Meet Ryan W
Kansas City native and Broadway performer turned pop artist Ryan W makes his Richmond debut headlining VA Pridefest on Saturday, September 28. He took a moment before making his way to RVA to give us a preview of his music and style.
GAYRVA.COM: What inspires you as a musician?
Ryan W: Music is the one thing that we all have in common. My goal as a musician is to do songs that make people feel good and empower themselves. When people listen to my lyrics I want them to be like “WOW! This is about me!” Real Life – You know, “The Drama, Pleasure, and Pain.” And of course it has to make you dance like crazy!
Describe your musical style?
Actually, I am a pop artist with a passion for dance music. Therefore, all my music gets remixed. I am so blessed to be able to work with Billboard #1, Grammy-winning, legendary remixers and producers!
Think about on a Saturday night. You get ready. Excited to go out, you make sure you are looking fierce. You head to the club, the dancefloor is packed and you just start moving because your hear these amazing beats. Then you head to the dancefloor and forget all your problems and just work the dancefloor. That’s my style of music!
Tell me about your fashion inspiration – what inspires your look?
Flash, Flash, and more Flash! hahaha
My stuff usually comes from designer and celebrity stylist Patricia Field (Sex and the City and Ugly Betty) in New York, and items from Modus Vivendi in Greece.
It’s all about expressing how you feel on the inside. I feel like I shine on the inside so I try to shine on the outside! When all else fails, make it shine!
What’s it been like working the Pride circuit? Any stories from the road?
Pride’s are one of my favorite things! It’s amazing to see everyone come together and celebrate who we are.
I have met some amazing people during my travels, many of whom I’ve become personal friends with!
As for stories, I have some really good ones, but I never kiss and tell! I will say, opening up for Patti LaBelle last summer in Pittsburgh was amazing! She is an amazing woman and the festival was outstanding!
What have been your favorite places to travel?
I’m sure after this weekend it will be Richmond, VA! I wish I could spend more time in each city I perform in. It’s amazing how people make you feel so warm and welcome. I think flying overseas is my favorite. From trying new foods to learning about other cultures. It just reminds you that we are all human and we are in the world together!
What has it been like growing up in Kansas and making the transition to New York City?
Despite my look, deep down I’m just a nice boy from the midwest. Being a showbiz kid, I moved to NYC right out of high school to do Broadway shows. While doing Broadway, I discovered what I really wanted to be was a recording artist. I had several boy band offers, but I really wanted to be a solo artist and do something that no other gay artist has done.
New York is where I record usually, but I made the move to Los Angeles. Which is a bit different than the NYC scene. Even as a child, deep down I always knew I would either be in NYC or LA, but I still visit Kansas City often and it will always be home.
What can we expect during Saturday’s performance?
Expect the unexpected. I tend to get a little crazy onstage! My goal is to get everyone dancing and have a great time! You can expect massive beats, maybe some comedy, and maybe some surprises! I tend to feed of my audience, so I hope Virginia is ready to let loose, as I bring the club outdoors!
What projects are you working on right now?
Currently, we are working on my next release – Hardcore. We are in the process of working on a massive and a big budget music video. In fact after VA Pride we start the casting process and it will be a few months of production and editing. I am seeing so many artists putting really bad, cheap videos out. This is something I will never do. I promise to represent the gay community with only the best!
So get ready, the song is very risque and the video will be fierce!
VA Pridefest is on Saturday, Sept. 29, 1-8 p.m. at Kanawha Plaza, 8th & Canal St. For more information on Ryan W, visit http://www.ryanwmusic.com/.
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