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Exclusive Interview with RYE | Talks New EP, Creative Process, Music Business & More

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Following the release of his debut music video for ‘Never Know’, RYE releases His Soulful Narrative Experience ‘The Boy Who lived’.

RYE is a new generation R&B artist and writer from Toronto, Canada specializing in catchy, soulful melodies that speak to island roots and aged experiences in big cities. RYE’s approach to alternative R&B integrates themes of personal loss, betrayal, trauma, and growth with visceral lyrics and impeccable production. Through covers, singles, remixes, and longer projects; RYE incorporates trap, soul, dancehall, and Afrobeat elements into his brand of R&B.

RYE has been making waves in the music industry with his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, and we had the chance to sit down with him and discuss his journey as an artist and what inspires his music. Get ready to be mesmerized by RYE’s talent and touched by his story as we dive into our interview.

Storytelling, told over melodic production, RYE brings his audience on a dark but ambient experience with his 5 – Track EP. Singles like IDK, and Never Know display his talents and experience crafting thought provoking bars, with on time delivery. “The Boy Who Lived.” Is a 5 chapter narrative driven EP told from the perspective of an inner city kid, dealing with the traumas of death and isolation. Listen and connect as you see how his environment has shaped the sound we know as RYE783 today.

In this interview, RYE opens up about his musical inspirations, the challenges he has faced as an emerging artist, and his influences as an artist.

📸: @kevinkaige

What first got you into music?

Growing up I was always surrounded by music. My father he was a DJ in his early years. When I was with em, he’d always played Reggae Dancehall and hiphop. Really appreciated artist like Tarus Riley, capelton and 50 cent. My mom was the one who would jam to the Brandy’s and Deborah Cox’s. I grew up with the influence of great artists and yeah, I just came to a point where I wanted to make my own music which I did. Which I’m doing.

Who inspired you to make music?

Many things and individuals inspire me to create. One of my inspirations creatively that pushes me to play w/ the mold would definitely be the late Jean Michele Basquiat. His story and his affect on people and the culture. Growing up I always knew I had something to contribute. I look at Basquait in awe at how his work still stands time and influences the world. I want to leave something behind that lives far past myself, display my thoughts, share my creativity in such a way where people appreciate it, feel it.

Did any artists you listen to inspire the music on this EP? If so, who?

Honestly, I was listening to a lot of my old stuff. “Nowhere to Run freestyle”, All of “Pray love Power”!

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Audio experiences.

What is your creative process like?

It’s different every time. I don’t like to fall into too much of a routine when working but, usually it’ll include some wine, some rosé, my engineer and our battlestation.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Number one artist locally I wanna collaborate with would definitely be PARTYNEXTDOOR. I’ve been listening to him all through high school and I Know we’d definitely strike gold. Make something that’ll last you know. He’s definitely up there. Internationally, me and Bad Bunny need to get one in!

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Never quit, don’t fall into distractions, don’t allow people to stray you off your path. This thing that we call life. We get one shot at it, but we get many choices to make in that time. Anyone who’s truly hearing me, I’d say be persistent, be humble and strive for greatness. That’s it.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

You’d probably catch me as a stylist or designer at some fashion studio.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I’ve performed at multiple venues across the city to be honest. I’ve been at Lee’s Palace, did a show at the El Mocambo and also did some open mics in Kensington market. I would say the best venue or space that I have performed at would definitely be in the market. People of all different races just pop out even if they’re not getting their pineapple drink or munching their churro. People always stop by, and when they hear the music they genuinely let me know that I got something, especially the older crowd. You usually catch people in their 40s or 50s sticking around and jamming. So yeah Kensington market is definitely number one spot in the city. Wouldn’t say I have a least favourite venue, I’ve yet to perform for an indifferent crowd.

How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business?

The Internet has only made the music business more digestable and allowed the cost of entry to be lower. I know back in the day, if you wanted to cut a record you have to get thousands of dollars just to even get into the studio. Then to get the engineers, get the producers. Then knowing how to handle the hardware. Nowadays you can just pull up your laptop, open up logic and cut a record in 10 – 15 minutes.

