Hey there! I’m doing well. Just busy as heck and trying not to fall over from exhaustion haha.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “City”?
Sure! “City” which I released on August 9th, is a powerful anthem about feeling uncertain with your career path and whether or not you belong. I also got the chance to write this with other LA songwriters Kylie Rothfield, JBACH, and Bret Paddock.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
“City” is about my tumultuous relationship with Los Angeles. I wanted to write something which told the truth about being an artist—especially in a city like LA where lots of people are fake and don’t notice you or your talent until you reach a level of success. Overall, this song is about feeling like you don’t belong, and I hope people can relate and realize that they’re not alone.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I have actually been asked about a video for this track for some time now! Unfortunately in my current financial situation which is very sad (lol) I’m not able to put something out, but I would love to eventually.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was super fun! I had the chance to work with my friends and other LA songwriters Kylie Rothfield, JBACH, and Bret Paddock and the song came pretty naturally. I was then able to take the song to Zack Djurich and he produced the living crap out the song (in a really good way). Zack has produced and engineered for artists like Kanye West, Teyana Taylor, Bonnie McKee, and Nas, so I knew he was going to bring something awesome to City.
What was it like to work with Zack Djurich and how did that relationship develop?
I know other singers in LA can relate with this, but finding a producer that you genuinely enjoy/want to work with is harder than finding a relationship in LA—which is damn near impossible. Zack and I met through my friend Kylie Rothfield (one of my cowriters), and he has been a dream to work with.
How much did he get to influence the song?
Honestly before the first session with Zack, the song was pretty 80s inspired and didn’t really fit my sound, which is why City wasn’t even on my radar until I went through my catalogue and it hit me that this song is really special and needs to be heard. There was a lot of push and pull for this particular tune and I felt like it ended up going from one genre to another during the sessions, but the end product is something I am so beyond proud of. Zack made my 80s tune into a legitimate current pop record.
What role does LA play in your music?
I mean being immersed in LA has definitely effected my music. Right now I’m living in LA, but I’m not thriving. What I mean by this, is that I have never really felt at ease here, and it’s because everyone is so cut-throat and harsh. The only way I’ve been able to survive out here is by finding a real genuine group of friends that are not only good hearted people, but they allow me to be myself. Long story short though, LA makes me feel all of the feels and I am definitely not done writing about it.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
It honestly depends! Everyone has their own writing styles, and I’m very fluid with mine—I’m adaptable.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Absolutely! It’s going so so so well. I’m really excited about the next few songs I have coming out. The next two I’m releasing are coming out this year (hopefully) and they’re pretty different, but I wanted to spend the time this year to release 4 tracks that really connect with me and all describe myself as an artist and as a writer.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
At the moment nope! Just taking one day at a time, but you will be getting the next one very soon.
Any plans to hit the road?
This year I went on a mini-tour and it was so much fun! Was able to go to New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara to play shows, and hopefully next year I’ll be able to do something really cool.
What else is happening next in Ryan Nealon’s world?
Right now, I’m just focusing on releasing my original music. Next year is going to be big, and I’m hoping to finally put out a record. I’ve been sitting on a lot of material, so I’m ready to get it out there!