“On the Way Down” star Ryan Cabrera is back in business. At 31 years old, the Dallas-native has signed a new record deal with Dynamite Music, a new label in partnership with Caroline/Capitol Music Group. And he won't be taking long to give fans the new music they've been so dying to get for many years. (True Ryan’s last actual piece of 'new music’ was the one-off single "I See You" in 2012, but keeping it official, the last proper label-backed material we've got from the Ashlee Simpson ex was his 2008 album “The Moon Under Water” and that was released…well, 6 years ago!). Cabrera is planning to release an EP this Fall and a full-length album later this year! (1st single out this summer!).
Also, the new deal with Caroline/Capitol Music has opened Ryan many doors. He’s been able to get together in the studio with top producers such as Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift) DJ White Shadow (Lady Gaga) or Justin Gray (Mariah Carey). Now these are pretty impressive names, huh? Ryan isn't playing with this comeback!
DirectLyrics recently caught up with Ryan Cabrera to discuss his 2014 musical comeback. In our exclusive interview - posted in its entirety for your reading pleasure below – we talked with Ryan about signing to his new label, working with a group of hit-making producers, the sound of his new music, the Ryan Gosling tattoo or what his five favourite songs of the moment are.
So you’re back! Your last album was released in 2008, but technically your last piece of new music was the 2013 digital single ‘I See Love’. You're making a comeback this year, though, backed by a new record label! How does it feel to be back?
I mean, it feels great to have worked so long on this new album, and to have the right team assembled after many years of building and waiting for the right sound and team. I’ve been touring non-stop since 2008 because I felt it was necessary for my soul and craft to always stay working even while trying to write a new record. But I always felt that at some point I'll know when the time is right and to put out the best record I could, no matter how long it took to make.
You’re now signed to Dynamite Music, a new label in partnership with Caroline/Capitol Music Group. What made you sign to this particular label?
The vibe had to be right. I knew I needed a label that fully understood what I am doing and what I want to do. When I met with them, we instantly bonded over having the same vision. The amount of experience behind the scenes is killer.
There’s a quote on your latest press release where you say “It’s truly been such a fun journey writing and recording this record”. It sounds like you have EVERYTHING already recorded, but your signing to Dynamite Music was JUST announced. Have you had all of this new music in the vault for a long a time and you’ve just been searching for the right distribution deal?
(Laughs) Funny enough with the way music is nowadays, it’s hard to ever say you're truly finished!! Just when we thought the record was done, they pushed me to keep working just in case something incredible came out. And then I ended up writing two of my favorite tunes for the album. So I’ll never say I’m finished 'till it’s on tha shelves…aka, on the line!
You will be releasing a new single this summer, an EP this fall and a full-length album later this year. Explain to us this ‘EP first, full-length album later' approach. Also, is the single dropping this summer the first single from the EP or the full-length album?, And… are the songs on the EP going to appear on the full-length album as well?
Yeah we are planning on releasing the 1st single in August and following with an EP after…It’s been so long since I’ve put out a record, and we felt it was important to re-introduce my music with an EP so you can really hear the new sound, and the growth, and know what’s to come on the full album. The songs on the EP will also be on the full-length, but we will also have fun bonus tracks. We’ve got a lot in the vault that I think fans will love.
What can you tell us about the new single you’re dropping this summer? What’s its sound? Will it be uptempo or a ballad? And who produced it?
We are still deciding on the new single…It’s a hard decision because the cool thing about the record is that each song has its own identity. So it’s tough to decide which to start with, but I trust our team. Most of the record is pretty upbeat and full of energy in a fun, organic way. But there’s also a raw beauty in “Forgot How to Fly,” which is a more acoustic ballad.
Talking of producers. For your upcoming studio releases you enlisted the help of Justin Gray, Shelly Peiken, Nathan Chapman, Tony Maserati and DJ White Shadow. Let me focus on Nathan and DJ White Shadow, though. What’s been like working with them in the studio? Nathan is known for his hits with Taylor Swift, and White Shadow for working with, well, Lady Gaga. That’s huge, right?
I went to Nashville for one day to work with Nathan…(laughs) that's how confident we were in him! It was my first time and we hung out and got straight to work. Me, Nathan, and Andrew Fromm wrote “I See Love” in about 2 hours, and I can say that was really the start of the new record. I pretty much took everything I’d written before that and threw it out, saying to myself, "this is the song I must beat." From now on, I want to top every song I write and so on, and so on. White Shadow and I have been friends for about 6 years. I am very proud of everything he has accomplished and he is a stud. We have always talked about working together and finally found the right time to make it happen. It’s great because he puts a different spin on anything I had previously done!
Viewing the list of producers who have worked with you for your new release, it seems your upcoming EP/album will be very eclectic in sound. Is this right? Because Nathan immediately brings up ‘Country music’ and DJ White Shadow ’electro beats’.
Well yes and no…The producers definitely all bring their spin into the mix, but being that I’m a writer, I have a certain way I usually write so you can hear that the songs can stand on their own…whether acoustic or produced up. I also encouraged them to be eclectic and do their thing on the songs…I listen to so many different styles of music, and I have no problem expressing all that on one album!
What’s life been like for you in these almost six years after releasing ‘The Moon Under Water’? Always linked to music or did you try other things?
My life has always been on the road. I love performing so it would impossible to keep me off the road for long. I’ve done a lot of touring in Europe and across the States. I spend a lot of time DJ’ing in different cities so thats a passion of mine also.
Do you still love performing ‘On the Way Down’ after all these years? What are your memories from 2004? Getting that Top 15 on the Hot 100 was huge!
I actually do! Those songs don’t get old to me even though I’ve played 'em a million times. It's still just as new to me now as it was in 2004. I love getting the evergy that comes from singing that song
Why do you think fans/general audience started to disconnect a bit from Ryan Cabrera since ‘You Stand Watching’? I personally think ‘Shine On’ was a fantastic record.
There’s honestly no rhyme or reason to why some records are bigger than others. You could look at a million variables and try to guess but you’d never know. Timing is a weird part of this business - you can have a record that gets pushed for 3 years if someone believes in it enough and then all of a sudden blows up even though its been out for years! It’s just rare that you find a label who is smart enough to stick with something when it doesn’t have huge impact right out the gate. It’s a lesson to be learned for all the artists out there who are wanting to give up, but sometimes the biggest rewards come to those who stay confident in what they are doing and stay true to their art.
Are you still loving your Ryan Gosling tattoo in your leg? He’s a nice dude, right?
It will always be one of my favorite tattoos…The bond that me and my buddy have through tattoo roulette is infinite. Every time I see it, I laugh and smile which is a great feeling! I try to not take myself too seriously, but have fun and love!
What are Ryan Cabrera’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
Joni Mitchell - A Case of You
We The Kings - Queen of Hearts
Sam Smith - Lay Me Down
Citizen Cope - One Lovely Day
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
Where are you answering this Q&A from and what’s your day been like?
I am answering this from my house in Studio City, CA - about to leave for the studio in Silverlake.
Thanks so much for your time, Ryan! Any last thing you would like to share with our readers at Direct Lyrics?
My pleasure…Can’t wait to get back on the road to play these new songs live!!
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