Ryan Shepherd press photo 2019

Ryan Shepherd chats about new single “Who’s Gonna Love U”

Ryan Shepherd dropped his new single “Who’s Gonna Love U” this morning and I’m already planning a fall trip somewhere hot so I can pretend this is my song of the summer.

I don’t listen to a ton of EDM music… I have no problems with it, I just don’t know where to begin. I listen to almost exclusively Canadian artists (am I biased? absolutely!) but this is my favourite track I’ve heard in a while. The title…. could easily spark an existential crisis, but he resides right in my favourite niche of electronic music. I’ve discovered house music is my go-to.

I always keep a couple on my playlists for when I need to dance around my room, and this one has been doing the trick for the last few weeks. It makes me think of… there’s a video that I CAN’T FIND of two kids dancing and death dropping, and it makes me feel like THAT. Please link the video if you find it.

I had the chance to chat with Ryan about the new track, his upbringing in the Ontario music scene, and what’s on his bucket list. I love his answers so much, give it a read and get to know Ryan Shepherd a little better!

Congrats on the release of “Who’s Gonna Love U”! How did this song come together? 

I met Heather via Instagram and we became friends instantly. We sent some ideas to one another and after some back and forth she sent this amazing vocal and I was instantly drawn to it. I sat in the studio for a couple days and couldn’t stop working on it. The ideas kept coming and when I finally came up for air we had what you are hearing today. I sent it over to Heather and she immediately called me with so much excitement that I knew we had something special. 

You’ve collaborated with a bunch of Canadian talent, which isn’t surprising because we’ve got tons of incredible artists to choose from. As an Ontario kid yourself, what music scene did you grow up in here? What shows did you go to, what venues were your stomping grounds? 

This question really sees no end but here it goes. 

I grew up playing drums for various bands in the small town of Georgetown where I grew up in. We would rehearse in my parents basement and perform to crowds in basements and small venues all over Southern Ontario. One in particular was in St. Catherines playing drums for a Screamo band and we had the chance to open up for Alexisonfire. It was a crazy night that I will never forget as the scene at the time with them leading the charge was something special. The energy in the room that night was unforgettable and was my first true taste of what performing live to a wild and passionate crowd was like. I remember we had to all chip in to help pay for a new ceiling and drywall in that poor person’s house lol 

In university is when I had my first taste of house music. My cousin, who had just begun to DJ, showed me his brand new DJ controller and began showing me his favourite tracks he was playing out. We are talking about classics from artists like Skrillex, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Avicii, Tiesto and several others. Over the next 3-4 years as my love of these artists and genre grew and my stomping grounds became the legendary Guvernment and Hoxton. Every weekend I would drive 4 hours from Sudbury to Toronto to see all of my favourite artists and would crash on my buddies couch. If I had to miss a weekend I remember having serious FOMO as the dance music scene in Toronto had grown into something incredible and every show was crazier and more fun than the last. 

Ryan Shepherd promo photo 2019

Previously, you worked in promotion to help bring EDM festivals to Toronto. Did this practical experience change the way you approach your creative career? 

Big time. I had the luxury of going into the industry backwards. I got to experience shows from the behind the scenes to see what went into it and how to properly promote them. I saw what people wanted and what they didn’t. What worked and what needed improvement. Thats why when I got my chance to make moves I knew the path I needed to take and also had the contacts to help me get there. It’s definitely a different way of going about it but I learned so much in the process. 

You’ve been playing residencies around Toronto and just recently played a set on main stage at Bud Light Dreams fest. What venues or festivals are on your bucket list? 

This is tough as there are so many amazing venues I am dying to play. Here is my current list: 

– Red Rocks in Colorado
– Tomorrowland in Belgium
– EDC Las Vegas
– Cafe Mambo Ibiza
Side Note: I have a personal pact that I will never travel to Ibiza unless I am playing a show. I have had opportunities but have bailed because of this pact. Wish me luck it happens soon because I’m dying to go there!
– Ultra Miami
– Shambhala in BC
– Ushuaia Ibiza
– Ministry of Sound in the UK 

What’s next for you? More singles, an album, tour, etc? 

Lots. First and foremost I am heading to Amsterdam to play a showcase party with my label Armada at Amsterdam Dance Event. It is Armada’s home base and my first time in the city that brought up so many incredible house music artists. Next I am joining my fellow Canadian boys Loud Luxury on their upcoming North America Tour. I will be doing 5-6 East Coast dates with them and I am too excited to hop on that bus! 

Musically I just released ‘Who’s Gonna Love U’ on Armada Music and you can expect another 3-4 singles before the end of 2019. I have been putting heavy hours in the studio and I can’t wait for my new work to finally come out. Stay tuned 🙂

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Paige Williams

Paige is a writer & creative multi-hyphenate living in Hamilton, Canada. Every band she loves breaks up eventually, but she can't find the witch who cursed her to this life. You can find more of her work on Billboard, Consequence of Sound, A.Side, and Paige Backstage.

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