Ryan Waite – Turn A Light On
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Ryan Waite – Turn A Light On

 

Ryan Waite – Turn A Light On
Ryan Waite – Turn A Light On

 

Artist Name:  Ryan Waite

 

Song Title:  Turn A Light On

 

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State your reason for choosing music as a career. 

Well, to be quite honest, I’m not doing it as a career. It’s sort of a side hobby right now.

 

However, I do have the motivation to hopefully have at least one song break a million plays on Spotify. Why is that my goal? I don’t know. I guess it would solidify that at least one of my songs didn’t sound good only in my head but most people’s heads. That would be an exquisite feeling.

 

I’m not going to pretend to be all humble and like I’m only doing this for the music: I would absolutely love for a career to form from this. It would be such a fabulous, unique experience, but it’s not something that is my purpose in life–so, it won’t break my heart if something like fame or monetary value stems from this.

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Tell us how you write the lyrics to your song. 

I write the songs’ melodies first as a foundation, and I then go into lyrics.

 

The songs always must have a lyrical theme–either a fiction story or a sort of thought process on a philosophical theme. Sometimes they come easily, other times it’s like pulling teeth.

 

My lyrics are definitely influenced a lot by Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie).

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Discuss your life outside the music world. 

I’m currently selling software, and it’s possibly one of the most disingenuous forms I can live my life. I can “talk big” in my music, and yet, I’m still a coward with my career. There’s so much more to unpack there, but I’ll leave it at that.

 

I have been married to my wife, Maile, who somehow agreed to live and be with me even though I might be in the top 1% most annoying and opinionated person in the world.

 

We are expecting twins in October, so that’s cool . . . I mean, I keep forcing myself to say, “I’m excited” and “thank you” after being congratulated. But in all seriousness, I’m scared to fucking death: we were planning on one, I don’t know what I’m doing with my career, and my PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF! That’s one thing about me: regardless if you know me that well or how confident I know your movie knowledge; I will quote movie references…

 

I’m an avid Utah Jazz fan.

 

I play too much Rocket League (veeganator is my Xbox Live name), which I guess gives you a clue about the next thing, I’m a vegan and have been for about 3 years. However, I’m like a situational vegan, meaning if there’s ever meat, dairy, or eggs on the menu, I’ll order it. Just kidding, I’m strict ha-ha; however, since my wife has become pregnant the non-dairy and non-egg diet has been thrown out the window.

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Discuss your music career. 

I used to be in a band in 2015, called Family Reunion – Spotify. It was an amazing and difficult experience to get four songs recorded, but all the band members, including myself, decided to get married at the same time. We broke up and never got the band back together. I think the music is pretty good; not too embarrassed about it (it’s Indie Rock).

 

I decided to put out singles recently, though, because putting out multiple songs at once was incredibly daunting back in 2015. Also, doing it with multiple variables (three bandmates) where you are the songwriter, never seemed to work.

 

So, I realized that I wanted to do it solo if I were to record music.

 

Finally, I started releasing songs (I have three other songs out “All in Your Head,” “What the Boss Said,” and “Good Timing”) because I have so many songs written, and I owe it to myself to see if some of them are actually good. So, why not share it with the world and see what the results are? Expect more singles, but most of all, expect them to all sound a little different, as I have no idea what my sound should be yet.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name. 

It’s my name, and I’m a narcissist. Ok, although partially true, I got tired of telling people how to find “Family Reunion” in Spotify, so I figured using my name was the easiest way for people to find my music, especially since “Ryan Waite” wasn’t listed anywhere in music–so, I wasn’t competing with any other names.

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List your favourite music video with reason. 

I don’t watch too many music videos, but I know this isn’t an original opinion – Childish Gambino’s “This is America” was incredible. It blew me away. I am not lying when I say I watched it without knowing what it was, and I watched it at least 7 times in a row after finishing it. It was incredible. It’s what I hope all contemporary art, music, and film can strive to be: allowing interpretation, with an emphasis on both symbolism/meaning as well as aesthetics.

 

It’s something that isn’t available in the art world. It’s either colours and aesthetics or symbolism. In fact, my main goal with music is to provide a similar vibe: something that is fun or very melodic to listen to but having purposeful lyrics that have meaning and themes.

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Tell us your source of inspiration. 

Growing up it was, as I previously mentioned, Ben Gibbard with Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie. I loved the Early November, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Mae in my early days.

 

Now, I’ve really gotten into indie pop and even contemporary pop, like Charlie Puth, The Weeknd, Phantogram, and many others.

