Coming to the end of his time at ACM Music College, Ryan Harman has already released original music, Cigarettes and Simplicity as his debut single, along with his most recent, The Chase, earlier this year. Ryan will be performing at upcoming events and has previously supported Lawson on tour as well as singing live on radio shows with more booked for the future. Answering our questions, we found out from Ryan about releasing original music, attending ACM and performing live on radio.
When did you first start performing?
So, I first started performing professionally when I was around eighteen years old being lucky enough to play venues like Wembley Arena (which was literally a childhood dream of mine!). I remember the first time I sang and ‘performed’ as such was when I was around the age of six or seven and this indoor play area had a SingStar PlayStation booth and I sang If You’re Not the One by Daniel Bedingfield and when people said I was good, I totally rinsed it and sang it on repeat like twenty times to everyone in the play area (I’ve tried to sing it recently and let me tell you, that song is high!).
Have you always enjoyed songwriting and what process do you have when writing music?
When I was at school I used to love English as a subject and so I loved writing stories and poetry which then developed into becoming a teenager and loving music a lot more and seeing it as a way of expressing myself rather than songs to dance to at kids parties, haha! The first song I ever wrote was literally when I was on holiday in Lanzarote and we’ll leave that song there to enjoy the sun by itself! I used to find songwriting really hard as I’d just put so much pressure on myself to write a certain way, but over the past two years, and especially with my new material, I’ve always found that writing down themes and words or phrases that relate to my concept is the way I write most of my songs! I also LOVE co-writing as it just teaches you so many new techniques and gets you thinking outside of the box, plus it’s super fun writing with others!
How does it feel releasing original music?
Releasing my own music has been one of the most incredible moments of my life and also one of the scariest! I have been around on social media with an incredible fanbase for around nine years and so these releases have been pending for a VERY long time. I was so scared that people wouldn’t like them, or relate to them or even get my vibe. When I did release, I just remember being really emotional and grateful for all of the support as it was like I was introducing my new babies to the world, which I was extremely proud of.
Who do you think your music will appeal to?
I like to think my music relates more to young adults and above as I like to write about situations I have experienced and like to involve specific concepts that relate to people around my own age and that I’m sure an older audience have experienced too. Saying that though, I have a few songs in the works that will definitely relate more to a younger audience, so watch this space!
Can you tell us about your new single The Chase and how long it was in the making?
I would love to! So, The Chase is a song I wrote last year and was actually such an easy and natural song to write. I wanted to create a track that had a kind of Amy Winehouse feel to it and something that can be super empowering and sassy on stage and to any listeners who can relate! I wrote it about when you go on dates or are seeing someone and they make you feel bad about not feeling as strongly as they do for you. I wanted to write it to show that you don’t HAVE to feel the same way and it isn’t your place to feel bad about making your OWN mind up and being true to yourself in that respect! We had actually been recording this song over the space of a year so you can only imagine the excitement when it was finally time to release!
How different was it releasing Cigarettes and Simplicity to your new single?
It was a totally different experience releasing The Chase compared to Cigarettes and Simplicity as they are two songs that have very different messages. Cigarettes and Simplicity will always be my first little baby but The Chase is definitely my ‘hairbrush in the mirror’ as it’s super sassy but more of a simplistic feel to it. Plus, whenever I do live shows, everybody loves a bit of The Chase, so it was scary with the release, I hope I captured the delivery and sass that I bring to the live shows!
Which single did you find easiest to write – Cigarettes and Simplicity or The Chase?
That is such a good question! I feel that they were both very organic and naturally written. I co-wrote both with my incredible guitarist at the time, Ethan Grainger, who really helped me to embody the message I wanted to portray and encouraged me to just let loose and stop pressuring myself to ‘write a hit’ as they say! I feel like they were written both very easily, at the same pace, but I’ll forever have that special place for the writing process of Cigarettes and Simplicity as it was the first song I wrote in my new genre of music and I remember bursting with pride when it was finished as I hadn’t written like that in such a long time!
