2018 Artist to Watch Spotlight with Mike Ryan

Sea Gayle Publishing artist Mike Ryan was able to sit down with us at Exit/In in Nashville, where the Mike Ryan Band was set to play. His newest album “Blink You’ll Miss It” was released in October, debuting at #6 on iTunes Top Country Albums. The album is jammed packed with collaborations featuring some of country music favorites, such as Chris Stapleton, Lee Thomas, and Brad Paisley.
“New Hometown” is the lead single to the album and it has become a fan favorite. “‘New Hometown’ ended up being the song that shaped the rest of the album.” Ryan said as he spoke about his personal favorite song on the album. “New Hometown” tells the story of a man who can’t seem to get his ex out of his mind. He thinks of places he can move to that would help him with this struggle. “Blink You’ll Miss It” is about small-town life and the heartache that love can leave behind after it’s lost.
Mike Ryan is usually busy on the road. He plays over 150 shows a year with stops from his home state of Texas all the way to Chicago. “Chicago is a cool city we get to hit a couple times a year, that we just started playing over the last few years.” Ryan speaks highly of his Chicago fans saying, “A thousand miles away from home we have people that not only know who we are they are singing every word to the songs.” Nashville fans much like the rest were eager to sing every song right along with Ryan.
Mike Ryan has been featured as an “Artist to Watch in 2018” by Pandora, The Boot, Sounds Like Nashville, “Artist You Need to Know” Rolling Stones, and “Who’s New” NASH Country Daily. 2018 looks to be a promising year for Ryan and the Band. “We are going to release the next single off the record in a couple weeks. “The Rewrite”, which features Brad Paisley on guitar, has been a fan and band favorite. “That song broke the rules a little bit, people found out about it before it was even recorded.” “The Rewrite” was a crowd-pleaser during the show. Fans were enjoying the energy that Ryan was putting off and Ryan made sure to give them all a show they wouldn’t forget.
Ryan comes to Nashville once a month to work on writing. “Since I’ve been involved with Sea Gayle most of those are co-writes. I spend as much time as I can here.” Ryan said. He had a lot of wonderful things to say about Nashville including his favorite part… The food. “I’m typically into food things, Nashville hot chicken is a real thing.” He did mention that if he wasn’t a singer he would probably be a chef. “I’m a big fan of ‘Master Chef’, ‘Top Chef’, all those shows. Gordan Ramsay and Tom Colicchio are my two favorite chefs.”
Ryan has been very vocal over the years about his grandfathers’, who directed the Texas National Guard Band for over 30 years, impact on him. “The think I learned that was above from Gramps was how music effected people.” He went on to say, “Having people fall in love with music is something Gramps made a regular habit of.” Mike Ryan has a lot of passion not only for music, but for the people that listen. “Music is my primal urge. When I found music and decided to pursue it as a career it wasn’t because somebody else wanted me to, I felt like it was best for me.” When Mike Ryan is on stage you can tell he cares about the music and his fans. He is motivated and enthusiastic throughout the entire show.
The show slowed down once it was just Ryan and the piano on stage for “Sad Song”. You could feel the energy change from energetic to emotional. “When it came time to put it on the album the more we thought about it nothing else seemed to capture the same emotion of the song as it did when it was just a piano vocal.” Ryan explained. He learned how to play the piano because the song “had a different kind of vibe” and it is “completely stripped raw”. The mood of the audience changed as soon as they saw the band members leave the stage and Mike sit at the piano. “The piano and guitar have been my favorite instruments my entire life.” Ryan said.
When writing Ryan says, “There are song ideas that can come out of anywhere or nowhere.” He tends to find that paying attention to the people and things going on around him helps to find drive and inspiration. “Song writing can be a personal thing, it’s not as easy as you might think or just as hard.”
Ryan is very passionate about music and had a lot to say about why we should support music and artists. “There are a lot of people that don’t realize how much enjoyment and fun they can have at a live music venue.” He is a prime example of that. Hopefully everyone gets a chance to see Mike Ryan live. He not only has the energy to keep the crowd going, he has a big personality that really shines onstage. “Without the support the quality of music can suffer. If people aren’t supporting it then [artists] won’t do it for a living as much.”
When he isn’t on stage he likes to hunt. “Music and the outdoors are my biggest passions outside of family.” Mike Ryan is from San Antonio, Tx and finds pride in his Texas roots. You can find him posting updates to social media keeping his fans included on where he is and what he has been doing.
Mike Ryan’s passion for music is expressed in everything that he does. We can’t wait to hear more from him. His upcoming shows include ACL Live at the Moody Theatre opening for Pat Green in Austin, TX on February 16, and many more shows within Oklahoma and Texas. We hope to have him back here in Music City soon.

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Twitter: @mikeryanband 
Taraya Harvey

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