LA-based pop singer-songwriter makes a great first impression.
Choreographed dance routines, super-producers, big name guests — you won’t find any of these things on Aly Ryan’s debut single, “Headed for Heartbreak,” which simply features Ryan’s impressive vocals, and an acoustic guitar.
It’s a bold move, but the stripped down gem sounds like it would fit in perfectly on Top 40 radio, amongst the likes of Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Demi Lovato, and Myspace has the exclusive first listen.
Wanting to know more about “Headed for Heartbreak,” we caught up with Ryan to ask her about the song; the time she was invited to work with Babyface, and how singing helped her overcome being bullied in school.
Tell us what inspired “Headed for Heartbreak,” and if it’s about a specific person who was a love interest of yours.
I met this guy who was so charming and sweet. We texted back and forth for a while. I would see him out, and he would call me, but he kept postponing our date. One day I walked into a studio session with a few friends and they asked me what was going on, and I told them that I liked this guy, but I felt like with him I was just “headed for heartbreak.” That's how we started writing the song.
“Headed for Heartbreak” is your debut single. What about this song makes it the perfect introduction to you, and your music?
I think the fact that we wrote it that day, and laid down a one take vocal and guitar, so what you are listing to is actually just the writing demo. That's how I am releasing it. I never recut the vocal, it's just one take — me and the guitar that day, feeling the song.
I love music in its raw stage. I'm always touched by great acoustic songs, so I wanted to make sure the first thing I put out is something raw. Oh, and in the end I did not go out with Mr. "Headed for Heartbreak" after all, but we got this song. I hope everyone likes it. If not, I’ll give you his number. [laughs]
I know you’re working on an album. When do you hope to have it ready, and what else can we expect from it?
This album is about overcoming adversity, and becoming a more beautiful soul because of it.
I'm hoping to have it ready by summer.
I feel so blessed to have such an amazing production team, and it has me super excited about what were doing. I feel like a kid in the candy store. I am working with DJ Luney Tunez (Rihanna, Future), Scott Bruzenak (Daya) and Nick Turpin (Justin Bieber, David Guetta).
In terms of what to expect … just hope you didn't break up with me, or put me down, in the last three years, cause (if you did), well, you're in there!
You’ve worked with Babyface on some songs, correct? I hear you have quite the story about how you two met. How did a Facebook message turn into a working relationship?
I've worked with him, and his production partner Antonio Dixon, as well as a lot of other great people in the industry. The way I contacted most of them was over Facebook. I just hit them up and told them what I wanted to do, and I got lucky! They replied back and invited me to come to the studio.
That's how it worked with Kenny (Babyface). He invited me to his studio, listened to my music, and gave me feedback and suggestions. I really appreciate him for doing that, it meant a lot to me, and gave me a huge boost of confidence in myself, as well as in my music.
I read that as a child you experienced some pretty harsh bullying. What happened, and how did music become your saving grace?
I think it was mostly that at one point I realized I could sing. It was something that came naturally and was a lot of fun. I didn't have any friends, so I started making friends in the music industry in Germany (where I was attending school).
I went to a studio in Germany where they recorded my vocal for a cover of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. One day I played it for one of the girls in school. She made fun of me and said that I was lying and that it wasn't me singing. I was 13 at the time. At that moment I almost decided never to sing again. I was crushed.
Instead, I decided to go to school the next day and I was going to show her. I walked up to the group and I started singing. Suddenly all the kids at school were listening, and when I stopped they applauded.
From then on they would always ask me to sing when we were in music class. I would get my hour of acceptance. The next day it went back to normal, and they treated me awful again. I think it made me realize that if I just sing all the time the bullying would stop and they would always love me.
Later on, songwriting became my way of expressing my feelings. Kinda like a diary.
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