If you’re really serious, the Internet made things more accessible for emerging artists. Networking is another strong component right. It allowed these people who are behind the curtains who were hidden by like these big contracts and these big labels, open source. You can search them up, find who you need to speak to you and create that connection without a plane ticket. it is a tool right, so it’s all about how we use it and maneuver to aid your business/ career.

What is your favorite song to perform?

“Never know” is my current favourite. Aha idk, It changes every month or so when I cut a new record. The energy on this one though is something to experience live. It is also out right now streaming everywhere so I’d highly recommend EVERYONE go check that out.

What’s next for you?

Anything and everything my brother. I don’t want to keep myself boxed in as just a musician. So what’s next,the world! right now the focus is the music. The project, connecting with my fans and allowing people to understand the story and move forward. Yeah we’re just getting started.


What does ‘The Boy Who Lived’ signify?

So the title actually closely relates to one of my favorite franchises, “Harry Potter”. People familiar with the movies know he’s referred to as “The Boy Who Lived” throughout the films. He’s the powerful wizard that’s not aware of the power he holds. I depicted myself as the boy who lived. The boy that recognizes his position in the world, and relentlessly aims to fulfill his mission. Spread love and spread knowledge.

Which record is your personal favorite from the EP?

Favorite record definitely is P.O.M. It’s actually dedicated to my late mother. It challenged me to be very vulnerable in my writing and sharing what I usually keep to myself. The way I see it, maybe sharing these stories and thoughts could help the next, and allow them heal. To not feel alone with their emotions. Death sucks, but the sun always sets at dawn.

Did you only work with 1 engineer and/or producer for the whole EP, or multiple? Who were they?

No, so for this project I actually had the opportunity to work with multiple different producers including Pretty Boy Ron, who actually assisted w/ my first single take it, and my other homie YNL, and Bavaro Beats. They killed it. On the engineer side, shout out Albi, He recorded and mastered a lot of these records from this project. I only work with the best.

What was the creative process for this EP?

The whole idea for this EP was to create a world, separate from anything else you’ll find in my discography. I layered this project as a novel, almost like a chapter book. Track one is chapter 1 and then track five is actually the prologue. It’s set up to lead the audience into everything else coming from the camp going into the future. I want to leave my mark and have people understand it’s more than just music for me. I insist listeners dive deeper when pressing play because there’s definitely layers on this project.

What was your aim and mission before you started this project? Is that something you can say you achieved?

So like I said before my mission was to really get the story out and really just shed light on traumatic events and situations that many people may experience and not even talk about. Suffering from depression, loss, bad relationships. That’s life, and I’m saying I really wanted to put it in such a way where people can vibe to it, but truly understand the fault in our stars you know. I would say I achieved it. I created a dope narrative soundtrack that could be played, shared and enjoyed. I’m just glad it’s finally out and people will be able to receive it the way that I intended.

What is your most unforgettable experience as a local artist?

I will never forget the amount of love that that city shows, especially when showcasing new music. I was out in London Ontario in November for a tour. Mind you, never been out there before then. My first time out there performing songs off the EP and people were singing the song back to me after the first hook! That was crazy. They didn’t know who I was, they hadn’t heard the song for more than like 30 seconds, but there they were singing it back.

Then there was this one point during the show where I had a little contest and I had some exclusive merch to give to the crowd. As I threw the tee I saw this one girl, fastest hands ever, swiped it out of the air! Jumping over some next man and his girlfriend! I’ll never forget that. I see what I’m doing with my performances and my music. I want to continue that.

What can we expect next from RYE?

Honestly I’d say expect the unexpected. You’ll definitely hear some new tunes for me, new features as well. You never know, might see me in a new commercial or wearing the next brand that your little brother wants to cop. Expect the unexpected for real. I’m trying to get into all facets of this in the industry and I’m coming for everything.

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