Alternative Pop-Rock singer-songwriter Nick Ryan is coming back with a vengeance in his recently released single "Jealous Sea."
He graduated with degrees in Recording Arts and Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. He was a member of GRAMMY U during college and transitioned to a Voting Member of the Recording Academy in 2016. After many trials, errors, and disappointments trying to please everyone but himself, he has finally taken control of his artistry. Experimenting with various producers both in the Washington, DC area and his new home in Nashville, TN, he has finally found the right collaborators to realize his vision.
Taking in the upbeat creation of “Jealous Sea,” we’re fully immersed in the rhythmic essence of Nick Ryan’s relatable narrative exposed under his own authority. Weaving us into a series of blatant meets abstract lyrics, the songwriting techniques of Nick Ryan are met with co-creators Allison Asarch and Sarah Stephenson skillset.
Touching on the theme of friends turning to foes as they see you bask in your success through growth, the classic rock-shaped instrumentation enhances the spirit of this subject matter in a way that tells a tale of time. There’s a certain articulation that Nick Ryan carries as he cascades his vocals over the reverberated musical elements. Grasping our attention as he focuses on the emotions evoked through the times described, we eloquently take in bolstered lyrics such as ‘your lips are moving but you're tongue-tied, twisting words from Jekyll into Hyde.’
We have to admit that when the chorus comes into play, the vocal layers that are accompanied by an amplified tempo sends us into an alternate realm of the creative happenings in Nick Ryan’s mind. Smoldering guitar riffs, tight drum patterns and the groove of the bassline have us tapping our toes in a frenzy of anticipation as we clasp onto the quintessence of Nick Ryan at his finest.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, Nick Ryan. We love the entire buildup of “Jealous Sea,” in all of its glory! Could you please share what it was like working with Allison Asarch and Sarah Stephenson in order to bring your vision to life?
Thank you! It’s one of my favorite songs. It took us three songwriting sessions to finish it, but it was totally worth it! Most people quit if you don’t finish a song in three hours, but I believe that good things take time. It was our first song we all wrote together, but hopefully, there will be more! We tried to paint a picture by incorporating the seven deadly sins and sharks smelling blood. It’s about self-sabotage. We were particularly inspired by “Jealousy” by Liz Phair for the vibe, but it’s a totally different song.
The subject matter addressed is relatable for people far and wide. Was there a specific moment or story that inspired you to take this theme and turn it into a song?
There was, but it is relatable to many other situations in my life since I had the idea back in 2009. Specifically, there was a friend I had in high school that I could tell wasn’t really a friend, though he came to all my parties and was part of the same circle. I could tell he was jealous by his words and actions. I auditioned for the talent show senior year and he praised me for being able to learn guitar in three months. After graduation and at the beginning of college when everyone was finally able to get a Facebook, he was the only person that didn’t accept my friend request. I thought it was very strange since I had no issues with him, plus he borrowed a few of my video games and I received nothing in return. Ironically, he isn’t doing music anymore and I go to the GRAMMYs every year, so karma has a way of working things out. But, there have been many people in my life that were incredible artists, musicians, illustrators, actors, etc. that had so much potential and talent, but they gave up on their dreams. I would have loved to have them on my team. I had the first line “I see your eyes, they’re green with envy” and the lyric “now you’re swimming in jealousy” in my head forever and I had just gotten into rock music since the video game “Rock Band” came out so, besides Liz Phair, I was inspired by Garbage, Hole, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. I’ll probably do a Garbage style electronic remix for my remix album.
With it being five years since the release of your album ‘Lone Wolf,’ how have you found yourself growing as an artist?
It’s so crazy how time has flown! I started writing this album in 2016 and a majority of the songs were written in 2018. That’s when I really started cowriting which helped me get out of my own head while staying true to my vision. I was actually going to shelve this record because all of the industry people I was taking advice from not impressed by most of the songs. It made me so depressed, and I felt like everyone wanted me to quit all my hobbies and change everything about myself to fit an image that I did not want to be. I had to cut a lot of people out for my peace of mind, and it has helped me stand my ground and stick by my vision, morals, and values as an artist and a human being. I was always such a pushover and never said what was on my mind for fear of conflict or judgment, but I’m glad I’ve become strong-minded. It’s so important in this industry because it will eat you alive.
What can you tell us about your forthcoming album ‘Nemisis’? Does “Jealous Sea” reflect the direction you’re taking this project?
‘Nemesis’ is a dark alternative pop/rock album. It’s raw, with no autotune, and finally, my vocals, guitars, and drums are in the forefront of every song. I’m just so grateful to have finally found a producer that plays almost every instrument and is on the same page as me. “Jealous Sea” is probably one of the happiest songs on the album! It’s super dark, but so much fun. There’s a lot of humor hidden in between the lyrics and lots of references to 90s sitcoms in about half the album. I’ve also re-recorded and remixed three of my previous singles for the album to fit the sound of it and I cannot wait to share those versions and the music videos for them! It’s going to be a full visual album. Shout out to Jordan Grubbs and Thomas Obrien for making this project happen!
What's next for you?
The third single from the album, “Welcome to the Nightmare” is releasing May 21st! You can save it here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/nickryan/welcome-to-the-nightmare. I’m also continuing my “Summer of Covers” series with four songs from 1991 that have inspired me, which was the first year I really got into music. I figured it would be a good foil to the album since most of these are happy pop songs. I also recorded an MTV Unplugged style album this month that I plan on releasing next year between LPs. It was a fun show, and it was so great to finally perform with a full band for the first time in over a year. I have many more projects planned, but I won’t spoil anything, so be sure to tune into my YouTube channel and social media for updates!