Ryland James reminds us what Christmas is all about with his five-track holiday EP
Canadian singer-songwriter Ryland James first came to our attention when he received widespread acclaim across North America after generating tens of millions of streams and his previous single ‘In My Head’ was certified gold in Canada (WOW!!).
Having received approval from pop-sensation Shawn Mendes, Ryland is definitely one to watch.
We chatted to Ryland over zoom about his new EP and how to keep your Christmas spirit up in 2020.
How have you been? How have you stayed creative this year?
Right now things are kind of going back into lockdown loads and it’s a little bit tough but this whole entire year has been kind of transformational for me specifically I think just having all the time alone has been a great thing but has also been chaotic at times a lot of fear but overall it’s been okay.
Tell us about your new EP. What made you want to do a Christmas EP?
I go up listening to all kinds of music and when I was first starting out! Justin Bieber had started his career and I remember him putting out a Christmas album and I grew up listening to Josh Groban and Mariah and Celine and all these massive singers that always done big Christmas projects and I always knew that that was something that I wanted to do. Last year I put out a single called ‘please come home for Christmas’ and people were really liking it and were asking for a project so I thought well this is the perfect time to do it. I’m really excited about it and I’ve been getting a lot of really good feedback
What’s your favourite Christmas track to sing?
I think my all-time favourite is the Christmas song that song is just a classic so that one always comes to mind. I love all kinds of Christmas songs, especially the big choir type ones.
What’s was the hardest song to record? Was there any you tried and decided you couldn’t make it work?
When I was creating this EP, I was thinking that I would like to do songs that you don’t hear super, super often and I wanted to do something that was a little bit different. So I went through a list of all my favourite songs but there were none that I tried that didn’t work. I took inspiration from some of the original but added my own twist. I think ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ was one track I knew I wanted to make super gospel and soulful.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I feel like I have many but I’ve always wanted to do something with Adele! She’s my biggest inspirations. And also Sam Smith.
How do you get into the holiday spirit?
Good question! I think every year it’s something different, depending on how busy I am. I think music has been one of the greatest avenues for me and It really puts me into that place. The first snowfall always puts me into the holiday mood! As long as there’s snow and Christmas music playing then it’s hard not to feel that way.
When you finally get to a play a gig in front of an actual live audience. What are you most looking forward to?
I was thinking about this last night! I don’t think I’ve realised how much I actually missed it and you can get so caught up in the creative process but I’m most excited about that human connection and being able to see the faces of the people that listen to my music! I’m very excited to connect with people again and I can’t wait to incorporate new things into shows.
Have you ever had any embarrassing on-stage moments?
I’ve had some awkward moments! There have been times where music doesn’t work or when something goes wrong! I was doing a show in Toronto earlier this year and I was walking and singing, I ended up stepping on the cord which came out so the audience couldn’t hear me anymore. It was more awkward than embarrassing.
What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever give you?
Never anything strange, I always get a lot of letters from fans which I love and I once got given a smoky-quarts crystal which was super interesting. It’s meant to be super protective so I always keep it with me.
What would be the theme tune to your life?
I’m thinking Complicated by Avril Lavigne but It’s not the theme. Is there a song about being a really complex or complicated person because then that would be me
Follow @RylandJamesMusic on Instagram