RYDEN Shares About The Deeper Message Behind “Dear God”, Her Background, Dream Collaborations & More
Posted by VMan on October 24, 2016
RYDEN was featured on FNT a few weeks back, delivering a feeling that was different, above-average for the genre it was tapping into, and was much deeper than the messages most songs convey. We reached out to RYDEN for an exclusive interview, highlighting her background, the story being her latest single “Dear God ft. Chase Allen”, and more.
What part of your background led to focusing on production?
RYDEN: Music has always been my first love. I’ve been in music in some form or other my entire life. I started out playing classical piano when I was a kid, and then in high school I played first violin in an orchestra for 4 years. All my years after that were spent in hip hop. In college, all I did was ditch class all the time to hang out in studios and record as a singer/songwriter. Even then, I’d always looked up to producers more than any other role in the industry.
Eventually, I fell in love with dance music and started DJing. The deeper I got into dance music, the more I was driven to really learn to create the music I loved with my own influences. One day, I just quit everything and locked myself in my apartment for months and taught myself production.
This is the first release, what drove you to start the project and what’s the overall mission?
RYDEN: My mission is to talk about real shit and to empower, lead and inspire. I started this project because I wanted to do something really, really authentic and true to myself as an artist. All the elements that you’re about to see coming up from me – visually, musically – is stuff I’ve wanted to create my entire life. These are the messages I’ve always wanted to say, ideals I’ve always stood for, and influences that make me who I am. This is my story in musical form.
I feel like the old recordings of activists in “Dear God” pushes the song over the edge as a genuinely empowering tune, was the plan for the release always to have this edge?
RYDEN: Thank you! That was completely unplanned. It was actually kind of surreal how it came together. Chase Allen and I made this record at the beginning of the year, well before the violence of the Orlando shooting and the recent police brutality events happened. Black Lives Matter, for instance, wasn’t really a thing then.
I was in Mexico traveling when all of a sudden everything went down in America. I remember standing in the darkness by the beach one night thinking and it just hit me so heavy. I immediately played the track back on my phone and it was crazy how all the lyrics lined up. The idea of somehow working in these iconic activism speeches came to me. The day I got off the plane, I rushed to my studio and re-edited the entire track.
The last speech I put in at the ending – Robert Kennedy’s address after the assassination of Martin Luther King – is the message I hope to leave all my fans with. Right now we can either dissolve into more hate, fear and violence or come together as a country with the goal of understanding and unity.
Do you think RYDEN’s music will continuously have an element of “righting wrongs” or is this one theme of many to come?
RYDEN: My records will always have a strong message. Whether I’m talking about pain, love, sex, joy or even just stuntin’, it will always be real and take a stand. It won’t always be about righting wrongs, but every song will be authentic to what I’m going through at that time. Outside of my tracks with featured vocalists, I write every detail of my tracks from the hi hat pattern to the lyrics, so what you’re getting is 100 percent me.
Who would you love to work with?
RYDEN: Pharrell is the dream! He’s been my producer idol since before I knew how to make records. I just love the slickness and swagger of his production style, and I love how multifaceted he is as a creative, personality, businessman and community leader.
How many more releases do you plan to drop before year’s end?
RYDEN: I’m doin’ one release per month so I got 2 more to go, as far as solo projects. I may have a few surprises though. There are collabs I been workin’ on low key so I may drop those in along the way. Next solo track out is Nov. 8, so be ready!
What are your goals for 2017?
RYDEN: I want to keep putting out quality music that moves people. That’s the main goal. I’ll probably start to play shows again part way through the year, since I’ve already started to get asked to do that. Also, I’ve been working on my merch line, R.Cartel, which will start to drop soon.
The secondary goal for later on in the year is to open up my label, FreeMafia, to other artists and really develop it into an artist collective. I hope y’all continue to ride with me as I go. Thank you for supporting the vision that is Ryden and FreeMafia!