August 06, 2018 11:00 AM

“You better start living” … so says singer-songwriter RIVVRS on his new collab with American Idol alum Paul McDonald.

PEOPLE has an exclusive first listen to the pals’ new track “Start Living.” The track — a bluesy, dreamy folk-rock ode to living in the moment — was recorded last month and serves as a follow-up RIVVRS’ sophomore album Cosmic Dream.

RIVVRS (real name: Brandon Zahursky) and McDonald met through a mutual producer friend, Andrew Heringer, and are currently on the Cosmic Dream Tour together through Sept. 14.

“Paul came to L.A. from Nashville for the month, and we decided to get together with Andrew for a day,” RIVVRS said of the collaboration. “We went into the session with the idea of writing and recording a new song to play together on the tour and four hours later, the three of us had created ‘Start Living’ — the song fully embraces the ups and downs of living a life of uncertainty in the music industry, while also realizing that you can create any life you want, you just have to start living it.”

RIVVRS; Paul McDonald
Michael Bezjian/WireImage

McDonald added: “We starting talking about our music and personal life…about the challenges of our careers as independent artists and the ups and downs/struggles of life in general. I think we must’ve both needed a little pep talk that day, so we subconsciously wrote a song about it. … It’s about living your best life, controlling your own destiny, and pushing through all of life’s challenges with your head held high.”

Raised in Northern California, RIVVRS is now based in L.A.; Cosmic Dream is his second LP and follows his debut Unfamiliar Skin and EP Hold On.

McDonald, 33, broke out on the tenth season of American Idol; he was famously married to actress Nikki Reed before their 2014 split.

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