Multifaceted with his artistry, thisisryanjohn reigns as a musician, songwriter, and producer. From an extensive music career that has had him dabble in indie-pop, rap, and self-production, the now 30-year-old creative has pieced together an album that combines his favorite songs from the last decade into a collection of personal moments.
We're lucky enough to peek into the psyche of thisisryanjohn as he releases the album '20something: a retrospective album.' Absorbing ourselves in the introductory single and brand new record "Butterfly," we get to take in the soothing soundscape for ourselves.
Entrancing us with a compelling vocal performance with his lyrical motifs delicately dancing through the speakers, the fascinating techniques he adopts to let this full performance sink in is genius. Usually, the mind associates loudness with power, but there's something to say about how thisisryanjohn gently applies his inimitable croons to this vivacious instrumentation.
Picking up on themes of metamorphosis and how applying change can turn one's life around, this narrative is grasped through our interpretation of each carefully crafted lyric performed. Smooth guitar riffs cascade throughout the speakers as they embrace the colossal drum hits in a way that balances the intensity of one another out. "Butterfly" has a seamless amount of balance throughout the song's structure as we further delve into the details at hand and take in this concoction of creativity.
As thisisryanjohn now plans on taking time away from being a frontman and spending more time playing drums and producing for several different indie artists, he leaves us with the stroke of brilliance that is' 20something: a retrospective album,' and has us eager to delve into the following 28 tracks.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, thisisryanjohn. We absolutely admire the genre-bending sounds heard in "Butterfly." What was your reasoning for allowing this song to pull listeners into the album by placing it first on the tracklist?
I had been sitting with the song for a little bit. It was the last song I had written in my 20's about turning 30. At one point, it was going to be a song on an EP, then it was going to be released as a single, but when I landed on the idea of re-releasing all this music from my 20's it just made sense to have this song first. 1.) it was a new song, so it kind of freshened up the album, and 2.) thematically, it was a perfect fit. I very much love the fact that the album starts with that song. That is where my songwriting is, my voice, my production. That is where all this experience and growth has gotten me. And the rest of the album is how I got there.
I also love that the next song on the album is one of the first songs I recorded in my 20's. It's a significant shift. I was in a very different place, different style, different genre; it lets you know how all over the place the body of work is about to be, haha.
With this song being brand new compared to the others heard on the album, was this the most recent track created? Could you please take us into what the creative process looked like when bringing such therapeutic elements to life?
It was not my most recent track created. I had written and recorded this one about six months ago. I was figuring out what to do with it, it needed finishing up, but I sat on it for a bit. I got my good friend Anthony to come over one day and lay down some lead guitar, and then I had my friend Gabi Belle do some backing vocals, and it just slowly came together.
Once I had realized what I wanted to do with the song, release-wise, the idea came to me to go back into the studio and record those outro drums and give the ending a different feel.
What are some differences that you've noticed in your creativity when it comes to producing for yourself versus other artists?
Some pretty big differences, actually. I can dedicate my whole brain to producing, instead of multitasking, which leads to a lot more attention to detail. I think producing for another artist allows you a lot more hindsight than when you're in the tunnel of writing. You get to see/hear things that they might not be able to at the moment. I almost feel more creative because there is another energy in the room. It's not just me sitting in the dark trying to make something happen. I think producing for other people is amazing; it's like painting with someone else's brush. I really love connecting with an artist, creating a comfortable & creative space, and just helping them bring their ideas and music to life. So hit me up, people!! Let's make some music!
What does the song's meaning say about you as an artist and where you're headed?
Well, as corny as it sounds, I wanted to get a tattoo for my 30th birthday, so I was trying to think of a way to symbolize my 20's, and that was a Butterfly. Like most, if not all, I grew a lot in my 20's. I went through some very intense things. I learned a lot from my experiences and came out the other end a very different person. So that's where the title came from, cause that's exactly what the song is about. As for where I'm headed, we'll I'm not completely sure at this moment. I just went through a very intense moment of reflection while putting this record together, and I've been trying to figure out the next step. I think I'm going to take a break from the whole frontman/lead singer thing. I've returned to my first love, the drums. I've been drumming for a couple of different bands and producing for other artists. And I've started a podcast where I'll be chatting with all sorts of artists about what they do and why they do it. So I'm definitely headed in a more collaborative direction. I'm excited.
If anybody needs a drummer, HIT ME UP!!!!
What happens to be your favorite lyric in the track and why?
I wish I had a good answer for this, but I don't really have a favorite lyric. The song means a lot. It's all about growth and reflecting on where you've been. Thanks so much for having me!