Artist Interview: Jason Rylan
Tell us about yourself and your music
Honestly, I’m a bit eclectic and quirky. I know that I’m not for everyone and I’m fine with that. Everyone has different tastes. At the end of the day, I can only be thankful and appreciative for the people that have warmly responded to me. My music also has an eclectic style. I like experimenting with various sounds across several different genres: rock, pop, electronica, EDM, hip-hop. I like for every song to sound unique, be completely different, and not feel like I have to mold part of myself into something specific. I absolutely thrive on new sounds, experimental melodies, and ideas that gravitate towards something positive.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest album is called “The Charm.” By far, this was my most personal and ambitious project to date. I recorded 15 new tracks. Majority of the songs are original material that draw from past experiences or ideals on various subject matters. During the conceptual phase, I thought it would be fun to be a little tongue in cheek. This is my third album and the third time is supposed to be the charm. I decided that I wanted to create songs from common catch phrases such as ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That’, ‘It Gets Better’, or ‘I’m Just Sayin.’ I wanted to create unique songs similar to individual charms hanging from a bracelet. We started experimenting with sounds and styles until the album sort of evolved. I also wanted to share a spiritual component which I think people have really started to resonate and connect with.
What inspired you to write this release?
I really took my time with The Charm. It took about five years to complete until I finally felt comfortable with releasing it. I feel that I have evolved as a stronger song-writer, performer, and producer. I’ve found that music inspires change and heals. This album was also spiritually important to me. I wrote and recorded “Help is on the Way” and “It Gets Better” with the hope that these songs connect with people during difficult times. There is so much confusion and chaos in the world, but I think it’s extremely important to remember the positive and miraculous moments in life. Sure, the struggle is real, but we all carry our water. I think it’s important for people to realize that we are so much stronger together. We are only separated by ideology and fear.
Any plans to release a video?
We’ve been working on a couple of video concepts, but I am terribly self-conscious and shy at times even though my music can get a little edgy. As a former film student, I get lost in tons of video concepts and ideas. I become torn and vacillate between projects or overly critique the work. There is a huge part of me that would absolutely love to dive further into more video production to give the music a better visual connection. I would really like to do a video for “Help is on the Way” that illustrates the power of giving on multiple levels and show the many ways it comes back to us. Understandably, video also a good promotional platform. Another part of me would rather just work on new music. I feel that I always have to choose between working on video or new music. And music always wins.
Any plans to hit the road?
Like video, live performance is another area where I feel under developed and slightly uncomfortable. The recording studio has become kind of a sanctuary, solace, and a place to escape. In the studio, there are no rules, no pressure, and no immediate expectations. There is a definite freedom to it which is limitless. I would love to work on another album with more seasoned producers and artists. I think touring would be an absolute blast with the right partners and teams. It would be cool to develop a live set list with material from the last three albums along with some new material, but only if there was a higher level of production. I couldn’t be the guy that nods and bounces around on stage with a microphone. If I touring ever became a focus, I would envision something creative with some flair.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’m not sure that I really stand out. I’d like to think that I do to some degree. We’ve all seen the lines of people auditioning for shows like The Voice or America’s Got Talent. Everyone is lined up with that same hope that they will stand out or that someone will notice them enough to launch them into the stratosphere. I’m not going to chase Willy Wonka or go through a case of chocolate bars to find that golden ticket. Anyone can be Facebook famous. I’m a little more pragmatic with my approach music for many different reasons. The Charm had songs with themes of suicide prevention, anti-bullying, and many sub themes. I’ve worked hard, devoted many years, and self-financed my own projects. If I do stand out and if by chance someone notices, I’d wonder what we could do with less limitations and restrictions. Either way, big budget or small, I think it will always be in my DNA to write and record new songs.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Lately, I’ve been listening to Jars of Clay, Ariana Grande, Madonna (Rebel Heart and Ray of Light), and Britney Spears (Glory). I’ve been listening mostly to female pop artists.
Tell us about your passions
I love the question “Besides music, what gets you out of bed in the morning?” I get out of bed so I can work so I can follow a budget to make more music. I think of music like an opportunity to save someone’s life, heal, or inspire change even if it’s for only a couple minutes or escape into something new. I am passionate for things that stimulate and challenge me intellectually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I live in Vegas so there is always a reason to get out of bed and always something to do.
What else is happening next in your world?
I’ve been recording new music which feels like starting another album. I’m experimenting with more Pop, EDM, and Dance tracks. I might resume another video project or two. I’m at a point in my life where I’d love to say that I’m getting married, but I’m not so sure that’s in the cards.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Jason!
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