Eric Ryan is a 25 year old recording artist from Toronto, Canada. Eric’s artistry embodies new sounds mixing R&B, Neo-soul, Lo-fi & Alternative influences all into one; diving into & connecting his experiences in love, life hardships & self thought.
Hello Eric Ryan, Thanks for coming to Honk Magazine to talk about your career.
Tell us a little more about when you first got into music?
I grew up listening to a lot of music; my mom introduced me to a lot of rock… like Green Day & Fall Out Boy when I was like 10. I used to fall asleep to the American Idiot album when I’d go to sleep hahaha. My dad on the other hand put me onto Boyz 2 Men, D’Angelo, Usher & a bunch of R&B legends while singing his heart out in the car when he would pick me up for the weekends. I think that had an influence on me cause when I would get home I’d often find myself practicing singing in my moms closet and recording myself via voice memo.
As for writing my own music I was a late bloomer… I think the idea sparked in 2017 when I heard Get You by Daniel Caesar for the first time. I remember listening to it and having tears in my eyes cause it was so beautiful hahaha! I was like “man… if I could write music, I’d want to make stuff that made people feel the way this song made me feel” Fast forward to 2018, I was downtown Toronto watching some of my friends performing their own music at a dive bar and it just hit me… “maybe I should try making my own music. These guys are having so much fun up there on stage, imagine if I could do that”. Fast forward a little more to fall of 2019; I started writing my own songs in my moms basement (they were pretty trash hahaha). However, one thing led to another and eventually I ended up building enough confidence to put some of my songs out into the world. It gained some traction & showed me that there were people out there that actually liked to listen to my stuff, so I felt that I should keep going… I guess that brings us to today 🙂
If you could describe your sound/style in one word, what would it be and why?
Feels. All of my writing comes from the crazy feelings/emotions I felt while going through life/past relationships in ways I didn’t know how to describe at the time.
What would you say to any aspiring recording artists who look up to your work?
If I had the chance to tell Frank Ocean & Daniel Caesar something I’d probably say “Thank you for blessing the world with your art & thank you for saving my life” hahaha
What quote or mantra do you live by?
All Love Always.
What is your hobby outside of music?
I recently started skateboarding again… I find it similar to music as my mind loses track of time when I’m doing it which is pretty cool.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Honestly I have no clue… Just taking it day by day. If I could live comfortably off my music career that would be more than enough. Just making dope music with the homies & spreading love through art around the world is a dream come true. It would also be nice to have a tour or two under my belt…
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
Get out of your head. I found that often when writing I’d get overwhelmed/quit cause I’d constantly be over judging my music at every step of the creating process. I learned that you just gotta put it all on the table and worry about making the finer details later once the foundations are laid out.
Dont be afraid to experiment. Whether it’s trying a different style of writing, collaborating, different beats, etc. You might surprise yourself/learn new things in the process. When I was writing Shine, my producer Bryan said “why don’t we try adding strings?” At first, I was reluctant to this idea but then said why not… adding it ended up making the whole song feel way more full/cinematic, making me love the song even more.
Write everything down. Your thoughts, stories you remember, cool sayings you heard in a conversation, movie, etc. They could make for great lyrics/song ideas… Soleil was partly inspired by a story Shqdel shared with me about this relationship she was in at the time… saying that she felt warm everytime she was around him, like how when the sun feels on your skin on a hot summer day.
Don’t compare, You’re on your own journey. Early on, I often compared myself to others and put myself down when I wasn’t achieving the same amount of progress as them… To which I now know is really toxic to the mind. Since realizing that everybody has their own path and I should just focus on my own, it’s taken a ton of weight off my back thinking about my own career.
Never forget why you started. I find that a lot of artists (including myself) often get stressed/distracted by progress, how many streams you have, how much content you’re putting out, etc… and although it is important, sometimes it just gets overwhelming and I’d feel lost at times. Sitting here now, I think it’s just as equally if not more important to remember why you’re here in the first place: for the love of music & creating art that’s true to you.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Honestly I’d say to read the five points i’d listed earlier, hahaha! But if i were to focus on burning out, I’d say don’t compare yourself to others, & focus on creating music for love/fun of it & expressing yourself. I’d also say its important to live your life outside of music… (go on an adventure, learn a skill, fall in love, get your heart broken, etc.) all these life experiences are things you can write about more clearly once you’ve experienced them first hand.
Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?
I’ve got a new single coming out October 14th called Everytime 🙂 Aside from that I’ve been cooking up a bunch of songs this summer so expect to see more releases soon!
What is the inspiration behind your latest song?
When writing Everytime, it made me reminisce about a past relationship I had with this girl… where the love was so toxic but it felt so good to be around her, almost like an addiction.
How can our readers follow you online?
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