I know I probably say this every time, but it’s seriously mind blowing how fast each month and this year has gone by so far! This is already my 5th artist of the month post and each time I’m so excited and honored to share info about an artist I’ve been obsessing over. It’s been amazing being able to chat with these people and I love being able to showcase their work on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading and learning about May’s Artist Of The Month post as much as I enjoyed creating it!
Hometown: New York City
Genre: Pop, singer-songwriter
For Fans Of: Sasha Sloan, Stella Donnelly, Léon
Why You Should Care: You may not recognize her name, but I would venture to assume that you recognize her voice. Ryann has been featured on songs by artists like The Chainsmokers, Tritonal and Ryan Riback.
Ryann has been spending her time in the industry writing and collaborating with other artists. Her debut single “JFK” was released in mid-May and the second I heard it, it quite literally stopped me dead in my tracks. I listened to it immediately about three times and was holding back tears as I was walking down the streets of Chicago. As melodramatic as it sounds, it’s the truth! I instantly wanted to learn more about this mystery artist on the New Music Friday playlist and the song quickly became one of my favorites of the year so far.
I felt like the song was the most relatable thing I’ve heard this year because I’ve had my fair share of romantic hardships (I am NOT looking for sympathy). The way that you just KNOW deep down that someone’s going to hurt you but allowing yourself to feel something for them is just so spot on and is so universally understood by humans. As the song continued, the more I would relate to every line.
Check out my Q&A with Ryann below.
Chicago Haze: Can you describe your background as a musician and how you came to where you are today? Was it something you were interested in as a child?
Ryann: “While my current inspirations come from artists like Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile, my introduction to music was all show tunes (from my mom) and Frank Sinatra (from my dad) – when I was little I was always singing either “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” or “I’ve Got The World On A String.” From a fairly early age, music felt like the center of my life. I’ve never really thought of pursuing anything else.
When I was about thirteen. all of my closest friends started bullying me and I decided to go home write a song about it. I remember sitting on my bed with a small plastic keyboard, playing the only four chords I knew, not having a clue what I was doing, and somehow felt a huge weight lifted off my chest. Ever since I’ve been in love with songwriting and am so happy to finally be releasing music.”
Chicago Haze: You’ve collaborated with The Chainsmokers on their song “New York City” and it’s noted that you’ve had success in the industry as a songwriter. How was the transition to working on your own music?
Chicago Haze: What was the process like writing and recording “JFK?” How was it similar or different to your process when writing for/with other people?
Ryann: When writing with another artist in mind, there’s usually the question of “would someone else really want to say that?” However, on the day Sean Kennedy and I wrote JFK we decided to forget about that question and just write something that spoke to us. Throughout the two years I was writing with other artists in mind I was on the lookout for something that sounded like my voice and what I wanted to say. I never wanted to force it. When we finished writing JFK I listened to it about 100 times and knew that It had to be the first song I released.
Chicago Haze: It’s so obvious that there’s a lot of emotion in this song and it stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it – it’s so relatable! Is this song about a specific relationship or more of a general theme that you’ve dealt with in your love life? Was it hard to relive those emotions while creating the song?
Ryann: It’s definitely more of a general theme I’ve dealt with in my love life, however, a lot of the inspiration for the song came from one specific relationship i’d been in. I don’t think I would have been able to write it had I not learned from the mistakes I’ve made, and because of that it feels less like a sad story and more like one of experience and growth.
Chicago Haze: What’s next?
Ryann: I’m currently working on more music that’ll be coming your way soon, and going to start doing little shows around LA. So stay tuned!
Chicago Haze: Anything Else you’d like to add?
Ryann: Just a big thank you for having me on Chicago Haze!