How was the experience performing at Eagle Radio?
Performing at Eagle Radio was great fun, absolutely adored doing the live session for them. I’m friends with Jack who hosts the Local Showcase, so it’s always a pleasure to go down and see him too, plus Eagle Radio are always so accommodating and they always make you feel so at home and comfortable, so big, big shoutout to them for the continuing support they always offer me!
Do you have a favourite music artist?
I have SO many favourites! My friends are always mocking me for my ‘obsessions’ with artists. I’m the sort of person who listens to a LOT of the same music and artists and I just grow so fond of them and their music, I want to support them wholeheartedly. One of my biggest inspirations musically is ELIZA, currently known as Eliza Doolittle, who I’ve always looked up to since a young age (I’m sure if you stalk my social media you’ll find the terrible photo of fifteen-year-old Ryan and Eliza!) but I also absolutely admire and cherish Mary Lambert in the music industry. Her messages always move me so much and I always feel inspired to be a better person after listening to them. A massive love to Kina Grannis, who actually inspired me to start playing guitar and songwriting, so I literally feel like I owe her everything and other artists I adore are people like Maisie Peters, Dodie, Duffy and obviously my queen Amy Winehouse! I am also and have been obsessed with Miley Cyrus since I was around seven years old but I shan’t get into that as we’ll be here all day! Wow, sorry that was a long answer, see I get VERY passionate haha!
What was the most recent concert you attended?
The most recent concert I actually attended was ELIZA, who absolutely blew my mind! Like I said, she’s my biggest influence as an artist and she just delivered the most incredible performance I could have asked for, I felt very musically fulfilled after that concert. Plus, I was that annoying person in the crowd shouting ‘I LOVE YOU’ until she responded, but we’ve all been there… right?
You’ve previously supported Lawson on their tour, what was this like?
I have indeed! Performing on tour with Lawson was an absolutely incredible experience that I am eternally honoured and grateful for and will never ever forget. They are literally the coolest guys and were so lovely to support and hang out with! Plus, I was a huge fan when I was younger so when they were performing, I was low-key fanboying and singing every lyric at the back of the room plus their fans are literally absolute babes and I really felt the love from the crowd!
Do you have any shows coming up, and where?
I have a couple of shows coming up. I will be performing down at The Star in Guildford on the 26th June and also performing a set at Surrey Pride, 10th August! I have a few pending shows so be sure to follow me on social media and keep updated as they are gearing up to be rather exciting. As well as that, I have a few interviews in the next few months across various radio shows around the UK so catch me there!
How did you find attending Everybody’s Talking About Jamie for Anti-Bullying Week?
Attending Everybody’s Talking About Jamie as part of Anti-Bullying Week was absolutely incredible as I am such a huge huge fan of the musical and so being personally invited to attend this special showing was actually mind-blowing. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly urge you to do so as it has you crying and actual belly laughing throughout! Plus, I got to meet the cast and Michelle Visage afterwards on stage and I literally almost fell over and died being a hardcore Drag Race fan!
What’s it like attending ACM and what do you think you’ve learnt from your time so far?
Attending ACM has been my saving grace. It has taken me from such a strange time in my career and just pushed and excelled me to be a better performer and songwriting. I appreciate everything they have done for me so much and it has just been the most incredible environment to meet such incredible lecturers and friends who I know are going to absolutely slay the industry! My time is coming to an end there and I literally want to beg them to let me stay longer, even if I have to camp in the studios!
What are your future music release plans?
So, I will be announcing VERY soon the release date of my third single Talked About Blues and then following that, my debut EP including some exciting surprises. I’m also working on a new collection of music that might shock some people after my latest releases as well as a big project raising awareness for causes very close to my heart that I am SO proud to have the platform to create. I won’t say too much more but there is a lot of things coming by the end of this year and the beginning of next, so keep your eyes peeled!
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