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READ IN TEXT THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AMERICAN MODERN DIVA RYDER
Having quickly risen above the noise with a star power and vocal ability reminiscent of divas like Bjork, Florence and Sia, New York-based artist Ryder is truly a modern songstress of the new school music generation. While demonstrating the reckless songwriting spirit of a young M.I.A., her sound is a mixture of slow, floating melodies and soulful yet left-of-center and unapologetic lyrics; ear candy packed with endless introspection. Ryder’s quirky, eclectic style and unconventional voice have gained her a massive and dedicated following and recognition in a short time. With only a few releases out the gate, her forthcoming work is highly anticipated and hotly tipped for future endeavors. Viralbpm took the chance to sit down with Ryder to discuss not only about her latest track “King“, upcoming tours and future releases, but also about her natural writing ability and music style.
V1. Let’s talk about the release of your very first music video,”King“. How do you feel about the final video output? How did the collaboration with director LYKA happen?
Ryder: Seeing King come together and finally be out there in the world has been a truly amazing experience for me. This is the first time I’ve actually been a central character in my music video and it has really inspired me to continue; that I’m so happy with the result! A big part of my decision to appear in my video had a lot to do with LYKA, I really trusted them and they made me feel comfortable performing on camera to be myself. Lillie Wojcik & Justine Suzuki are the two badass females who make up LYKA. We were friends well over a year before working together, we actually initially met on a housing forum and had planned to live together but when our house fell through we decided to become great friends instead! Lillie is a breakout director producer who commissions music videos for company’s like Republic Records, TMWRK and has been a part of videos for artist like Diplo, Major Laser, Dylan Francis, Julia Michaels, Mo and many more. Her partner Justine also a director/producer works with artists everyday as a representative at Sesac. Both have a great artistic eye and so much experience working with artists that I felt really comfortable. A reason for working together in addition to all being a fan of each other’s work, was we felt that in this current climate in the entertainment industry, it is so important that as women we support each other and so we wanted to create something special together. Female eyes on set really helped us to get across our vision for King the best it could I believe. LYKA have also collaborated with me on my next video for my new single out now called “Sade” dropping in the very near future.
V2. Is it accurate to assume that aside from expressing your own feelings, you want to record and release music that also affects the emotions of the listeners after hearing your songs?
Ryder: Completely! I want to reach out to people with my music and stay connected. My singular experience is there always it’s what I know but I also think about my audience and how people going through what I’m talking about might feel about it as well! I like the expression of the topic to come across in the best way it can and often that can mean thinking way beyond myself.
V3. How would you describe your sound in general?
Ryder: My sound is a pretty eclectic-genre bender, its like an indie pop or left leaning pop mixed with urban and electro sounds and rhythms. Haha that’s a mouthful!
V4. How did you start recording your own tracks? Any albums or artists that influenced you the most?
Ryder: I was really lucky actually, I wrote my first song when I was just 13. I opened up a notebook and just wrote it all out on the first page. My older cousin is a producer/scorer for the music on TV shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, so I called him up and told him I had written a song and asked if he could he produce it and record me. He told me to come by that afternoon. That’s how I got my first demo and I really got the bug for being in the studio and recording and I just kept building and hopping into studios around new york for years. I was influenced a lot when I was younger by singers like Whitney Houston, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Rod Stewart and Celine Dion that had a lot to do with what my parents liked and always would play at the house or in the car. As I got a little older I was super into artists/bands like Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Fun. Robyn (Body Talk is one of my favorite albums of all time), Adele, Sia, Florence + the machine, Amy Winehouse haha way to many to name… To be honest so many different artists and songs/albums have and continue to inspire me, my taste and appreciation is pretty all over the map!
V5. With roughly 9 Million streams on Spotify, it seems that you are currently sitting on a pretty successful time period. Do these streams and impressive numbers provide you with confidence and some kind of boost to continue what you do?
Ryder: It definitely does! I think what it says most is that there’s a group of people that are really feeling the music, as a musician that is the most flattering feeling ever. It makes me feel like despite all of the difficulties that come along with being an independent artist, the music is truly breaking through. Hype is an interesting thing in our industry but I’ve always been someone that wants something real behind it all and having that kind of connection to people all over the world, well that is the most beautiful real thing that you can have as a musician. That is a major part of what keeps me going and honestly I just love what I do — I get to wake up and make music everyday it’s pretty awesome!
V6. What should we expect from you in 2018? Not only regarding new releases, but also tour wise.
Ryder: Well definitely a bunch of new releases and collaborations. We are putting together plans for performances & touring now, more to come on that very soon so lookout!
V7. How did the social media affect your personal life, but also your career as an artist? Is it important in order to cultivate a relationship with your fanbase? Which platform is your favorite one?
Ryder: It is really important to have a relationship with your fanbase. I’d have to say my favorite is instagram personally, it’s so easy for me to quickly post and update, plus I just feel like I have the most options there. I think social media makes musicians less one dimensional and lets followers in on the process, which is great because so much of the work is done behind the scenes to even get to release day! I’ve definitely had my struggles with being open as I’m a pretty private person; I think that openness online just comes more naturally to some people than others but I have gotten way better at it because I see just how necessary and rewarding those relationships are. There’s nothing I love and appreciate more than when a fan writes me and tells me how a song I wrote made them feel or that it might’ve helped them through a difficult time in their life. I’ve had my worst day completely turned around by messages like this.
V8. Thank you a lot for doing this interview with us. Any final words for Viralbpm and its readership?
Ryder Thank you so much for letting me share with you! I hope readers keep following my journey and stay updated on my Instagram and Facebook. This music and music videos can be found on all platforms so definitely stay tuned on my Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Vevo, Soundcloud and pretty much every store you can think of. My newest single “Sade” has also just dropped so definitely check that out!