“…I definitely don’t feel that you can create your best work until you’re honest with yourself, and sometimes it takes a while to get there and kind of realize what that means.”
Truer words were never spoken when it comes to the experiences of pop sensation, Ryan Beatty. Born in Clovis, California near Fresno County, Ryan Beatty found his love for music at a really young age. He reminisced over a moment when he was only in the 7th grade, and a teacher asked him to sing Aretha Franklin’s hit song, ‘Respect’, in front of the rest of the class. A feat that he pulled off extremely well, to the shock and awe of everyone in attendance. And Aretha’s not an easy artist to pull off…especially for a seven year old!
As he got older, he began making videos on Youtube with his sister…eventually breaking off to do videos of his own. With a unique voice and his boyish good looks, it didn’t take long for him to acquire a pretty decent fanbase for his talent…and then came ‘Bieber Fever’.
While Ryan says that he grew up listening to older music and artists like Phil Collins, James Taylor, Billy Joel, and ELO…covering the current pop songs of the moment was the way to go when it came to getting noticed on Youtube. And with a cute smile and similar haircut, avoiding comparisons to the reigning pop prince of the time was next to impossible. Fans immediately latched on to him and made him out to be the next big popstar within the first year of him covering chart topping songs from artists like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Cee-Lo Green, and others. But…it doesn’t seem like being the next ‘Justin’ was anywhere in his game plan. “I think Justin Bieber is really talented, but that’s not my style.” He said in an interview. He wanted to be more than just a Youtube famous popstar. He wanted to create his own music, his own sound, and as his videos began to reach millions of views a piece on his channel…it wasn’t long before the talent hawks came to seek him out.
Ryan went from song covers to working with professional songwriters who, I assume, were looking to build him to be the next big ‘franchise’ player on the pop scene. (A management and label deal that he would later refer to as ‘toxic’)
I remember seeing a video that he posted where he tried to explain why he took an extended break from music, and saying that he was making music that didn’t feel like it was coming from his heart. I imagine that it’s difficult for any teenager to step into a room with calculated corporate sharks who are doing everything they can to jump on the ‘Bieber Bandwagon’ and milk it for all they can during a virtual teen pop gold rush. How do you fight for your creative rights in a board room full of determined adults, you know?
But…the ball was already rolling, and Ryan went out there to give it his all. And of course…he was a success! How could he not be?
His first original song, “Every Little Thing”, made a big splash with his fans and the public in general. The song was played on RadioDisney and later on RyanSeachrest.com…quickly gaining in popularity and opening the door to his very first EP effort, ‘Because Of You’, which blessed us with his first ‘bigger budget’ music video, “Hey, LA”!
Hehehe, I still love that song! Just makes me feel good, for some reason.
The young boy who used to get made fun of at school by some of the other kids, simply because he liked to sing was now showing the industry what he was made of. And after gaining a massive audience, going on tour with Cody Simpson, and being nominated for a Teen Choice Award on multiple occasions, it looked like he was well on his way to a glorious career.
But there was still something missing. And his ‘toxic’ relationship with his label came to an end as he decided to take a different path. His own music. His own vibe. His own lyrics. Basically, everything that he wanted to do from the very beginning.
Tragedy struck in a Florida nightclub one night a few years back. A mass shooting in the ‘Pulse’ club, a gay nightclub, seemed so senseless. So heartless. And it was shortly after that…that Ryan Beatty chose to come out online. He let the world know that he was gay, saying, “I’m proud to be a raging homosexual.” He mentioned years of suffocating himself and being glad to finally be free of it. So…HUGE kudos to him for being able to do that! ::Roar Of Applause::
And this brings us to Ryan’s latest album, ‘Boy In Jeans’. Let me tell you…after listening to this album, it is CLEAR that this is more of his personal vibe! He sounds so much more comfortable with these songs and the stories he tells than he ever has before. You can feel him pouring his heart out, telling his truth. And if you think for one second that he was going to be vague or ambiguous about his sexuality on this album…you’d be WRONG!
Hehehe, you’re going to get the full story with this one. Affection, emotion, love, sex, secrets…for anyone who’s looking for an open and honest representation of the gay youth experience, I’d highly recommend giving this album a shot.
Plus it’s kind of cool to hear Ryan Beatty actually curse and get naughty with his lyrics now that he’s older! Hehehe! You won’t find a PG-13 popstar on this album! So don’t go scanning Radio Disney for these songs! They’re not in rotation! LOL!
To live in a time where Ryan Beatty can express himself truthfully, and join the ranks of other openly gay young stars like Greyson Chance and Troye Sivan, is mind-blowing to me. It’s like, “Wow…there are songs out there for ME too!” And I hope he keeps on being successful in his efforts. Dedicated, talented, and highly underrated, in my opinion.
I’m sure that we’ll be hearing more from Ryan in the future. His passion for music is something that I can tell will never fade. Ryan says, “I genuinely enjoy doing this, like..it’s not just something that I’m just kinda like doing for fun now. it’s more of like, I don’t know what I would do with my life if it wasn’t, you know, for music.”
“The more personal I get, the better I feel as a writer.” He says. Amen to that! Best of luck to you, Ryan! I’ll be keeping an eye out for your new stuff! And always…ALWAYS…remember to take some time away from the intensity of the rat race to have yourself some genuine FUN!!! K? 😛