From Anchorage, Alaska, the up-and-coming singer-songwriter and alt-pop artist Ristlynn sets quite the bar for himself with a trailblazing debut single, "I'm Going Down."
Taking influences from Prince, Panic! At The Disco, Bruno Mars, and Maroon 5, Ristlynn brings a unique and charismatic commercial appeal while also getting gritty with his bass-work through inspirations like Metallica and Nirvana. After band-hopping California, Ristlynn couldn't shake the idea of a solo career his entire way home.
Finally, in the studio and releasing his debut single, "I'm Going Down," Ristlynn introduces us to his funky and edgy pop-punk fusions, demonstrating his artistic versatility from the jump. When asked about the single, Ristlynn stated, "I'd burned out and reignited several times over a short period; I'm Going Down is a reflection, one which will undoubtedly resonate after the collective experiences shared during 2020."
As we submerge ourselves into the alternative stylings of Ristlynn's debut single, "I'm Going Down," we're met with a brilliant blend of heavy, organic basslines and 80s-inspired synths that sink to the depths of alt-pop. Once Ristlynn makes his vocal appearance while singing with incredible charm and allure, he offers us sanity through his relatable lyricism that sings of seeking self-acceptance internally rather than through others.
Through the song's energetic and bouncy instrumentals, we're feeling nothing but eager to get to know more of what Ristlynn has to offer. Reaching the outro, a sublime and ethereal production breakdown floats us into sonic tranquility with faded drums, a haunting string section, and softened background pads that drift through the high-end.
Introduce yourself to the rising alt-pop headliner Ristlynn through his dynamic and relatable debut single, "I'm Going Down," as he offers pieces of his reality for us to solve the puzzle.
Congratulations on your captivating debut release, "I'm Going Down." Did you begin thinking of ideas for the single while band-hopping in California?
I was still deep in the harder styles of music at that point, so it took some time for me to get my bearings when I realized I needed my own playing field, which required the use of more various styles. When I got out of band-hopping and started hanging around different types of musicians there, that’s when I really started writing a lot of my songs and materials. I quickly found out what sounds I liked, and what I didn’t. For “I’m Going Down”, which came later; I came back to my hometown to find that I didn’t really have friends back home, and I had to start over. I would go out and party all the time, which is actually where I made a lot of my good friends now. I just did that so much, eventually, I had to realize I wanted something other than that. That’s when “I’m Going Down” started.
What inspired your reflective and empowering lyricism within your single "I'm Going Down"?
I kinda like to blend the shallow with the deep, it paints quite a distinct and fun picture, and I never really know what I’m going to write next. I think that keeps both of us on our toes. That and the experiences and circumstances I go through, or sometimes even what those around me go through… It’s a little hard to take anything seriously when everyone around you is some level of sloshed, haha.
Did you work on the production and instrumentals solo for "I'm Going Down"? How did you navigate the sound and feel of the single?
It definitely took some time. I went through multiple changes in quality of gear. I first had a scratch drum track and some obnoxious synths. The lyrics and melody were already worked out at this point, and then out of nowhere, I came up with this grinding bass line I loved. I put that at the front. I actually sang the original vocals in my truck with a portable interface/mic setup… while it was still running. Reworked it later in the booth and thankfully, that's not what we hear today! At this point, it was at the demo stages and I got in touch with Trey Vittetoe in California (who’s worked with Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, etc.). He really brought out a lot of the magic on the table with this song.
We've noticed that you also created a music video for "I'm Going Down." How can your audience get to know you better through your performance in the music video?
The idea hit me out of nowhere and we were pretty rushed to jump into filming it. I felt like it was a crime not to film that. Fast-paced guitars, skating, cruising, smoke billowing off our boards… I’d have had to try that even if I didn’t play music! We literally filmed on the last possible two days out of the year with good weather, and after that, winter quickly set in. The filming was intense, and a blast. Anyone looking forward to future videos can expect that I’m going to do everything to make it fun and unique, whether it’s the whole concept or even specific shots.
What has been keeping you inspired to create music? What message do you hope your listeners take from you and your music?
Learning and improving new and old skill sets, and whatever situations I happen to be in or create at the time. Capturing a feeling on audio and bouncing it off another. Just writing about life can get you a plethora of inspiration to feed on and make something cool off of.
Something I hope my listeners can take from my music… and I’m sure this will sound cliche… is to just be yourself. Find yourself. Know yourself. I mean there’s an art to that, and it’s important not to go too fast, or not at all. Don’t give too much credit to stigmas or what others want you to be. And if things get too boring, find an excuse to try something fresh and exciting.