 

In fact, Turn a Light On’s theme is mostly inspired by my religious background, but it has to do with my taste in music too. I used to be so strict on my music and brands, but my wife helped me appreciate “aesthetic” music, which is contemporary pop music. I’ve come to really appreciate and become a fan of pop and hip- hop.

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Tell us about your experience in dealing with fans. 

I would love it if I could have an experience with a fan. Wow, that would be great.

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Elaborate on the recording of this song. 

I utilize a sound engineer in Salt Lake City to record my vocals and then collaborate with producers on SoundBetter.

 

I write 100% of my songs from the blue-print and lyrics, and the producers help add different noises, mixing/mastering, effects, etc.

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Tell us about your future projects. 

I’m currently writing a song, called “Black and White.” I’m very excited, it will have an MGMT/M-83 kind of sound to it. Very, excited.

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Tell us your point of view on vocal tuning. 

Back in the day, I would have hated myself. But like this song, one needs to challenge their own belief and perspective. Here’s the thing, music is an art. Art is defined in so many ways, so how can vocal tuning be completely off-limits? You cannot please everybody, but most of the music listeners want to listen to music for sound first, lyrics second, talent third.

 

Talent is great, especially for live performances, but when it comes to recording, there is so much produced, including all the other instruments.

 

If you are listening to a raw, acoustic/folk genre, then there’s probably less need for fine-tuning of vocals. But a contemporary song with pop influences will have every other instrument and sound produced, so most of the time a raw, unfiltered vocal will not sound great. The sound comes first for most people and genres.

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Tell us your thought on quality and quantity for the release of songs. 

My opinion these days is that every new music should be a single. I strongly believe that albums are over. Unless if you are a high-profile touring band/artist, then everything should be a single. That way you can have better quality songs with more releases (not songs but more releases).

 

It’s better to hit fans with a single every few months than to firehose them with 15 songs (10 which are forced and sub-par) every two years. That’s my opinion.

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Tell us your viewpoint on comparing music career to non-music career. 

It’s a tough realization, but true. You can hope for it to become a career, but the career only happens when you make money. It’s a hobby until it becomes that, and if an artist can come to terms with that, then the entitlement will drive them to force a path that probably won’t happen.

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Tell us your opinion on categorizing music into genres and sub-genres.

Therefore, I love music and listeners these days. It’s all blurring, and it’s becoming ok to be inclusive as a listener.

 

I used to be an alternative, indie, and punk rock, and nothing else. Now, I probably listen to just as much, if not more, urban, electric, contemporary pop as I do with alt and indie rock.

 

It’s a beautiful time to be a music listener, and I think genres are slowly beginning to dissipate. I mean, I try to publish my music on mediums, and it asks me, “what’s your genre?” and it’s a legitimately difficult task. I think sub-genres are basically now the main genres, there are just more of them. It used to be Pop, Rock, Country, Hip Hop, and a few others.

 

Now, there’s no real thing as being a purely generic “Rock” or “Hip Hop” artist. There are too many sub-genre influences.

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State the genre you despise most with reason

Ok, the two genres that I cannot get into are Country and Screamo/Hard Rock. I’ve tried. I respect them, but to me, they are like foods I don’t like. I used to hate nuts, mushrooms, and onions. Now I love them. That’s how I am with music. I know a lot of people like it, so it must have value, but I’m not there, but I hope that my music-taste buds change to like it miraculously someday.

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List your five favourite movies. 

  1. Dan In Real Life

  2. Slumdog Millionaire

  3. The Truman Show

  4. Blast From the Past

  5. Boyhood

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State the title of the song and the meaning. 

“Turn a Light On” is about pushing yourself outside of your own perspective, opinions, biases, patterns. This stems from my former religious beliefs of Mormonism. I was extremely into it, to the point that I went on a mission to help bring people into it. I always believed that I shouldn’t listen to differing opinions of the church because they weren’t true and “anti-Mormon.”

 

Finally, I looked at the church’s history and learned for myself that it wasn’t true. I also learned that I had no faith in God but testimony in the Mormon church. It was rough going, but I am so happy that I took a “leap of faith” on learning another perspective and education of religion, God, and specifically the Mormon church.

 

But this song isn’t just about religion. In fact, it could be an anthem to atheists to consider religion or Western God. It doesn’t matter. What matters is willing to genuinely listen, empathize, or consider believing another differing perspective, belief, opinion, moralistic value, etc. Because once you do, your world becomes filled with more light, providing you a better chance to find out who you really are and not what some organization, philosophy, or teacher told you who you are and what you believe.

 

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