Ryan Whitman interview
By Mary Perez | Photos by Carly Piersol
Ryan Whitman, a rising pop artist out of Manhattan, is preparing to release his debut EP, Body Heat. A confident advocate for empowerment, Whitman’s music encourages listener to really embrace their inner power. I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions about his music and ideas.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe it as a fusion centered around R&B. I love so many genres of music from pop, rock, new age, to classical, so a lot elements from the genres come into play, but at its core everything is based in R&B smooth jams.
What was the process of creating your EP like?
It all started with the songs, I went into this project with about 20 songs I had written, and then we narrowed it down to 6, which was very hard for me to do. The recording process was very interesting because my producer Nate Martinez brought a lot of great ideas to the table to expand the music, but as an artist obviously it can be difficult to change your work or see it in a new box. In the end it was a very rewarding process, and I’m so happy with the outcome.
What is your favorite song on the album, and why?
That’s so hard to choose, everytime I think I know it changes. I will say, right now I’m very excited for people to hear a song called “If I Believed” that one has a fun groove that I feel a lot of people will like and relate to.
Which song was the most challenging to write? Why?
The most challenging was probably "Body Heat". Being so beat driven, it made it hard for me to put together an exact demo of my thoughts for the song, seeing as I am certainly not a drummer. It was very cool to hear this one come together with Nate, and how well he understood what I was thinking.
Who or what are you most inspired by?
I find a lot of inspiration at the beach, something about looking out onto the ocean inspires me to hear music.
Are you currently working on a full-length album?
Not at the moment, I definitely have some plans for the rest of this year and next though, so follow me on all socials to stay in the know!
What are your current favorite albums?
Ctrl by SZA, About Time by Sabrina Claudio, Full Moon by Brandy (always).
What was the idea behind the video for “If You Really Want To?”
I really wanted the video to capture the positive vibe of the song and bringing people together, so I decided to get friends of mine from different backgrounds to come in and dance together as a community. It was a very fun day of filming to say the least!
Why was "If You Really Want To" chosen to be a single?
I wanted my first step out into the music world to be positive, fun, and bring people joy. “If You Really Want To” felt like the perfect fit, and to me felt like a song people needed now.
I’ve heard that your overall goal is to spread the message of empowerment, hope, and individuality. What motivated you to really emphasize those particular concepts?
We all have one life to lead, and I feel people should live the fun, offbeat, life they want and deserve. I feel it’s important to support people trying to live their truest, best life.
Any last words for fans or new listeners?
Thank you so much for listening, I hope you enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed making it for you, and thank you for going on this journey with me. I hope we have many more journeys to come!
In a world that can feel overwhelmingly difficult to find one’s true identity, music like Whitman’s will be a refreshing change to add to a summer playlist. Go listen to his debut EP, Body Heat, out June 22! And check out his single "Body Heat" right here: