Following the first leg of a sold-out European tour which included a sold-out date in London at Union Chapel, RIOPY – the self-taught Franco-British pianist/composer with nearly half a billion streams to his name and an album which has been at the top of the US Billboard charts for nearly two years – is releasing [extended] Bliss on 26th August.
[Extended] Bliss will feature three brand-new singles including the recently released, First Waltz and Human Compassion, which expresses the optimism and hope only someone who has experienced a harrowing life can.
The pianist – whose fortunes changed when he was given a Steinway piano by Coldplay’s Chris Martin – has channeled a troubled past into his music, which serves as a source for positivity, mindfuless and solace to millions around the world. He is also noted for creating powerful and expressive music for brands (IKEA, Mercedes, Peugeot, Armani and Samsung) and film trailers (The Danish Girl, My Turner, The Shape of Water and The Sense of an Ending), as well as documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
His last album, Tree of Life has remained in the top 10 of the Billboard charts for more than 90 weeks and took the top spot in January 2022. This Sunday will also see RIOPY perform a special concert outside Le Louvre.
Watch 'The First Waltz' - BELOW:
RIOPY’s story is extraordinary.
Born in rural France, his mother left home with him when he was six months old, eventually joining a cult, where family ties were discouraged and obedience to the head guru was paramount. Deprived of any outside culture, young Jean-Philippe taught himself to play on an abandoned piano when he was two, making up songs in his head, then performing them.
To escape the cult, he was forced to cut off all communications with his family. He finally got out on the day he turned 18. Throughout his time in the cult and once out trying to find his new life, he battled depression, OCD and addiction.
After periods of homelessness, he finally moved to England getting a job in a music shop in Reading where he befriended a kindly academic who encouraged him to apply and win a place at university. He began working as a pianist in bars and venues across London and was heard one day by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who generously gifted Riopy his first piano, putting him on the pathway to his global success. RIOPY began to take control of his life and turn it around with yoga, meditation, clean living and hard work.
He has no doubt that music saved him.
“The music set me free,” RIOPY says, recalling how it was a place of escape during his childhood and helped him to conquer his persistent OCD. “I discovered a place in my mind where I could compose and create. When I focused on music, it left no room for any other thoughts."
Talking about his forthcoming album [extended] Bliss. “It’s all about feeling for me. This record is very important for me because ‘bliss’ is what I wanted to share. Music can heal. The purity of the piano, along with my own tuning, are designed to bring us to that state. Music can’t cure everything, but for what’s going on now, it can certainly help with our mental condition.”