ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue56

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Ryan Aderréy's exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock on his new single, music production, and his journey to becoming a well-rounded artist.

Ryan Aderréy's exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock on his
http://www.ryanaderrey.com
new single, music production, and his journey to becoming a well-rounded artist.

Mistah Wilson: Greetings, Ryan Aderrey thanks for taking the time for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock! How ya' been?
Ryan Aderréy: I'm good. Things are busy right now. Lots of performances and traveling. So I'm tired but I feel good. Things are starting to take off.
Mistah Wilson: Real quick, can we get a brief summary of who you are and where you're coming from?
Ryan Aderréy: My name is Ryan Aderréy, a singer/songwriter based out of Boston, MA who grew up in Miami, FL and I've been part of the music scene for about 12 years.
Mistah Wilson: First off, lets talk about how you became a singer and songwriter. What events in your life led you to artistry?
Ryan Aderréy: I started my career as a producer. I did that for about 10 years. Until one day, I was in the presence of one of the best vocal coaches in the industry, Anita Wilson, who heard me sing. I was just joking around when I was doing it but she saw something in me and said that if I came for lessons she could turn me into a real singer. So that's exactly what I did. I went to her lessons seven days a week for two years and the rest is history.
Mistah Wilson: Your single "A Miracle My Love" is hot!!! No exaggeration, I was tuned in as soon as it started. What inspired this track and why did you release this one as a single?
Ryan Aderréy: Thank you very much! Everything we write about is inspired by our real-life experiences or events in the lives of others that we have witnessed first-hand. "A Miracle, My Love" is about feeling as if you have nothing to live for, nothing to get out of bed for in the morning. But then someone comes along that changes everything and all of a sudden you begin to see miracles in the smallest of things that you normally would never have noticed. We picked this song to be our debut single because it has everything that radio is looking for at the moment. It's got a radio-ready production with a catchy melody and an uplifting message. We made a good choice because A Miracle, My Love is now spinning in the rotations of 20 different Top 40 stations around the country.

Mistah Wilson: So tell us a little more about your debut album "What If". What message are you trying to send with this compilation?
Ryan Aderréy: The first message can be found in the title itself. "What" and "If"; two completely harmless words when separated but when brought together form an extremely powerful phrase. It's that kind of power that wanted representing our EP. As for the individual songs, there are a wide array of messages on this album such as love, never giving up hope, letting go of a loved one who has passed away, unity, failed relationships and seduction. The album covers the entire emotional spectrum and the ultimate message that we are trying to send to the listener is that he or she is not alone. We've been through whatever it is that you're going through at the moment. We hope that this will bring the listener closer to us and that they'll find comfort in our words.

Mistah Wilson: What inspired you to start creating your own instrumentals and arrangements?
Ryan Aderréy: My friend Keshav Singh gets all the credit for this one. Keshav is part of the awesome production duo called JusNow (https://soundcloud.com/jusnow). They're very popular in the UK and Trinidad. Keshav and I went to high school together and he's the one who got me into producing. We'd go to his house after school where we'd create electronic instrumentals with Fruity Loops and record them to cassette tapes so we could play them back
http://www.ryanaderrey.com/
in the car. The instrumentals we created were awful but we were still proud of them. After I graduated and went to Boston University to continue my education, I kept producing tracks as a hobby until one day I realized that I really enjoyed what I was doing and it became my main focus.

Mistah Wilson: You've definitely been in the mix for some time now. How does it feel having worked with big names in the industry?
Ryan Aderréy: It's been a blessing. To be able to learn the tricks of the trade from guys who have won multiple Grammys is something that is so surreal to me. The other day I was working with Jimmy Douglass who is Timbaland's production/engineering partner. Those studio sessions were mind-blowing experiences. I had the opportunity to learn how the superstars of the music world do things in the studio. But the person who gets the most credit for my development as an artist is Zach Ziskin who is also a Grammy winner. Zach produced every single sound that you hear on the EP and each time I came to the studio I could feel myself getting better and better. He's a great guy. He could of looked down on me as many accomplished producers do with up-and-coming artists but from day one he treated me as his equal. I most definitely do not take for granted the fact that I've been fortunate enough to learn from the best of the best.

