Ryland James is a soulful young artist creating music with emotion and depth. He has been making and releasing music for a very long time – he started posting covers when I was very young and hasn’t stopped since. He seemed almost surprised by the long tenure of his time in the music industry as he recounted it, “[I was] posting covers constantly, and I did some local events in my hometown, and then I did some competitions, and just honed my craft. I think starting so young really helped me get comfortable with the music. I’ve grown up listening to music and performing, and I’ve done it for so long. It just feels so… natural to me. So that’s been a huge thing for me, so now when I’m on stage performing because performing feels so comfortable for me because of that, I think.” Currently touring the country with Alessia Cara, Ryland has been no stranger to the spotlight and sharing his music on stage.
Ryland explained that despite the comfort, there is pressure that comes with being noticed by massive artists like Shawn Mendes, touring with star Alessia Cara and chasing his big dreams from a young age, saying, “Just as much as comfort, there’s been just as much or even more pressure all the time. Because we’re always moving forward and we’re going on tour doing bigger events and things, there’s like an anxiety almost on my shoulders…”
When asked how touring has changed his relationship with his music, Ryland shared, “I feel like live music and recorded music – they’re two completely different things. Being on tour, you get to give people music face to face, which is a different experience than listening to it on a record. So, being on tour has changed my perspective of music. I feel like some of my own songs feel so much more comfortable now, when you perform them over and over again, you get comfortable, and you start to connect with people and see how the songs connect with people. So it’s definitely changed my perspective, and my own projects and just music in general in that way, for sure.”
Ryland is deeply focused on his craft. He takes time to reflect and grow from hsi experiences, and does all that he can to improve his work for his listener and self. He even starting making music to please his mother and grandma, ““I think when I was about 10 I sang ‘Who’s Lovin’ You’ by the Jackson Five for my Mom and Grandma because they’d seen it on a singing competition, and then they told me, ‘You know, you should try that.’ So I was just beltin’ it out one day and they were like, ‘Oh you can really sing!’ So I just went from there and became obsessed with it…”
Ryland recently released a cover of “Please Come For Christmas,” which works incredibly well with his deep and passionate vocal style. He shared that he wants to explore many genres with this singing, beyond simply sad music. His debut album coming in 2020 will be defiant and bold.
Ryland James has an innate ability to infuse his singing with emotion. Full of passion and often pain, his music has a rich quality that indicates the high caliber of his talent. Contrasting the depth and technical quality of his voice, his speaking voice is happy, slightly bouncing, and has a clear Canadian accent. This light that is present in his speaking, is indicative of the way he carries himself as an artist. He shows such gratitude for every opportunity he has been given, and is sure to continue to make strides with his exceptional voice.
You can listen to his music here.
Feature image courtesy of Ryland’s team at Republic Records