Singer-Songwriter, Ryan Corn Answers Questions About His Musical Beginnings and Why His Future Is So Bright
Posted On 26 Mar 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Always You, Artist Garden Entertainment, Artist Interview, Burst, CURB RECORDS, Dido, ELTON JOHN, It'll Be Alright, James Taylor, John Mayer, KPRI, Michael Jackson, Missouri, Old California Coffee House, Ryan Corn, Sing-Songwriter, Stand By Me, The Only Good, White Flag, Wonderful Things
Ryan Corn is the latest singer-songwriter to arrive on the scene from Curb Records. His debut album is entitled Wonderful Things is jam-packed with thoughtful and touching songs. Tracks such as the R&B infused, “It’ll Be Alright,” burst with soul and emotion, a homage to one of the many genres Corn has been influenced by. Such original tunes as “Burst,” “The Only Good,” and “Always You” will surely find listeners in every format. The title song, “Wonderful Things,” is an utterly infectious and joyous song about change and redemption:
“I’ve done terrible things, and I’ve done unspeakable things/But you’ve done wonderful things to save me/My heart’s been harder than rocks, and my mind’s been darker than dark/ But you’ve done wonderful things to change me.”
Growing up in rural Missouri, Ryan Corn‘s career began, unsurprisingly, in a church. There he learned how melodies, harmonies, and rhythms come together; but more so, how music can powerfully unite and captivate people. At 15, Corn picked up his first guitar. Shortly thereafter, he started writing songs. “Songwriting felt natural. Music felt natural” says Corn. Quitting basketball after freshmen year, and even skipping the prom, Corn put music above other extracurricular activities in high school.
In the kind of “discovery” tale that sounds like fiction, Corn got his break when a friend entered his song “Wonderful Things” into a radio contest. That led to representation by Artist Garden Entertainment and to signing his contract with Curb Records.
Learn more about Ryan in the following interview:
Thanks for answering a few questions for All Access! Where does this interview find you today?
I’m currently at my in-law’s lake house working on some new tunes. I took the weekend to get away and do some songwriting.
How have your shows been going? Any standout venues or crowds?
The shows have been awesome as the crowds have been energetic and inspiring. I really enjoyed our most recent California run playing a radio show for KPRI in San Diego at Old California Coffee House. I really didn’t expect such a large audience to show up at a coffee house so it was quite the pleasant surprise.
I’ve been playing guitar for about 16 years. Yeah, music always seemed almost as natural as breathing. I always hoped that I would be able to make music for a living and somehow those doors opened
What was it like performing with your father and older sister when you were younger?
It was a lot of fun…a little cheesy at times but still fun. That’s where I gained confidence and first learned to play in front of an audience. When we’re all together we still break out into song from time to time.
How have you grown as a musician since you started?
For playing as long as I have, I should probably be a better musician than I am. But instead of focusing on the intricacies of playing guitar I’ve spent my energy on production. I’ve always been fascinated with the production elements that make up a great song. I think I’ve grown in my understanding of this and because music changes so rapidly I continue to grow along side
Can you generally describe your songwriting process? Where do you find the inspiration for songs?
I find my deepest inspiration when I’m able to be alone for a period of time to sit with my thoughts and process. Inspiration comes from anything and everything… nothing is off limits. However, more recently I’ve enjoyed writing about actual scenarios and situations instead of abstract thoughts and concepts
Did you know that your friend was entering your song “Wonderful Things” in the radio contest? Once that happened, how fast did things move?
My friend submitted my material to so many labels and contests, etc. I owe most of my success to him. After a while I think he lost track too so we were both surprised by the news. Yeah, doors definitely opened after winning that contest…kind of a whirlwind of excitement
Why do you think Curb Records is a good for you and your music?
Curb has been so great to let me be the artist while they handle the music business side of things. I feel like they believe in me and trust me to be creative and deliver what works for them. It’s been a phenomenal relationship
I love singer/songwriters like John Mayer and James Taylor. But I also draw a lot of inspiration from the pop world. I love Michael Jackson and Elton John.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
When I was a little younger I did a bit of touring with my old band in an 80’s Winnebago. Most of our gigs were pretty crappy and we spent so much money on gas. But it’s probably my most memorable music experience
Any pre-performance rituals?
I always like to use the bathroom right before I go on…nothing worse than having to play with a full bladder.
What are some of your favorite songs to perform? Any covers?
I play the classic “Stand By Me”…one of my all time favorites. I’ve recently started covering Dido’s “White Flag”.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
I think most of my songs are “feel good” songs. I hope that people walk away feeling a little happier and maybe even a little more hopeful
I have read that you recently took up woodworking as a hobby. How did you pick that up?
It’s very in style to have pieces of furniture that look distressed. My wife wanted one of those rustic farm house kitchen tables. Because it didn’t require much finesse I thought I’d give it a whirl. To my surprise, it actually looks half decent.