Interview by: Maegan Grendell | October 13, 2022
MAEGAN: Hi! Would you like to introduce yourself?
RYANN: My name's Ryann, I'm from New York. I grew up there and I moved to LA eight years ago to go to school for music, but I've been doing music since I was a kid. My mom and my sister were always singing around the house and my mom really loves musical theater. So that was more the vibe of music around my house. But I think when I was in eighth grade, around there, I started writing and that kind of shed light on the fact that maybe I wasn't a musical theater kid and liked pop music and wanted to pursue writing and, and releasing my own music. I moved out here and I went to school and met my manager and started writing for other artists for a little while. And then a few years ago I decided I wanted to start releasing music and l released the ‘Emotions on Roller Skates’ EP, and then ‘Trick Candle’
MAEGAN: New York and LA... do you think they're different or do you see a lot of similarities?
RYANN: I definitely think they're different. I mean, I love New York so much and I definitely wanna live there again one day, but I feel like the pace is really different. Like in New York you can do 10 things in an hour and like, go get a bagel and then go run your errands and go see your friends, and then you still have a whole day ahead of you. But in LA it's like, if we wanna go get a bagel in the morning, it's like a two hour experience. It's all moving a little slower and it's just a different pace, but I've actually really learned to like the pace of LA. And when I go to New York now I'm a little overwhelmed by how quickly everything moves.
MAEGAN: Has living in LA versus living in New York affected your songwriting?
RYANN: When I was living in New York, I was just a kid. And I was just writing by myself and writing in my room. When I moved to LA, I got to meet a bunch of people and meet a bunch of other writers that were in pop and then many other genres that I wasn't really writing in before. And I think I learned a lot about writing and coming out here and getting to work with people that have been doing it for so much longer than I had. The pop music scene obviously in LA is huge. So I got to meet a lot of people.
MAEGAN: How would you describe your music to new listeners?
RYANN: I have so much trouble answering this question for some reason. I would say it's sad stories over happy instrumentation.
MAEGAN: What are some of your long term, and then also short term goals that you have right now?
RYANN: I would say maybe an album, which I have never done. And eventually doing a whole tour and headlining a tour would be cool one day. Outside of music, maybe becoming a potter. I'm kidding. Not really. I love pottery. And doing music for so long, I really wanted to find something creative that I loved that was outside of music. And I started doing that. It's really fun, but it's very new.
MAEGAN: It seems very difficult. So that's an impressive one to pick up.
RYANN: Oh my gosh. When you watch all the videos of people doing it on TikTok or YouTube, it feels so easy, but it's so hard. I think maybe short term would just be performing more and releasing the EP and continuing to make more music and build the world of my project a little bit more.
MAEGAN: Who are some people you wanna work with in the future?
RYANN: I’'ve always been a really huge fan of ____. Her writing really inspires me. So if I ever got to write with her, that would be crazy. And I think Brandon Flowers. I love his writing. And then maybe we'll throw in Harry Styles. Cause who doesn't wanna write with Harry Styles ?
MAEGAN: Who are some of your musical influences and inspirations?
RYANN: For a while I would listen to a lot of Hilary Duff and Lily Allen, Aly and AJ. And that's what I listened to up until high school. I was obsessed with all that music, but when I really think about my influences I think of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell.
MAEGAN: Was it always your goal to be a singer and a songwriter or is it just something that kind of happened as you grew up? How'd you get into that?
RYANN: As I said, the music was around the house growing up and I was always singing. When I was in eighth grade, that was the first time I started songwriting. I was bullied in eighth grade and my outlet became writing songs at home. Once I started writing, when I knew that I really wanted to be in music. I was pretty certain about that from that point on.
MAEGAN: Do you want to talk a little bit about your recent single Nineties, and what it's about? And also your collaboration with Charlie Hickey?
RYANN: Charlie and I had been friends for a little while before we worked on this song, but we had never written together. Toward the beginning of the pandemic we had just been talking about trying to write on FaceTime. So, we got on FaceTime and just started talking about how we have been both going through a pretty similar experience with a long distance pandemic relationship, and just started writing about that. And ‘Nineties’ was born on FaceTime. It was definitely influenced by what we were talking about. The song is really about losing yourself in the idea of someone and being in a long distance really that's like just at the beginning. It's very easy to get lost in the idea of what the relationship could be.
MAEGAN: What song are you most looking forward to people hearing from your EP, Trick Candle?
RYANN: I think that the one I'm most excited about is 'Trick Candle'. The story that I wrote about in that song is one that I really wanted to tell for a while, and didn't know how to say it. And I'm just really happy with how it all came together. It was the first song Andy Seltzer, John DeBold and I had all done together. I work on all my music with them, but usually separately. I've done a bunch of songs with Andy, a bunch of songs with John. But we all came together to make this one. I think it also really helped shape the EP and started to help me see what I wanted everything to sound like.
MAEGAN: Do you see any similar themes throughout the EP or do you find that the songs are pretty different?
RYANN: I would say the songs are all telling definitely different stories. But I think there is like some sort of a through line. What I said ‘Nineties” is about, is getting lost in the idea of a relationship instead of seeing it for what it actually is. I think all of the songs are kind of coming to the realization that maybe the relationship wasn't what I thought it was.
MAEGAN: How does your last EP differ from this one?
RYANN: With 'Emotions on Roller Skates', the songs on that project were the first songs that I ever thought to release. I think there was a lot of trial and error because I just didn't really know what I wanted the project to sound like. But going into the second EP, I think I had a much clearer vision and was able to take what I learned from the first EP and continue building out this world. So I feel like it was much more intentional.