Coryn Rivera - Team sunweb
CORYN has been blowing doors off for years but in her first season for Team Sunweb she's blown up what ever those doors were attached to, winning among others, the Tour of Flanders and leading the World Tour. We spoke with the owner of 71 stars and stripes jerseys about why vinyl is better, taking American music to European teammates and why she can't tell us the story behind that one song.
Disc Breaks: When were you born and where did you grow up?
CORYN: I was born in Garden Grove, California and grew up in Cypress, California then moved to Tustin, California when I was about 6 or 7. Orange County girl always and forever.
Disc Breaks: What is your Current City?
CORYN: While racing in Europe I am in Sittard in the Netherlands and when I’m at home I have my own place in Costa Mesa, California.
Disc Breaks: Do you take on any musical tastes from where you’re based or your travels during the season?
CORYN: I think I do really like to represent being American while I’m in Europe. Whether it be current rap or older hip-hop or just going straight up country on my teammates, I love giving them a taste of what it really means to be American. Sometimes they try to come back at me with Dutch music, but I think it is pretty easy to vote for what is more enjoyable!
Disc Breaks: Give us some current or older hip hop tunes that you are pumping on the regular
CORYN: Some current rap/hip hop/r&b I’ve been playing is like Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Drake, Childish Gambino. And older stuff that’s a bit more recognizable like Montell Jordan, Juvenile, R. Kelly, Outkast, Usher, Ice Cube. Some Tupac and NWA every now and then, but I find it hard to please my teammates with that kind of rap, haha.
Disc Breaks: What was the last race you did? What music did were listening to to get you through the transfers and travel?
CORYN: My last race was the Prudential Ride London Classique. I was listening to Post Malone’s album Stoney on the travels there and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange on the travels back. More chilled out rap on the border of R&B with more of a mellow beat.
Disc Breaks: I just realised that Post Malone isn’t the late ASAP Yams. They look so similar.
CORYN: haha kind of similar, but not. They are definitely different.
Disc Breaks: What music do you remember growing up around? Who was the first person to get you into music?
CORYN: I grew up with my parents listening to the KOST 103.5 which is mostly older music from my parent’s time. I love it still to this day. Older music that is a bit more soulful contemporary from their days. I think my parents really got me into music. I remember being in the motorhome on the drive home from a week long snowboard trip from Mammoth trying to stay awake so we can make it back to the house all jamming out to Bob Marley or Simply Red or James Taylor.
Disc Breaks: Southern Cali has the best radio stations. I remember driving PCH listening to KOST fm.
CORYN: It really does have the best! All different kinds of genres and moods. I think that has a lot to do with the diversity out west.
Disc Breaks: What is the first song you remember liking?
CORYN: N*SYNC - Bye bye bye.
Disc Breaks: Did you play a music instrument as a kid?
CORYN: In grade school when music programs were becoming more of an option, I wanted to join in and play the saxophone because I thought it would be cool. My parents didn’t really play a wind instrument like that so I don’t think they were really into it. But later they signed me up for piano lessons because my dad used to play piano. It didn't last very long because my instructor was kind of mean. So I didn’t really practice and one time when he came for a lesson I just sat there and didn’t play a single thing because I didn’t practice and that was the end of that. I memorized one song that I really like that my dad actually taught me and I am still able to play duet with my grandma and my dad when we have family get-togethers, but other than that I pretty much retained nothing from that evil instructor.
Disc Breaks: That is such a common story with people and their piano teachers, I wonder why they are all so mean? At least you’ve still got something you can play, and with your dad and grandma no less, most people seem to forget everything.
CORYN: Haha I’m not sure. I think it takes a special kind of person to really like piano. Either playing classical stuff or being musically gifted and creative and coming up with new songs or melodies. I’m neither so I guess that’s the end of the road for me with piano!
Disc Breaks: If you could go back and learn a musical instrument, which would it be and why?
CORYN: Guitar. I think there is something sexy and soulful about it. You can serenade with it or bring it to the beach or at a camp fire and chill and play.
Disc Breaks: What sort of music would you want to be able to play for people? Would you sing as well?
CORYN: Probably some classic sing-a-long stuff that most people would enjoy and know of. I think I would only sing if I was good at it. I don’t think I’m really that good so maybe at a fun camp fire everyone can sing louder than me so no-one can hear! Haha
Disc Breaks: What musical phases have you been a part of throughout your life? What songs defined each of those phases?
