Ryan Woods has achieved a lot in his 21 years sailing around this space rock in his metaphorical sailboat. After spending years preparing for the launch of his music project, he flew out of the gate in 2020 with a signing to East West Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, and a cool ten million spins on debut single, “Bad Texter”. From there things continued to grow, culminating in the release of his debut album, King of the Basement, early this year. It all happened so quickly, it would be easy to be swept away by it and let a major label dictate the next half-decade before coming up for air.
But now, as we near another new year, the winds have changed. Moving forward as an independent artist, Ryan’s adjusted his sails and charted a new course for what he wants in the future. His latest release — a cover of Elton John’s classic “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” — sets the tone for where he’s currently at, despite it being recorded a year ago. Things are changing, and it’s scary and exciting and exhilarating. He’s ready to take the helm himself and head wherever his creativity takes him without having to conform to the plans of a boardroom. But he’s equally happy taking the sails down for a moment and just enjoying the sun on his skin and the salt air in his lungs. After all, life is just a sailboat, making the most of whatever weather conditions are thrown at it.
I remember talking to his manager years ago about how he’d discovered Ryan singing covers on YouNow and instantly felt he needed to work with him. After spending an hour chatting with him myself, I understood exactly why. His energy is magnetic and just leaves you wanting him to live the life he dreams of — and the endless stream of perfect pop tracks don’t hurt either. We chatted about his new cover, what he’s most excited for with his new independence, the hundreds of songs he wrote during the pandemic… and we get plenty of guest appearances from his cat, Indigo. You can check it all out below.