Mike Riley New Single, ‘Drug Dealer’ Born Out Of Hopelessness


Indie Musician

Sometimes the best way to cope with loneliness is to focus all of your energy into something you really care about and blind yourself with a ‘for better or worse’ mentality.


“Drug Dealer” was born from a feeling of hopelessness in a small, shitty one-store-town where the only thriving business is the local drug trade. It’s about feeling stuck, full of envy and betrayal as you watch the only people you care about move on.
This song was produced at Catherine North Studios. That place is heaven for a writer like me. The big old church is vibey as hell and has hosted some of the best artists in Canada. I feel very privileged to call it a home away from home.

Mike Riley is a songwriter living in West Toronto fond of big dogs and bigger guitars. 

He hasn’t let being born with a club foot in a small – shitty one store town or a divorce stop him from pursuing his passion for music. Early on, Riley picked up the guitar when all his friends were skateboarding. Music was his way into the crowd and like most teenage boys, girls were the motivator. If they couldn’t watch him kick flip at least he could learn their favourite song. Though he didn’t know it at the time, Riley was a natural songwriter and soon dropped the Dashboard Confessional covers and started writing and recording entire records in his high school bedroom.

After high school, a few DIY tours and some mild Myspace fame – Riley moved to London (ON) for College. He packed up his little recording studio and set up shop above a Starbucks in the downtown core. Hundreds of songs were recorded in that apartment. After Graduating Riley fell in love and settled down. He thought it was time to try and make it as a professional – got a job with the bank and considered starting a family. But the musical itch never left. 

Things went south with his marriage and Riley found solace in the one thing he always had, music. He picked up his guitar and wrote his way through the divorce – reinforcing his prolific nature and honest, almost therapeutic style of writing.

Settling into a new phase of his life, Riley’s appetite for music has expanded into more folk, alt-country and renegade pop sensibilities. With painfully relatable lyrics and hooks catchier than ever, his music always focuses on telling a story.


MIKE RILEY – ‘Drug Dealer’

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