CORYN: I think it started with the boy bands like The Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC…song to define I think Bye Bye Bye. Then I got into more punk like Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, etc…song to define I think probably Blink-182’s All The Small Things and Sum 41’s Fat Lip. Then I got into more mainstream pop in high school…hard to pick just one for this, maybe some kind of Lady Gaga song or any top 40 hit of the time. Towards the end of high school I was more into rap, hip hop, R&B…I would choose Ignition by R.Kelly. Then got more into EDM in college…probably choose any Kygo song for this period. Then some country on longer road trips. But now, I honestly listen to everything and it really just depends on my mood. Rap, country, nostalgic music, older contemporary, jawaiian, edm. I just don’t really listen to emo or screamo stuff.
Disc Breaks: What sort of country music are you into now? Can you name some Jawaiian stuff as well, that is pretty niche.
CORYN: Like some Thomas Rhet, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church or Brad Paisley for country. And Jawaiian is a mix of Jamaican and Hawaiian music. So very chill and relaxed. I don’t listen to specific jawaiian artists but more playlist that will probably include Iration, Three Plus, and Ekolu.
Disc Breaks: What was the first album you bought with your own money?
CORYN: I hate to admit that the first CD I bought was a Backstreet Boys CD! Super ashamed of it now, but I was into the boy bands back then!
Disc Breaks: There is definitely a place for the Backstreet Boys in history. I hated them at the time but I’ve grown a fondness for them over the years. Which CD was it?
CORYN: I don’t even remember, but I had to look it up to remember. I think it was the Millennium album.
Disc Breaks: What was the first gig / concert you remember going to?
Coryn: I think the first ever concert I went to was a Kenny Loggins concert with my parents. But the first one I ever went to with my friends was a Vans Warped Tour concert where Katy Perry and Blink-182 and some other punk bands. I remember being a little terrified at the Warped tour because there were so many tats and mosh pits but I stayed away from danger and still had some fun seeing the bands I really liked.
Disc Breaks: Kenny Loggins would have been pretty cool. Did he play Footloose? As an Aussie all I wanted was to go to the Warped tour one day, purely because of the song Rock Show by Blink 182. Never got there. What year was that?
CORYN: Yes! He did! Was really cool. Made me appreciate the movie even more also! Oh man. Hard to remember for sure what year I went…I think it was about 2007 or so because I was 14 or 15 at the time, if I remember correctly.
Disc Breaks: What's the best gig / concert you've been to?
CORYN: I went to see Imagine Dragons in Indianapolis when I was at Marian University. I went with my half-sister that lived in the area and met up with some friends closer to the stage. They had a good vibe and started the concert with this huge gong and then they used a lot of different drums during their show. It was just a good vibe and good music.
Disc Breaks: Any songs stand out from that performance?
CORYN: On Top of the World was a good and fun song with a sick drum intro that went into a clapping melody, and feel-good lyrics.
Disc Breaks: Who's a teammate with the worst musical taste you’ve had to endure?
CORYN: #1 Floortje Mackaij. Haha, she just replays hit songs over and over and over again and just kills them. They are always good songs, but when they go on repeat it just ruins it for me.
Disc Breaks: That is devastating when that happens. Is it just one song at a time on repeat until even she can’t handle it and then onto a new one or does she cycle a few at a time?
CORYN: She cycles a couple at a time. It’s like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber types of songs and music on repeat. They aren’t terrible songs, but they become terrible after hearing it 300 times!
Disc Breaks: How about the teammate with the best music taste?
CORYN: Julia Soek. I think we both have similar taste in music. She was my first roommate on Team Sunweb during our team meeting and she pulled out her speaker and started playing music right away and I enjoyed what she played! So far, so good on her musical choices.
Disc Breaks: What was she playing and who has she introduced you to musically?
CORYN: She played a mix of older and newer music but all with really good beats. Like playing Get Down on It by Kool & The Gang, Sister Sledge, and newer stuff like The Weeknd. Some music she played I never heard of was The Lagoons, Christine and the Queens, and Matisyahu.
Disc Breaks: What song would you listen to put you in the right place for a race?
Coryn: Any song from Kendrick Lamar’s album good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Disc Breaks: What is that mood for you?
CORYN: I think that mood is like a kick-ass, don’t f*ck with me kind of mood in a good way. I wouldn’t say it get’s me angry because I don’t want to be angry for a race. Just pumped, ready, confident, a good feeling, but no one is going to mess me with or my team.
