Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Ryan Kinder found his love of music early on, creating a sound of his own. Fast forward to today and Ryan is back on his own, dropping his first self-release single, “STAY.”
Written by Ryan, Fred Wilhelm and Luke Sheets, “Stay” finds the Alabama native begging a person to stick around and be there for him as his world is falling apart.
“We wrote it for a friend’s wedding, but we were listening to the Beatles ‘Help.,'” Ryan tells One Country. “Fred [Wilhelm] brought it in and said, ‘Oh, you gotta listen to this,’ and it was just the vocals singled out, and there was such power in that recording. We’re like, ‘We should write something with that kind of power and that kind of vocal performance.’
“Friends asked us to write a wedding song, but it’s turned into so much more with the song pleading for something to stay and keep with you through the fire and the flames and come out on the other side through the worst of times. It’s become a life mantra.”
“Even the sun can’t hang around / And everybody else just lets me, let me down / I know that I just can’t be alone right now / Stay, why don’t you, why don’t you / Stay, I want you, I want you / To stay with me baby, a little bit longer / I need something I can hold onto, onto / Stay,” he kicks off the song.
After releasing a handful of singles under the Warner Bros. label, including “Kiss Me When I’m Down,” Ryan has found his groove and is at his best vocally. Adding bluesy guitar playing to his scorching vocals, makes “Stay” a standout track.
“It’s the most raw recording we’ve had. It’s spotlighting what I love to do most is to sing loud with soul and play a soulful solo,” Ryan describes. “‘Cause when I grew up listening to Keith Urban, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Freddie and Albert King and all those guys, they’re not just playing solos. They’re singing them. There’s emotion. Every note is emoting some sort of feeling, and that’s what I try to do every time I play a solo. I’m not dogging anybody that can play all the notes, but that doesn’t tug at my heartstrings in the middle of a song. That doesn’t take me to the next level after the solo to make that chorus hit even harder.”
Influenced by artists like John Mayer, Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks, Ryan describes his sound as a sweet mixture of soul.
“Riff rolling rock with a side of sweet Southern soul,” Ryan says of his sound. “That’s what I feel like it is because country’s almost genre-less at this point. There’s so many facets of what kind of music’s played on the radio, and it honestly doesn’t matter if somebody thinks it’s country or not. If you identify and love the song and listen to it, that’s all that really matters.”
As his career takes off, Ryan has been able to check off a few bucket list moments throughout his career, including touring with Zac Brown on his Great American Road Trip tour, a tour stint with John Fogerty and ZZ Top on the Blues and Bayous tour, brought on because of Ryan’s rearrangement of Credence Clearwater Revival’s hit “Fortunate Son,” and a gig in Europe to play a concert with Eric Clapton.
Up next, Ryan will be hitting the road with Drake White and continuing to work in the studio on his full-length album, due out in 2019.
5 Things You Need To Know About Ryan
- “I love to garden. My wife loves cucumbers, so I enjoy growing cucumbers for her.”
2. “I started doing triathlons and iron mans not too long ago because one of my best friends passed away. He was a Apache pilot in the Army. He passed away and wasn’t able to do that, so I took his place. I met his roommate and we were talking about iron man stuff and how [my friend] was talking about doing that too, so I took it upon myself to do those in honor of him. I know if he was still here, he’d be doing them.”
3. “I love cooking. I’m trying to perfect the right risotto. It’s not that hard to make it, but it’s impossible to make it perfect.”
4. “I love football and baseball. I’m a huge Phillies fan and a huge Alabama and Titans fan.”
5. “My dad was contractor for a long time, so I really enjoy helping him build stuff and trying to build stuff myself.”