By Stephanie Stevens
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A SINGER AND SONGWRITER?
It’s just something I’ve felt compelled to do for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a desire to create things and share them with as many people as possible. It’s like a craving I can’t resist.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU REALIZED YOU COULD SING AND WRITE A SONG?
I’ve been writing little poems, and lyrics for a very very long time, but I was around fifteen years old when I wrote on guitar and attempted to sing. It wasn’t until I heard a recording of myself singing from a performance at a church service that I had some confidence in myself to continue working on my singing voice
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST SONG YOU EVER WROTE? AND WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT IT?
I do actually, I wrote a song called “Mainstreet Road” It was a song about this road that I would walk on alone at night as a kid in East Texas. I remember just walking down the road at night alone with nothing but my thoughts. I was pretty hyper sensitive as a young person, and something about those long walks at night gave me some type of therapy.
WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR INFUENCES GROWING UP, AND HOW DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE SHAPED THE WAY YOU WRITE AND YOUR VOCAL ABILITIES?
It might be because I was born in the early 90’s, but it was 90’s music that I first fell in love with. There are so many artists from that era that to this day still have an effect on me. Whether it’s intent or not, some of those influences may be noticeable in my music from time to time.
GROWING UP DID YOU TAKE SINGING LESSONS? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GROW INTO AS A VOCAIST, THE MORE YOU WRITE AND PERFORM?
I have no formal training other than a few years of high school choir. I’m kind of on the fence about lessons in general. Unless you’re going into some professional competition- I think it’s important to take a long time and practice alone. It’s important to sound like you and no one else. The same goes with who I become as a vocalist… I hope I can deliver my most natural sound, and perfect the craft of doing so.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPRIATION WHEN WRITING?
It sucks, but I tend to write the most songs when my life is in turmoil. Life is not easy, and there’s something about living through pain, ache, and struggle that really inspires me when I sit down with a guitar. I never write any songs when everything is peachy…I’m too busy the bless I suppose.
COMING OUT OF DALLAS, HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT HELPS YOUR CAREER AND HOW HAS THAT MUSIC COMMUNITY HELPED YOU GROW AS A MUSICIAN?
I absolutely love Dallas, and the music scene in the town. I’ve lived in Dallas for about four years, and within that time frame I’ve grown an incredible amount. I’ve grown as a stage performer, as a singer, and as a writer. A lot of it has to do with the great supportive atmosphere I’ve been lucky to experience. Whenever there’s a show it feels more like a family reunion party then anything. There’s been a great number of people that have taken me in and treated me like family. I have nothing but great things to say about this place I’m happy to call home.
WILL THEIR BE AN EP OR CD COMING OUT? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE OVERALL SOUND TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN LISTENING?
Yes, I have a six-song EP called “ODE TO THE OUTCAST” I’m still not sure if you’d call it an EP or a “Mini Album” but what I tried to do is just write a small record that contains great songs. There is no overall theme other then it’s a sampler of songs that I feel were well written. I’ve already begun writing songs for a full-length album…I can tell you the overall sound for it would be “big sounding”. I’m a huge fan of movie soundtrack music, and that “big” sound is something I’m going for.
ANY FAVORITES OFF THE EP THAT YOU WANNA GO INTO A LITTLE DETAIL ABOUT? EITHER THE WAY THE SONG CAME TO BE OR THE WRITING PROCESS FOR IT?
I have two, “BROKEN WORLD” and “GOOD ENOUGH”. Both songs were written extremely fast…almost effortlessly. What’s funny to me is that my favorite songs always tend to be the ones that were the easiest to write. It’s almost as if the songs write themselves. For myself, if a song is making me bash my head against the wall for a long period of time…Maybe it’s just not meant to be?
OTHER THAN BEING A SOLO ARTIST, DO YOU HAVE A BAND AND WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO BE DOING IN THE FUTURE?
Yes, I do. I sing for the Dallas Hard Rock band “AWAKE IN THEORY”. We just released a record not too long ago, and right now we are just playing and booking more shows. We have another record written…it’s just a matter of getting into the studio and getting It done.
IF YOU WOULD EXPERIEMENT WITH ONE GENRE OF MUSIC OTHER THAN THE MUSIC YOU WRITE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO WRITE WITH, IF IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR THIS TYPE OF MUSIC?
As I said earlier I really love the kind of music that has that “Big” sound. I’ve also grown a love for electronic/rock/pop music. My ultimate dream would be to work with Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails on a track!
HOW CAN PEOPLE STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOU, FOR MUSIC AND NEWS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR OTHER ENDEAVORS?
The best place to keep up with my adventures at this time would be www.facebook.com/ryanavilamusic
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
I’ve put my heart and soul into writing this music. The number one thing that would make me happy is to know that people are listening…Better yet to know that people are digesting the music, and its making a difference for them in their daily life. I greatly appreciate the people that have given this new EP a shot, and I hope to make so much more music in the years to come!