THE INSPIRATION BEHIND SEEING STARS

INTRODUCTION

In late March (2013) I decided it was time to start work on a brand new E.P. The reaction to the ‘SE7EN’ E.P last year was amazing, & the fact that my songs received over 40,000 downloads worldwide hugely overtook any expectations I had. So I thought it was time to try and follow that up. At first I struggled over ideas and concepts, I think I was stuck in the mindset of making another concept based project like SE7EN, constantly trying to think of clever ways to tell a story as a collection of songs as well as by each song individually.

After a few days of racking my brain I realised I was complicating things by trying to do something similar. I did come up with a cool idea based on the ‘6 degrees of separation’ where I thought I could write 6 songs about relationships, but all somehow from different angles and viewpoints and make then work out as some kind of story… As you can see… Complicated. So I started thinking about what ‘SE7EN’ lacked. For all of it’s strength with regard to the subjects of the songs and the meanings behind them, I wasn’t sure of how much it actually revealed about me as a person. Of course I have a personal attachment to the songs and they do reflect parts of me, but the concept of the E.P meant I was restricted to certain subjects i.e, (The 7 deadly sins).

So I decided to stop trying to think up concepts for the project and focus on writing a more personal and insightful collection of songs. This is what they are about…

1. DREAMER.  

I was listening to ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Oasis one afternoon and realised that a lot of the lyrics in the song are very abstract, and don’t really make much sense as a story. I love the song because it reminds me of when I was a kid, but analysing it made me realise that the way it was written actually adds to the feel of the song. I thought I’d try to write a song in that kind of style. First step was composing the music, I wanted the song to have a reflective feel but a strong message in the chorus, like ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ so I started out with just keys to set the tone and let the vocal make the introduction. I had wanted to use oxymorons in a song for a while and felt that this would be the perfect time to try it out, luckily for me this was the right song for them as the lines “In a world where time has stopped, still I know it will keep ticking forever” give a feeling of disconnection and escapism which works to pull in the listener.

The feeling behind the song came from me wanting to explain to people that I’m very similar to most other people, I get frustrated, I feel down, and I want to better myself and succeed. ‘Dreamer’ explores these feeling by taking you on a journey through a world that seems make believe.

2. SYNCHRONISED

I’m actually going to make a video about how and why the idea of this song popped into existence, the story deserves it, so that’s all I’m going to say for now… You can see the music video for ‘Synchronised’ very soon though. That is a very big clue to the inspiration behind it.

3. BEST THAT I CAN BE / ME MYSELF & MY MICROPHONE

This song acts as the transition section of the E.P. ‘DREAMER’ & ‘SYNCHRONISED’ which come before are both lighter songs, with equal depth conceptually, but less intensity. I wrote this song quite quickly, I remember it being really easy, probably because it’s such an identifiable subject for myself, and many people to be honest. I used to worry and care about what people thought of me in my teens, I put on a front as if I didn’t but inside I was quite reserved at times, especially with performing or creative arts. Luckily for me, I dealt with that and decided to let go of those thoughts and feelings that held me back. I still remember the conversation I had with my Mum to this day, it’s the reason I do what I do. I know a lot of people who have the same self doubt and insecurities that I used to have and that was the motivation behind this song. After all, people are going to judge you no matter what, you might as well enjoy yourself as they’re doing it. Zay & D did an amazing job on the production for this track. In their own words, “We’ve created a film score type ballad that grows into a modern R&B/HipHop affair. Somewhere between Lana Del Ray & later Michael Jackson.”

4. I’M NOT A MACHINE

There were quite a few strong inspirations behind this song. The main reason was because I wanted to make a statement about how a lot of artists are now being treated like machines. Labels, publishers & managers sometimes treat artist like objects rather than human beings. I understand how business works and that essentially as an artist you are a product, but actually being treated like a product is a completely different thing. With X Factor being so huge in the mainstream these days the creative process is being portrayed to the public as less and less important. The fact of the matter is that it is THE MOST important thing to music, or any other form of art. Without the creation, it can’t exist. Many of the artists that end up winning these TV talent shows go on to release music that they don’t have any creative input in to. Just imagine if John Lennon, Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder weren’t allowed any creative contribution to the music they released. The music world would be a very different place.

I wanted the lyrics to almost have a contradiction to them which would keep the listener guessing. I liked the idea of a machine that thought and believed it was human, so I used word play and double entendres in the verses to emphasise that. A lot of the time as I’m starting to write a song I have to be able to picture it in my head so I try to visualise every song from the start as a film. I regard myself as a humanist so I like to think of this song as a reminder to myself of my faith in the human race.

5. FAITH IN YOU

Everybody deals with issues, the personal and private things that you don’t make public on Facebook. Well some do 😉 But what I mean is we all struggle at times, and put on a brave face. ‘Faith In You’ is a song that acknowledges that, but also points out that things can always get better. It’s just up to you to see that and make the changes that are needed to turn the corner. Regardless of your beliefs, the first person you should have faith in is yourself.

Feel free to check out the samples of the songs via the soundcloud link below. If you like what you hear, you can get a copy of the E.P from the iTunes & GooglePlay links below. SEEING STARS is also available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Deezer & many more digital outlets.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/seeing-stars-ep/id688965592

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Ryan_John_Seeing_Stars?id=Bumn54zlsdtnsjbabifldeftani

NEW BLOG… HOW, WHY & WHEN.

More than any other reason, I’ve decided to write this blog so that people who like my music, or those that have an interest in what I do, can have an insight into the way I go about making music and my whole creative process. Not everything I post in this blog will be music related as alot of the inspiration for making music tends to come from everywhere and anywhere, at any given time. Well, for me anyway. So I’ll keep the introduction short and sweet… Welcome to my blog.