Mistah Wilson: If I'm not mistaken, you have a degree in journalism?
Ryan Aderréy: That's correct. I've always loved writing so I wanted to have something to fall back upon if I ever decided to move on from music. I actually interned for the Boston Globe for two years when I was a junior and senior in college. I love sports and I love to write so I felt sports journalism was a natural choice. But I also studied creative writing and poetry in college.

Mistah Wilson: So, tell us about your experience playing soccer. How did it impact your overall approach on music?
Ryan Aderréy: I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old. I always loved the sport. I went to Boston University on an athletic scholarship but after one semester a pro team in Holland called OmniWorld offered me a spot on their team so I took it. I went over there and played for three years before chronic injuries and visa problems forced me to come back and finish my schooling at Boston University. But there were so many lessons I learned from soccer that were easy to apply to music. To get to the professional level it took hard work and extreme sacrifice. I never went to prom. I never went to the homecoming dance. I was too busy training or playing in a tournament. The same applies now. You wont find me clubbing until 6 am on the weekends, you'll find me writing a new song or trying to improve my guitar playing. Soccer taught me that every day is a new opportunity to get better and each morning when I wake up I ask myself, "how can I better myself as an artist today?" In addition, playing in front of big crowds in Holland prepared me for getting on stage. Now my mentality is, the more people the better and I get a rush from performing.

Mistah Wilson: In your own words, what does it take to be a great songwriter?
Ryan Aderréy: First of all, I've always been a big believer that songwriting has to be genuine. I honestly don't think it's something that you can fake. You might get away with that for a while but I believe the listener will eventually catch on. Songwriting is about words, yes, but the listener has to believe that you've also walked the walk. Second of all, being a great songwriter takes a tremendous amount of hard work. Sometimes I re-write a verse ten times because I simply won't accept anything less than perfection. Are you willing to do that? Most people would answer no but that's exactly what it takes to make a hit song. And lastly, songwriting is about more than just words, it also includes writing the song's melody. Many people are brilliant with words but that doesn't necessarily mean they're a good songwriter. Ultimately, you want your song to pierce the listener right in the heart and the melody is a huge part of that. You could have the most beautiful lyrics in the world but if the melody is boring it doesn't matter because nobody will listen. So as you can see, to be a great songwriter, it takes much more than people realize.

Mistah Wilson: Give us the names of some of the people you worked with in the music industry and what you learned from them...
Ryan Aderréy: Jimmy Douglass...he taught me to always think big picture instead of stressing
http://www.ryanaderrey.com
the small stuff and he taught me how legends like Justin Timberlake conduct themselves in the studio.
Zach Ziskin...he taught me how to be a better songwriter and how to write tracks that are in my most comfortable vocal range. Before Zach, I never thought about that. I would just write whatever sounded good to me at the time. Without Zach I wouldn't be where I am today as a songwriter.
Anita Wilson...she's been my vocal coach for the last three years. Before her, the only place I could sing was in the shower. She's known as the "developmental guru of the south". Her and her partner, Athena Cameron, who's my stage coach, really molded me into the live performer I am now.
Black Violin...they taught me how to be a true professional in the studio. They were hired to play strings on a few songs of mine and they knocked it out in less than an hour. They had never heard the songs before they came to the studio and still, they came ready to put in work, didn't waste of minute of anybody's time and produced a top-notch product.
There are a ton of other names I could mention but I narrowed it down to the most recent/most important.

Mistah Wilson: What are the names of some of your favorite songs? Even ones you may have written for other artists & purposes...
Ryan Aderréy: I've got so many favorite songs in many different genres but right now I have the new albums of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco on repeat. I'm addicted to their energy in their songs and when they perform. I also love their songwriting. There's so much passive-aggressiveness and cynicism in their words and their melodies are beautiful and get stuck in your head immediately. On those albums my favorite songs are "Young Volcanoes" by Fall Out Boy and "Collar Full" by Panic! At The Disco.

