Ryan Wright Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I’ve made music all my life. My dad is a songwriter and I grew up in his studio and around his co-collaborators. I’d always dreamed about a career in music but never really said it out loud.When COVID happened I decided to go all in. I had written an album that lived on voice memos in my phone but hadn’t played them for anyone. When my junior year of high school got basically cancelled I decided the only way to stay sane was to go into the studio and figure out who I was musically.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
My grandparents raised me on Time Life oldies compilation CDs so artists like the Everly Brothers , Connie Francis and Roy Orbison are huge for me. I love the Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Smiths and The Cars. My Aunt played me the Killers when I was 3 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I love the 1975, Japanese House, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde… The 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s...Can you tell me
3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
Because of my terrible posture, people are surprised by how tall I am. I come from a blended family with two sisters, 4 parents, 5 dogs and a cat and I’m going to marry Cillian Murphy one day.
What song of yours best describes you and why?
There’s a song on my upcoming EP called T-Shirt that sums my tortured heart up pretty well. There’s also one called Scorpio that explains me to a tee.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
The pandemic has put touring plans off for a bit but I’ve done a few here in my hometown that standout. There’s a live performance video we shot at Union Stage in Washington, DC that was super fun.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
The Anthem in Washington, DC (my hometown). I’ve seen The Killers, The 1975, Robyn, Billie Eilish and The Arctic Monkeys there. It’s an amazing venue.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
I got signed to Handwritten Records just after my 18th birthday. I’d like to get my songs streaming in the tens of millions and get on a really cool tour and just keep building a loyal fanbase and making great records.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
All of my gigs have been during Covid so I haven’t been able to hang out in the venues long enough for anything crazy to happen.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
I love waking up in the morning with an empty page and having a song by the end of the day. I love the freedom of being an artist. I’m an introverted extrovert if that makes sense. Once I’m comfortable around someone I won’t shut up but i'm painfully awkward at first. Music and artistry helps me be myself quicker.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I was supposed to play volleyball in college :) I thought about journalism for a minute. I love writing, people watching and fashion. Is there a job where I can do those things?
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
I saw The Killers at The Anthem in Washington, DC in 2018. It was life-changing. Brandon Flowers is an effortless rockstar. He had all 6000 of us in the palm of his hand and singing every word. I remember thinking “I want to do that!”without any idea how to get to that level. That may have been when the wheels really started turning for me.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
The Killers, The 1975, Robyn, Japanese House and me. All my favorites in one place. I can play side stage early and then spend the rest of the day and night losing my mind watching them all.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Pet all the dogs. And treat people the way you want to be treated.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Happy: buying things, Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders, my guitars, my dogs and Paul Stanley.
Annoying: people who play with their gum, people who invade my personal space and snoring.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
I watch a lot of TV and movies, I like to sleep late. I shop (sometimes in my sleep) and drink coffee.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
They are necessary. I think they’re good but you can always get too much of a good thing.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
So long as you are true to yourself I think it’s important. I think an artist should look however they feel best. If the aesthetic compliments the music then great but great music doesn’t always need a visual element.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
My first real tattoo is an eight ball on my ribs, which is significant because it’s something my best friend and I did together. The eight represents that we were born eight days apart. She also contributed to giving me two stick-and-pock tattoos, one of which I love and the other that I now regret. I also have “I’m glad you’re my kid” in my mom’s handwriting on my arm—it’s something she used to write on all of the cards and lunchbox notes she gave me. And I have the cover art from The Killers’ “Battle Born.”
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
The problem with political philosophies is that they all work on paper but humans aren’t as good as they need to be to make them work in reality. So it kind of doesn’t matter much what policies you put into place until you can really change the human heart. If I could, I would just make people care about one another a little more.
What would your ideal day consist of?
I’m tempted to say something like catching a one-way flight to someplace beautiful like Thailand or Greece, but in reality it would probably just mean going to a movie with my friends or laying in bed with my dogs.
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations. Can you tell us how this has affected you personally,how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
Like a lot of people, the pandemic has definitely made me more anxious but also a little more aware of how our individual choices can impact the safety and well-being of others.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
I would love to just say thank you to each and every person who took the time to listen to any of my songs. I’m such a music fan myself, so it’s really humbling and kind of mind-blowing to think that there are people who choose to listen to my music and to share it. I’m honestly just really grateful.
How would you answer the question Who is Ryan Wright and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music ?
I’m just like a normal teenage girl who struggles with the same things everyone else does. The only thing that’s any different about me is that I use music as a way to get that out. My artist self is perhaps a bit more confident and self-assured than the version of me outside of music. My artist persona is much more well-defined than me as a person.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
It was probably something that my mom or dad put on my iPad shuffle, like “All Through The Night” by Cindy Lauper, which I listened to on repeat for a very long time. The first music that I’ve ever spent my own money on was probably something like One Direction or Big Time Rush. The first record I ever bought was Heartbeat City by The Cars.