Ryan Nealon, 24, is a talented singer/songwriter from San Diego, CA and is based in Los Angeles, CA. Nealon has received a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) from the University of California Los Angeles or Ethnomusicology - Jazz Studies with an emphasis in Jazz Voice. As an unsigned artist, Nealon has over 100,000 streams, plays, and views combined! Nealon has booked countless successful shows at renowned venues all across the United States such as Rockwood Music Hall in New York City and The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. Nealon's single "Closer" which came out on May 24th, 2019 has independently garnered around 25,000 streams and has gained a mass amount of positive press. His next single "City" is expected to see nothing but success.
“City” is a retrospective track that allows the listener to feel Ryan’s true thoughts and feelings. During the catchy hook, Ryan sings, “I don’t like this City” which refers to the place he’s stuck in his emotions and feeling like he doesn’t belong. In a huge city like Los Angeles, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and feel like you won’t make it. It’s a vicious cycle of not being able to fit in, and then not making it anywhere because you feel like you don’t belong. Ryan Nealon has persevered and found an outlet for his fears and emotions. “City” is a truthful anthem that focuses on the struggles of being an artist. The sound arrangements are refreshing and not over produced. “City” is a timeless pop hit, it’s a light-hearted tune with layers of raw lyricism. Ryan Nealon strives to connect with his listeners and make them understand they are not alone. “City” was written by Ryan Nealon, Bret Paddock, Kylie Rothfield, and JBACH, and was produced by Nealon and multi-award winning producer Zack Djurich (Kanye West, NAS, Teyana Taylor). Djurich also mixed/mastered the track at his studio in North Hollywood, CA. I highly recommend you check out “City” and add it to your summer playlist and stay tuned for more from Ryan Nealon!
Listen to “City” here and keep scrolling for Ryan Nealon’s interview with the BuzzMusic team!
Hey Ryan! We’re so excited to be chatting with you about your new single “City”! Can you tell us more about the lyrics in the song? What emotions did you have to channel when writing it?
Thanks for having me! My song "City" is a powerful anthem about feeling uncertain with your career path and whether or not you belong. The song's about my tumultuous relationship with Los Angeles, and I had the privilege to create this with Kylie Rothfield, Jonathan Bach, and Bret Paddock who equally poured their hearts into this track. We wanted to write a song which told the truth about being an artist--especially in a city like Los Angeles. When we were writing the lyrics, I wanted to be as honest as possible about my current situation. I work long hours, I am in countless sessions week after week, and it's so hard to feel like it's not all for nothing especially when you're not seeing a financial result. That's why when I said "don't know where I'm going, every door won't open, I can't find a way to get inside," I really meant it. Overall, this song is about feeling like you don't belong, and I hope people can relate and realize that they're not alone.
How does living in Los Angeles affect who you are as an artist?
I like to describe living in Los Angeles as a double-edge sword. On one hand I feel so incredibly inspired and driven being in such a fast-paced city with so many other creatives, but it also really weighs down on me and leads me to constantly compare myself to others even when I feel like I'm not. I've grown up so much since moving out here in 2013, and I have faced so many emotional hardships. I had my first real encounter with depression and anxiety, I went through periods of severe loneliness, I felt constantly judged for my outward and inward appearance, and through all of this I've really grown as a person which I think is pretty neat. As an artist I definitely take a lot of inspiration from Los Angeles because it's the most infuriating place with so much beauty and character at the same time--heck that's how "City" came to be. I also credit Los Angeles with helping me weed out the fake people in my life along with helping me find a tribe of friends that are more than friends--they're family.
What challenges have you faced as an independent artist? How do you overcome those challenges?
To quote one of my favorite bands ABBA--"Money, Money, Money." Being broke sucks a lot, but I have to keep pushing myself to stay focused and keep my eye on the prize, which for me is to be able to earn a living doing what I love (music). I feel like all independent artists put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "Keep Up With Jones'," and to constantly release very high dollar boujie content which truthfully no one can afford without a label. Do I have an answer on how to overcome this? Absolutely not haha; I'm about as broke as they come. But, I utilize my community, and have befriended lots of creatives who genuinely believe in my artist project to help me reach my goals which in return helps them reach theirs.
What do you hope your listeners take away from “City”?
I just really hope that people hear and understand the context behind City, and for those who are in Los Angeles, I hope they connect with it. This is a song I honestly wasn't even going to release, but it really helped me move on from a dark time in my life, and I wanted to be able to share it with the world and my community. As an artist, I'm all about transparency, and I want my listeners to know how I'm feeling and what I'm going through because it helps them get to know me better.
What’s next for you through the end of 2019?
I'm actually so beyond stoked for the rest of this year. 2019, was and is already such a massive year for me as far as growth is concerned. I released my song "Closer" off of my latest project in May, and after releasing "City," I have a song coming in late September/early October, and hopefully one more in November or December! These 4 songs, are very close to my heart, and I'm really excited that people are finally getting the chance to hear my original music!
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