Mistah Wilson: What would you say is the most challenging thing when trying to succeed as an artist?
Ryan Aderréy: To succeed in music these days you have to have an awesome team around you. I've been blessed with that but many artists are doing this on their own and it's damn near impossible to breakthrough that way. In this industry, it really is who you know. Even Macklemore or Tech N9ne, who are the poster boys for doing it independently, had some kind of major help along the way. Don't be fooled, nobody who succeeds in this industry does it by themselves. Macklemore hired a radio promoter/marketer from a major label when he felt the songs weren't getting enough exposure and Tech needed help from Travis O'Guin who started Strange Music and put millions behind the label. If they never got the help they needed, we'd probably be hearing their music on a much smaller scale. The hardest part is getting someone to invest monetarily in your marketing and your promotion. You could have 100 hit songs but it won't matter if you don't know how to attract listeners.

Mistah Wilson: What's do you enjoy most about your job as a singer/songwriter?
Ryan Aderréy: The fact that I get to do something I love for a living. How many people can say that? It's also great to be able to have a healthy outlet for whatever I may be feeling at the time and I also enjoy the notion that I could be the voice for those who don't feel like they have one.

Mistah Wilson: How serious do you take your performances?
Ryan Aderréy: I take shows very seriously. Every performance is a chance to gain a new fan
http://www.ryanaderrey.com/
who may not have heard about you until that night. We rehearse for weeks before a show. The musicians play to a click track which is synced to background vocals we run off a computer so everything has to be perfect. Also, there isn't much money in album or single sales anymore because there are so many ways to illegally download songs. Most of an artist's earnings come from shows so every time we hit the stage we make sure to give everything we've got because we want to keep being booked.

Mistah Wilson: Who were some of your primary influences as an aspiring artist?
Ryan Aderréy: Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jackson Browne, Eminem, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Paramore, Jason Mraz, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Ne-Yo, Nirvana, OneRepublic, Plain White T's, Timbaland, Pharrell, 30 Seconds to Mars and of course my good friend Keshav Singh.

Mistah Wilson: What do you plan on accomplishing through your music?
Ryan Aderréy: That's a good question. We've always said that our existence as a band is exclusively for the listener. Our fans are everything to us. We feel that if you're in it for the right reasons, good things are bound to happen. If you're only in it for money or materialistic things you're not going to last long in this industry. If we can create a large and loyal fan base through a genuine product that fans can relate to, that's a big accomplishment in our eyes.

Mistah Wilson: How important is it to you to give back to the community?
Ryan Aderréy: I was actually thinking about this just the other day. It's a very important thing to us and we'd like to give back in any way that we can. We're nothing without our fans. and if they're generous enough to give us their attention and listen to our music, the least we can do is give back to the community. At the end of the day, being good people is more important to us than being great artists. If you're in a position to help those in need, we feel it's something you have to do.

Mistah Wilson: What inspiring words do you have for up-and-coming artists out there who may be reading this right now?
Ryan Aderréy: HANG IN THERE! In the past, I've wanted to quit more times than I can count but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. But even more importantly, make sure you network as much as humanly possible. IT'S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW! One connect leads to another which leads to another which leads to a big break down the road. No connection is too small. Every bridge you create matters. Of course releasing music is essential because you need to have something to show people but networking is the most vital thing you can do as an up-and-coming artist. And network the right way. Don't have your hand out asking for favors
http://www.ryanaderrey.com/
all day. Make sure to offer something in return that you could do for the other person. People really appreciate that and will keep you in mind for opportunities in the future.

Mistah Wilson: Well, thank you much, Ryan Aderrey for coming through for this exclusive interview with us. It was truly an honor to have you. If you have shout outs, let's hear em!
Ryan Aderréy: The pleasure was all mine. I'll shout out my amazing band members, Music Promotion Inc. which is our incredible marketing/promotion team, Sam Kaiser from MVP Entertainment who's gotten our debut single all over Top 40 radio, Zach Ziskin for his great work producing our entire album, our entertainment lawyer/confidant Richard Clarvit, our hard-working PR girl Jennifer Allison who arranges all our interviews, my devoted followers and all my friends, family and loved ones. Last but not least, INTIME Records for their unconditional support and allowing me the creative freedom to grow as an artist.
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