NEWCOMER SPOTLIGHT: Ryland James – Blame

Ryland James is a 21 year old pop singer-songwriter from Deseronto, Ontario, Canada, which is very small, just less than 2,000 people, about 2 and a  half hours east of Toronto. 

His style of music is a blend of pop, soul, and a bit of R&B with a gospel influence.

Ryland tries to keep his sound as organic as possible but has recently been working on newer stuff that he describes as a bit more modern and experimental with a more electronic influence in order to expand his sound. 

Discussing his influences Ryland said that he finds inspiration and influence in every person he meets and in every experience he has. In terms of music artists that influence Ryland James, Adele has had the biggest influence on his music.

He goes on further to state that “Adele and Sam Smith’s music touched my soul while I  was working on the last project”.

Going back further to his childhood he was inspired by the greats such as Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, and has always been drawn to big voices or artists who can wipe the floor with their voices.

More recently Ryland has found a lot of inspiration in singer-songwriters such as Hozier, Birdy, Julia Michaels, and JP Saxe. 

In a nutshell, Ryland states that he listens to a wide array of different music and artists, which has led him to get his influences from all over the place, which has resulted in his influences all kind of subconsciously leaking out when he sits down to create his music now. 

Reflecting on how he got into music Ryland James said: “I was apparently always a musical child according to my family”. His parents remember him singing and repeating songs in the backseat of the car as young as 2 years old. Supporting his parents’ claim, he also remembers always loving music and being drawn to it constantly as a kid.

Ryland played the video games Rockband and Guitar Hero 3 religiously when they first came out and always jumped at the opportunity to sing as much as possible in school musicals. His grandma played gospel records all the time when he was at her house and she played gospel piano herself, so he’d sing with her and watch her play often, to then go tinker on the keys himself. 

These moments at his grandma’s house really shaped the foundation for who he’d become as a  musician. 

When he was 10 years old he heard someone singing “Who’s Loving You” by the Jackson 5 on TV. His mum and grandma encouraged him to try singing it, which he eventually did one day and apparently blew them away with it.

From that moment on he was obsessed. School teachers and some others in the community started noticing his abilities, and he began performing at local events and on YouTube.

Over the years Ryland has built a following and has performed all over, locally and in the city. These performances led to his integration into the music industry at 17 years old after his manager found some of his videos online…and now here he is! 

Ryland James has always wanted to collaborate with Tori Kelly or Alessia Cara because he feels like they’d both bring something so unique to a writing project. He has always highly respected both their writing and performance styles and wishes to work with them in the future.

Ryland James’ favourite song at the moment is “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo. He is absolutely in love with her voice, and the fact that she has that talent at just 17 years of age is insane to him. 

Talking about his latest single “Blame”, Ryland said: “I think “Blame” has a very instantly catchy sound to it that draws people in. I  created it with the intent of it being a fun pop-leaning song that people can be uplifted by, so if you want something you can sing along to and dance to, then I’d definitely add it to your playlist!”.

He also asserted that he believes the message behind “Blame” is so important, due to the fact that in every human relationship, there’s never just one person to blame when things start going off the tracks.

He hopes it encourages people to think about the role they play in their relationships, to realize no one is perfect, and that everyone has a bigger role to play in the grander picture of life.

“Blame” is definitely a catchy song that will uplift your spirit and get you singing along to its emotive lyrics, so make sure you press play and enjoy the song to avoid blaming us down the line if you miss out.

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