A: Hi VENTS, thank you for having me! I have music coming out, it’s almost summer, I’m wonderful. How have you been?
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “If You Really Want To”?
A: I wrote “If You Really Want To” halfway through the recording process in response to seeing more and more people openly judging other people’s life choices in negative ways. The message of “If You Really Want To” is that it’s important to not only live your truth, but to also let others live their truth as well.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
A: This song came about after I read an article about a mother who refused to let her son get a butterfly painted on his face at a fair because “he was a boy and butterflies were for girls”. I started thinking of all the times I’ve heard people say “I wish I could be ok with…” or “I wish I was comfortable enough with myself to…” and I just went to the piano and started writing. It’s a plea that if we want a brighter future we have to let people be true to themselves and come together as a worldwide community in the spirit of love and acceptance.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
A: Yes! I’m really excited with how the video came together! I hope that people come away from it feeling joyful.
The single comes off your new EP, Body Heat, that’s set to arrive June 8 – what’s the story behind the title?
A: The title is actually the name of another song on the EP. The song Body Heat is about confidence, feeling good, dancing the night away, living, and feeling sexy. I felt like it was the right choice for my first EP.
How was the recording and writing process?
A: Not gonna lie it was a bit stressful! I’m a pretty prolific writer, I love to write, but that leads to a lot of material (follow up EP?). When it came to recording this EP it was hard to put aside some songs that I love because at the end of the day they didn’t fit the narrative of this EP. I also feel best performing live so I’m not much of a recording studio person. But it’s really wonderful to hear the songs you wrote on the piano in your apartment expand into full rounded songs. The best part of the recording process was working with my producer Nate Martinez. He was great to bounce ideas off of and he really pushed me out of my box.
What role did Manhattan play in the writing of this album?
A: All the songs on this EP were written during my time living in Manhattan so I feel like it’s really sprinkled throughout. Take “If You Really Want To” for example, I love that NYC is truly a melting pot and you can see that reflected in the music video.
How have artists like Erykah Badu and Sade influenced your music?
A: I love both of them so much. With Miss Badu I love her style of storytelling while still giving you such a groove that you can’t help but move. With Sade, she’s such an iconic artist, her music is the sexiest music I’ve ever heard, I love that she can create such sultry songs that pull at your heartstrings while keeping her lyrics poetic and a bit mysterious.
What aspect of relationships and confidence did you get to explore on this record?
A: There’s a lot of different forms of relationships on this EP, there’s a lot of longing, a bit of heartbreak, anger, and wonder spread across the tracks. But there’s also a lot of confidence in saying I don’t need someone who doesn’t realize what they’ve got. If someone mistreats me,I’m gone. If a relationship doesn’t work out, it wasn’t the right relationship. Respect yourself and give yourself love, the rest will fall into place.
Any plans to hit the road?
A: There’s definitely a plan, but nothing I can confirm at the moment. Follow me at @TheRyanWhitman across all socials to be the first to know!
What else is happening next in Ryan Whitman’s world?
A: Lots more music, so much more. Other than that, I’m trying not to look too far into the future. I’m no Raven Baxter, but I do see a lot of sun and sand in my future for the summer.
Check out his empowering new track “If You Really Want To” HERE.