Before his work with Sade, Ryan was a familiar face on New York Cityâ€™s progressive, urban live music scene. As the leader of his own Ryan Waters Band, Ryan wrote, produced and independently released two original albums on which he performed all of the vocal and instrumental tracks himself. He made appearances in many of the cityâ€™s top live music venues, but chose to put most of his energy toward interacting with other creative minds in various group projects. He wrote, recorded and toured with V2 recording artist Olu, a Harlem based soul singer whoâ€™s album Soul Catcher won much critical acclaim. Ryan also co-founded a musical collective called Earthdriver that brought together many of New Yorkâ€™s most progressive underground artists and he produced the groupsâ€™ debut independent release No Oneâ€™s Slave, which, through the support of legendary producer Bill Laswell, has found a large audience in Japan on the Dogtail label.
Ryan discovered and honed his talents in his hometown of Portland, Oregon where he started on the family piano at the age of five and soon began studying guitar at the local music store. By the time Ryan finished 7th grade, he was already playing guitar in a blues band and had become proficient on keyboards, drums, and bass as well. Through the rest of his school years, Ryan continued to grow as a musician, playing in various rock and blues bands. During this time he also began to write songs, which fueled his desire to sing. At sixteen, he started the first band in which he was both lead vocalist and lead guitarist. It was also with this group that he began producing his own recordings.
Ryan comes from an extremely diverse background, both culturally and musically. His ethnic roots are a mix of African-American, French, Spanish, and Native-American and his musical sensibilities reflect this eclectic heritage. Ryan lists early influences ranging from Ray Charles and Muddy Waters to Public Enemy and Stevie Ray Vaughan and draws contemporary inspiration from such varied artists as Prince, Rage Against the Machine, and Nine Inch Nails. All distinctly different sounds indeed, yet when one hears Ryanâ€™s music, a direct line can be drawn to each. Songs based in the blues, infused with elements of rock and hip-hop, that showcase his instrumental prowess; All tied together with insightful, razor-sharp lyrics and by a unique voice that is instantly recognizable.
Through all of his varied projects, Ryan has continued to write and record his music at a prolific pace, compiling albums worth of material and distilling all of his influences into his own signature sound. Armed with the abilities and experience of an artist twice his age and the enthusiasm and energy of one at half, Ryan Waters is ready to present this sound to the world.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Everywhere You Dig
2. All Up In Your Head
3. What You Got When What You Got's Gone
4. Just To Keep My Head Above It
5. The Hard Way
7. Nothing Left To Leave Behind
9. Please (Don't Do Me Wrong)
12. Look What They Done To My Song