Riley Hughes began his music career playing the guitar in the small town of Montague, Michigan. At an early age, his father introduced him to bands like Led Zeppelin and Metallica, which had inspired his original aspirations of becoming a lead guitarist in a rock band, however, he quickly realized he could land more gigs as a solo act which is when he took on the coffeehouse rock singer/songwriter approach. Riley began writing his own acoustic songs more so in the style of Jack Johnson and John Mayer that were better suited for his vocal range. He soon found the creative process of writing songs to be more artistically fulfilling than performing them, which is when he decided to pursue a career in composition.
In 2008, he moved to Chicago and dove into its music scene. A city so deeply rooted in traditional Blues and Jazz, as well as modern and contemporary new music, served as a stylistic crossroad of worlds where his compositions took on a multifaceted aesthetic. Riley's work began to draw upon several more genres and styles often with greatly varying approaches. In pursuit of further enriching his stylistic influences, he moved to Valencia, Spain in 2012 to study scoring for visual media in the hub of the Mediterranean music scene with an emphasis on world music traditions.
His concert works often incorporate minimalist techniques and take a psychoacoustic perspective on musical systems to delineate form. He seeks to create gestures that blur the lines between foreground, middle ground, and background layers as they apply to the thresholds of perception, which yield textures that take on the semblance of complexity or pattern. Works written for visual media often take on a different aesthetic and either highlight melodically driven conversational elements as foreground material, or textures as a motivic and thematic gesture.
Riley Hughes has had performances at venues that include the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, the Harris Theater, and Roosevelt Auditorium, the Frauenthal Center for Performing arts, and the Sherwood Conservatory of Music. He has also had works recorded at stages such as the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios, the Ann Kris Scoring Stage in Spain, and Studio A at Capitol Records.
With a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Columbia College Chicago, he studied under the direction of Marcos Balter and Kenn Kumpf. He also holds a Masters in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video games from Berklee College of Music under the direction of Andy Hill and Laura Karpman.
Riley currently lives and works in Los Angeles California pursuing his passion for music.