Q&A with RYAN CABRERA – Who Talks About His New Album, Living Room Concerts, His New Single, “House On Fire,” and More!
Posted On 05 Nov 2014
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Amy Winehouse, Artist Interview, Billy Ray Cyrus, Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, I See Love, John Legend, Justin Gray, Live From Ryan's Living Room, Mariah Carey, Mitch Schneider Organization, MSO PR, Nathan Chapman, On The Way Down, Ryan Cabrera, Shine On, Take It All Away, Taylor Swift, The Moon Underwater, True, We The Kings, You Stand Watching
You might think that you know RYAN CABRERA….
Sure, the platinum-selling singer and songwriter is the architect behind ubiquitous smashes such as “On the Way Down”, “True”, and “Shine On” as well as albums including 2004’s Take It All Away, which hit #8 on the Billboard Top 200, You Stand Watching , and The Moon Underwater . However, you’ll get to know Ryan Cabrera like never before on his forthcoming 2014 EP and fifth full-length album. Stardom aside, it’s never ever been about image, media, or pomp and circumstance for Ryan. It’s always come down to one thing: the music. It’s where everything starts…
In 2009, he began writing songs for what would eventually become record number five. However, the inspiration didn’t quite click right off the bat. So, he continued cataloging his thoughts and emotions over the next few years. He immersed himself in other artistic pursuits such as painting—actually decking out his home with all original work enjoying his own personal renaissance.
He also spent meaningful time at hospitals around the country, brightening up the day for countless sick children and young adults. Inspired from this, Ryan also took the opportunity to launch a live music series entitled Live From Ryan’s Living Room, which airs bi-monthly. Utilizing stageit.com, he broadcasts live performances from his living room and all proceeds for “online tickets” benefit different charities. Everybody from Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw to Billy Ray Cyrus and We The Kings has joined him in the Living Room for unique live jams.
Amidst this creative upswing, 2013 ushered in something of a new awakening for Ryan. After penning “I See Love” in Nashville with Nathan Chapman [Taylor Swift], he experienced a revelation. “That sparked the mindset of the new album,” he affirms. “It was about writing songs that are real and honest. It was, ‘Write what you love and are passionate about’. That ignited the entire record.”
He went back to Los Angeles reinvigorated and locked himself in the studio with producer Justin Gray [Mariah Carey, John Legend, Amy Winehouse]. Together, the duo wrote and performed the bulk of the album, playing all of the instruments themselves.
“It’s organic pop music,” Cabrera declares. “Justin and I hit it off immediately. We were in a room together, jamming on everything. We weren’t trying to be anything or fit any kind of mold. It was just music we dug. I started writing all of these fun, positive, and uplifting songs. My whole perception had changed. Every song tells its own story.”
“I want the music to speak for itself,” he leaves off. “My career has been about a lot of things from the outside. The focus unfortunately shifted to what my hair was like or who I was dating. That’s not why I started playing music. It’s always been about the music. That’s it. It’s not about being a pop singer. It’s about being an artist. I want people to think of the songs before they think of me. It starts now. This is going to be a fun ride.”
Ultimately, this is the real RYAN CABRERA. He doesn’t hold anything back, and he’s created his most uplifting and powerful music to date. Read more about Ryan and what he’s been up to in his Q&A with All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa.
Hi Ryan! How are you? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey there, tired but doin’ very well. Thank ya 😉 We are currently en route to the first radio station of the day to do a winner’s lounge where we perform some new music ;-), then on to the next station to do the same.
You are a platinum-selling pop singer/songwriter/musician, but can you offer our readers who don’t know that much about you, a brief journey of your musical career thus far? How did it all begin, Ryan?
Well, it all started in bars in Dallas, Texas. I was a singer/songwriter playing any gig I could. One day Joe Simpson happened to be at the bar and the next thing I knew I was living in California with the Simpson family! From there, I went from office to office singing for every label that would have me…got turned down by them all, but I managed to score a publishing deal, so that kept me afloat to continue writing and writing and trying to get better. I wrote “True” and “On The Way Down” and then all those labels started calling back! (laughs) It’s a funny business.
You grew up in Texas. Who or what was your biggest influence growing up? What made you decide that music is the road you wanted to head down?
Dave Matthews was the reason I picked up the acoustic. I wasn’t really familiar with any music like that at the time and when I heard a song of his called “The Stone.” It blew my mind and I knew at that second I wanted to be like Dave!
How do you capture the inspiration of a song when it comes to you? What comes first, the music or the lyrics?
It’s typically the music but I usually have a concept in my mind as to what the feeling of the lyric is gonna be – sometimes from scratch though just to keep it fun and my mind on edge.
Your new single, “House On Fire,” was just released and I understand you are putting the finishing touches on a new full-length album, which will be your first in seven years. How is that coming along?
Amaaaazing!! We actually finished the last vocals last week so it’s such an awesome feeling to complete something that I have been working on for 6 years!
You have worked with a lot of acclaimed producers which include: John Rzenik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, who produced your 2004 album, Take It All Away. You have once again been fortunate to work with some very talented producers and songwriters such as Justin Gray (John Legend, Mariah Carey, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse) and Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat) on your new album with Dynamite Music. How was that experience been collaborating with those guys?
I am a fan of all of the people that I work with so honestly, it’s such a blessing to be surrounded by that kind of talent. We all have a mutual agreement, when we get in the studio though that all egos are left at the door. I respect their opinions so much and encourage collaboration. We are a team and in it together! It goes a long way when you all have that mindset.
Last you got to tour in Ireland and the UK with Boyce Avenue. Do you have a favorite show from that particular tour that stands out?
It’s ways a great time touring in the UK and Ireland and Scotland! The fans there are so passionate and free which as an artist you really appreciate! I think the 3 nights in London where truly special because you got a different vibe every night, so it was especially fun.
Beyond gearing up to release your new music, Ryan, I know you remain extremely passionate about your charity work. You have a really cool live charity music series called, “Live From Ryan’s Living Room.” Can you explain to our readers exactly what that is and how they can get involved?
Yeah, basically it’s some of the most talented people I know, all in the living room singing their asses off! It’s a fun way to excite music lovers with a special experience and also do good for others. Every month is a different charity and you donate whatever you personally want or can do, and then you get to watch typically 6-8 artists perform in my living room. It was something I was doing anyway, but I felt was needed to share with the world. So if they follow me or anyone that is performing they will get a link. We will also have info on ryancabrera.com whenever they are coming up.
You’ll get to see some of your favorite artists doing things they normally don’t do onstage 😉 and I guarantee your gonna hear a bunch of acts ya haven’t heard of that you will immediately fall in love with.
Okay, here is a fun one…if you had the opportunity to work with any musician and or artist or painter (since I know you paint) from the past, present or future, who would it be and why?
The ultimate dream is Dave Matthews…or Paul Simon.
What are you most excited about for this year, Ryan?
Releasing “House on Fire” to radio! Making new friends along the way and just enjoying playing music…and workin’ my ass off ;-p
For more info. and music updates, visit RYAN CABRERA‘s website, here .