EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: RYAN CABRERA

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: Hey Ryan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I’ve been a fan of yours since ‘Take It All Away’. I even met you in a mall when I was in my teens. [Laughs] For the record, I have washed my hands since.

Now, in the words of one of my biggest inspirations, Mr. John Lennon (who I know is one of your main guys as well): “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” I always thought this quote kind of related to your career in a weird way. You didn’t pick up the guitar until you were 16. How did it start?

RYAN CABRERA: I actually picked it up by accident. I would be bored at my friend’s house and he had a guitar there, so I’d pick it up and jam. Never really thought it would turn into anything, but when I heard Dave Matthews I knew that I wanted to master that instrument, so I started with learning as many Dave songs as possible. To me, watching him play became my guitar lessons!

MC: I recently saw you play a show at the Stanhope House in New Jersey. You definitely have progressed as an artist, in nothing but a positive way. After all, you have been in the business for many years. Do you ever get fully used to the limelight?

RC: Well, I feel experience only develops artists, but it also depends on your willingness to let it. I take everything that happens in my life and try to use it to push me to be better, especially in the songwriting. My only goal is to write songs that are real and have weight; it’s not easy in this time period, but I feel happy and confident that I have been doing that. I definitely can improve so much and just keep trying to do so.

MC: I have to ask, you have gone from a major label to making moves on your own. I totally respect artists who want to stick with playing music they like — under their own stipulations — but what has the journey been like for you over the years? Where did you picture yourself at this point in your career?

RC: The only place I’ve ever pictured myself is onstage and in the studio, so as long as I can do that, I am happy. I consider myself very fortunate to get to do what I love doing everyday; I don’t plan on stopping. As far as the label thing goes, it wasn’t easy when I turned in ‘The Moon Under Water’ because they had different ideas of what they wanted the record to sound like. For me, I’d worked too hard on it and believed in it too much to throw it away and write a new album under somebody else’s opinion, so I put up the money myself and put the album out independently. A lot of people ask if I wish I would’ve stuck with a major label and the answer is no. For that time period, I would have been disappointed in myself if I would have put out that record. Now we move on and see where life takes us on this new album.

MC: I know you are currently working on new material. Finally! It’s been awhile! What can fans expect from this release after your long hiatus?

RC: This record is more upbeat and organic than before – it’s really fun, but in a serious manner. Some acoustic tracks, some playful tracks, but all in all, I wanted songs that can stand alone. They are produced up but don’t necessarily need the bells and whistles. There’s a track called ‘Shake the Earth’ about stirring the pot and living life with no regrets. Then there’s a stripped down song right after that, so it’s definitely a variety, but back to the basics.

MC: Just a little food for thought… My favorite song of yours is ‘Enemies’. I have an ultimate goal for you to serenade me with that song. Just throwing that out there, in case you ever have any free time.

RC: [Laughs] That was always a funny song for me because I wrote that song when I was sick, so my voice was really nasally and high-pitched. When I got better I realized I wrote it in a way too high key! So it’s tough live, but I whip it out from time to time!

MC: I always have admired you as a songwriter, and find myself continually listening to many of your songs depending on certain moods that I am in. Where do you pull your inspiration from when writing?

RC: Any situation that is on my mind. I like writing straight to the point lyrics but w a lil’ twist. So if a girl cheated on me, I’ll write about it. If I cheated on a girl, I’ll write about it. If I’m bummed about something, I’ll write about it. If I’m stoked, I’ll write about it. It’s fun to tell stories!

MC: What usually comes first during the recording process? The music or the lyrics?

RC: For me, the music comes first. It sets up the vibe for where you go lyrically. You don’t want to write a love song and the music make you feel sad, you want one to compliment the other and give you the feeling of your lyrics as well.

MC: Throughout your career you have shared the stage with so many talented artists. Is there one that stands out the most, and if so, why?

RC: Yes, a friend of mine named Jay Buchanan. I got to bring him out on tour with me and I watched him play every single night of the tour. I am a fan and was honored that he’d even open for me. There’s actually been a lot of people who have played with me who I was a huge fan of: Aslyn, Kyle Riabko, The Veronicas, Holly Brook (aka Skylar Grey), Bonnie McKee.

MC: This may be a tough question to answer, but what do you enjoy more? Recording or hitting the road?

RC: I’d say hitting the road. You can’t beat playing live; having fun with people and experiencing something that you are controlling. I’ve always enjoyed being in front of people and entertaining! The studio can be long and tedious, but I do love the creation aspect of it, especially when it’s done. [Laughs]

MC: So what are your plans for the summer? Hopefully you say an East Coast Tour?

RC: Not exactly sure yet, but the ultimate plan is to finish the album, work my ass off, and tour non-stop!

MC: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me Ryan, Mr. Cabrera if ya nasty, for our blog, BiggerThanBeyonce.Com, where it’s no bullshit, no gossip, just music. Any parting words for Ryan Cabrera fans?

RC: My pleash! And yeah, I appreciate everyone who has and continues to support me on this journey! Peace, love, and pancakes!

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