Disc Breaks: Does anyone take control of the music on the bus and what do they play?
CORYN: I think that is usually me. I try to play something that pleases most of the girls and not so much play what I entirely want to hear. Usually something more popular on the relaxed side with a good beat.
Disc Breaks: Have you ever had a ‘victory’ song or a track you associate with any performance, good or bad?
CORYN: Post Malone - Congratulations, is a good one post victory! After winning stage 3 at Tour of California this year, the team had to find a song that we could all jam to to celebrate the win in the car drive back to the hotel. Our director loved nostalgic music, then I had to please a young french teammate, a young german teammate, a Canadian, and 2 dutchies. Apparently we settled on Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond…the kids had to look up the lyrics but we were able to get the “Sweet Caroline, BAH BAH BAH!!!” part down, haha.
Disc Breaks: Have you ever worn your ipod during a race?
CORYN: Haha, I have always wanted to. Especially in a TT because I get bored pretty fast. But I have never actually done it before.
Disc Breaks: What song do you play to get things started when you’re throwing a party?
CORYN: Hmm. I think that depends on what kind of party we’re talking. But I don’t think you could go wrong with Get Down on It by Kool & The Gang.
Disc Breaks: Does musical taste influence how well you’re going to get along with someone? If so what’s a song that if someone played would let you know you’d probably get along?
CORYN: I think musical taste definitely influences how well we’re going to get along. I don’t think it means we are going to hate each other, but we might have less in common. I think music taste has a lot to do with your personality and character. I actually think any older song that I also like with a good beat would hint that we would probably get along…like maybe some Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, etc. Because I feel like most everyone likes the current top 40, but not everyone knows or likes older funky jams.
Disc Breaks: A song that would instantly turn you off someone?
CORYN: Just about any Ed Sheeran song. Thanks Floortje.
Disc Breaks: So I take it you weren’t a fan of his GoT cameo then?
CORYN: By GoT I’m assuming you mean Game of Thrones? If so, I don’t really watch any of that or into that kind of show. And if you don’t mean Game of Thrones, then I have no idea what you’re talking about lol. I just block out Ed Sheeran in general. Next!
Disc Breaks: What!? You don't watch Game of Thrones? Well I guess that's lucky given your dislike for Sheeran. Have you ever played a song to impress a person or group? If so, what was it?
CORYN: Table Dance by Maestro. I won’t go further into details, but I know this group will have a laugh if they ever read this!
Disc Breaks: Oh man, I need to know who the hell you were impressing with this song. hahahaha. You have to tell the story now. Did it work at least?
CORYN: Just a fun group of jokesters. Can’t go into detail, but it is always a fun time with this group.
Disc Breaks: A song you’re embarrassed to admit you like, but listen to often?
CORYN: Pony by Genuwine. Haha, I’ve requested this song to the DJ on multiple occasions
Disc Breaks: Channing Tatum stripping to this song is next level.
CORYN: Hahah without a doubt!!!
Disc Breaks: Which song would you choose to soundtrack the highlights reel of your career?
CORYN: Hmmm. This is a hard one. I would say Congratulations by Post Malone. Good lyrics about making it and congratulations for what you’ve done. And making your dreams happen when some people say you wouldn’t make it. And also about working so hard you forgot to vacation. So it’s a perfect song to soundtrack the highlight reel of my career with my special moments and wins and proving haters wrong, making my family proud, working hard, and enjoying the moment.
Disc Breaks: We have the song, now how’s the video playing out? Is it all archival footage of you racing or is there some scripted stuff in there as well? I’m a big fan of scripted career highlights videos.
CORYN: I think both. Before highlight moments you came from something, so it’s good to recognize the early days learning the ropes and showing the moments of where you came from and made you who you are. So it would definitely have archival footage of when I first started riding and racing and of course have career highlights as well. Everyone comes from somewhere or something!
Disc Breaks: What’s the best way to listen to music?
CORYN: Vinyl!!! Love being at home playing my favorite albums on my record player. It adds another dimension to listening music. You can hear it, see it, and almost feel it. And it gives you a better appreciation for music too. And better vinyl is typically older music and I definitely love and appreciate listening to older jams.
Disc Breaks: If you were colonising Mars and could only take one album, what would it be?
CORYN: Van Morrison, Still On Top - The Greatest Hits.
Disc Breaks: Thanks a million, take it easy.