Magazine: What do you do to de-stress and wind down?
Rydel: Netflix! I love getting massages, manicures and pedicures. Typical beauty stuff always makes me feel better!
Taylor Magazine: What should we look out for from you?
Rydel: More from my clothing line, that’s definitely something I’m going to keep working on. There are new launches and re-stocks every week so lots of new stuff coming! I’m still going to keep going with music so there will be more YouTube videos, more new music and just seeing what comes my way!