Check out our interview with Virginia-based singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Wright who creates songs that don’t make sense on paper–an ethereal, haunted voice singing angsty lyrics over confectionary, synth-driven hooks–and yet the results are at once timeless and timely. Wright’s arresting voice embodies an ancient, unnamable heartache. Her lyrics–at times profane, often tongue-in-cheek, occasionally devastating–reveal a searing wit and a sensitive heart. Wright’s songs speak to the kind of heartache that can only be experienced during one’s teenage years and yet the truth of her lyrics is universal and undeniable.
In her new single “A Dream I’ll Forget” Wright finds herself adrift in a delirium of heartbreak as she untangles the unsettling realization that a relationship might not have been everything she thought. Constructed around the concept of waking from a dream with a hazy recollection, the track begins in a lull of lethargic whispers, before brightening into a constellation of starry synths and crackles of fireworks. In a vulnerable moment of introspection, Wright lets the tormenting reality wash over her as she considers that the love she felt was just a product of her imagination, singing, “Sometimes when I sleep, You’re slow dancing with me, but it’s only a dream I’ll forget.” At once confessional and confrontational, her other-wordly vocals hint at a subtle desperation as the reality she once believed to be a dream devolves into a nightmare.
Follow Ryan @ryanwrightmusic
Hi Ryan, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a 19 year old artist from the Washington, DC area. I write and record angsty, dreamy, indie synth pop.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Funny. As. Hell. I’m kidding! Goofball, sarcastic, and fun.
How did you get started in the business?
My dad is a writer and producer so I grew up in his studio. I’ve been writing songs since I
was old enough to make sounds.
How has this changed your life?
It’s allowed me freedom to express myself. songs can be like therapy. I get to take on
multiple personas, like different versions of myself and put them all out there through my
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
(see above) I grew up in the music business. My dad’s music friends are all honorary
aunts, uncles and big brothers and sisters to me.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Dreamy, angsty, synthy
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My grandparents raised me on Time Life oldies compilation CDs so artists like the Everly
Brothers, Connie Francis and Roy Orbison became huge inspirations for me. My Aunt played me the Killers when I was 3 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I come from a blended family of music lovers with excellent taste.
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar and can get around on a keyboard enough to write something, oh and i just got an Omnichord.
Do you ever get nervous?
I live in a constant state of panic.
Tell us about your new single “A Dream I’ll Forget”?
I wrote it pacing around my room and it lived in my voice memos for a few months before
I got into the studio and got a chance to make it weird.
What’s the story behind the song?
A Dream I’ll Forget is my most heartbreaking single to date. The song evokes the
unsettling feeling of waking up and not quite being able to remember what you’ve dreamt of, but in this instance you’re waking up and forgetting everything good in a relationship. In the aftermath of a breakup, you’re left wondering if all the good things you thought you had were just all in your head. The concept of dreaming is reflected in both the lyrics and production—images of a starry night in July are backed by the sound of fireworks fizzling in the sky to create an ethereal, surreal sound.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Creating art and feeling proud of something I’ve made. I love collaborating with other creative people and the friendships that come from that.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The Great Gatsby. I’ve read it nine times. The language is so beautiful it pushes me to be a better writer.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Treat other people the way I want to be treated. Stay grounded to who you are and what you feel is right.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
See as many concerts as possible and kiss as many boys before the pandemic. And for my even younger self; keep crayons out of your nose.
How would your best friend describe you?
Dramatic and a bit of a dumbass, but a good and loyal friend.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Cryin Ryan – Why That Girl So Sad? Filed under mysteries.
What’s next for Ryan Wright for 2022?
My EP “A Dream I’ll Forget” is out March 4th on Handwritten Records. Some touring,
hopefully some hits.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I like chickpea chicken salad (I’m a pescatarian) and sushi all day every day.
And your favorite cheat food?
Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food and Watermelon Sour Patch Kids.
How would you explain your fashion style?
A bit all over the place. A little edgy, a little punky, and a little french. Early nineties-ish.
What is your own definition of happiness?
A Dr. Marten endorsement. Lots of guitars and dogs. And sushi.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Roy Orbison. I want to sing a duet with him. He’s the coolest.
Best advice ever given?
My step dad has always told me to treat people the way you wish to be treated. That’s
the golden rule. He’s my biggest supporter.
Do you support any charity?
Team Mathias. Mathias Giordano was a friend who died at 13 from osteosarcoma. He
loved my voice and his family has become like family to me. Every time I put a song into
the world I think of him and hope he’s somewhere in the galaxy listening on repeat.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Hopefully paying the bills by making my art. I hope to possibly have a really hot boyfriend
as well 🙂
Favorite song? Why?
How can you pick just one? My current obsession is Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.”
It’s SO beautiful and heartbreaking.
What do you think of Social Media?
It has its pros and cons. As an independent artist I can’t live without it but it can also be
very draining. I have to try to balance my time on it to stay healthy. TikTok is a problem
for me 🙂
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Great Gatsby
Quote: “No F***ing Fighting” (I’m a huge Peaky Blinders fan)
Movie: “Moulin Rouge” (Of course Cryin Ryan would love only the saddest movie ever) Tv
Tv Series: “Peaky Blinders”
Favorite Food: Sushi
Travel Destination: Germany or Greece
Sports Team: The Washington Nationals