Ryan Koriya is a British-Zimbabwean singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who released his double single Ghostrider on April the 20th. He hopes his self-produced dance/pop/rock track will be driving hearts and making heads bop across the globe. There is also an acoustic version (Deep-Space Edit) included. A busy 2013 saw Ryan tour independently in support of his début EP called London’s Burning which took him to 10 countries over 4 continents where he sold out his physical CD stocks a few times. Ryan hopped on buses, trains and planes to sing in Australia, The USA, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Denmark with multiple tours occurring in The UK and The Netherlands.
In 2013, Ryan put together a backing band in London and has also played a few festivals. He has appeared on local stations like Bridge FM in the West Midlands. Ryan toured solo in The Netherlands which included appearances at festivals in The Hague and Middelburg with a radio interview and live performance on Amsterdam FM in the Dutch capital.
Armed with a rich velvet voice that delivers songs straight from the heart, Ryan’s recorded music is usually made up of acoustic guitars, cello, bass and drums, with vocal harmonies and strings also being used as colours to paint upon his canvas of emotive sound. His diverse musical influences come from artists such as Coldplay, Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Daughter, John Mayer, David Gray, Seal, Dave Matthews, Angus & Julia Stone, Radiohead, Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne, Sting, Scott Matthews, Snow Patrol, Death Cab For Cutie, Muse, Cranberries and Kings of Leon.
The mellow yet driving track called ‘Dark Days’ which is on the London’s Burning EP is available to download for free and the whole EP is available to stream online. Ryan says, “Having grown up in sunny southern Africa, I struggled with the short winter days in London where it starts getting dark by 3:30pm and the idea for Dark Days came from that. The story in the song is about a girl who is at the end of an unhealthy relationship where she is now choosing to fly towards sunnier days and to leave the dark behind even though she loved her boyfriend and tried to be a good thing for him.”
Inspiring people the world over with his energy, drive and positivity, Ryan is a very self-motivated artist who has single-handedly built everything you see and hear despite having no fixed home or steady income. He looks forward to building a team around him and hopes to make appropriate industry connections in 2014.
Check out this great interview about his new single “Ghostrider.”
Why did you select this song as your current single?
I chose Ghostrider as it is the song that best represents where I’m headed musically. That’s why it comes as a pair of twins. One Dance-Pop version (Ghostrider Radio Edit) and one Acoustic spine-tingling version (Ghostrider Deep-Space Edit). I love grooving with a full band but also adore stripped-down acoustic sounds so I’ve decided to embrace both sides. It also adds variety to my live shows and my releases.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
This is currently a stand-alone single but it may be on my next EP. I have a couple of new songs that have a similar ‘driving cars, getaway driver’ theme and they could sit nicely together on an EP with Ghostrider.
What was the writing process for the song?
This song was written in one sitting after a dramatic lovers’ quarrel I had one night a few years ago which involved really-really fast aggressive driving and me thinking I might just die wrapped around a street light or tree that night! So it’s pretty auto-biographical. I had lost myself in an emotionally abusive relationship and the song pretty much says what was going on but in a ‘it’s crazy that I still love you’ kind of way. That’s why the music video is in a ‘Fast And Furious’ style car-chase with cops and helicopters.
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
The lyrics and this song really showed me how much I believe in love over war. I’m a hopeless romantic. I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been relationship-wise and yet I was still there participating and trying to navigate back to the beautiful place where it all began rather than biting back. Despite all the deceit and pain I was put through, the angriest thing I could say was ‘I’ll be your ghostrider, love’ which basically was saying ‘I’m still right here when you stop with the punches, finally come to your senses and need my help’. Needless to say, it just got worse so I did have to eventually wise up and start swimming! The Titanic had hit the bottom of the ocean and yet I was still sitting there! Love can be quite daft at times! I learned a lot about self-love and self-preservation during that time.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
People always comment on how much emotion comes through when I sing. They don’t have to wonder if I love what I do… they can feel it!
Ghostrider live is fun to play as it is a driving song which has a kick drum pounding throughout as I use an Australian-made stompbox live called a Bigfoot. I actually do all the vocal delays/echos live on stage which is something people really find fascinating.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
If they listen to both the slow version and the fast version, maybe yes. Though they only stand for me ‘right now’ as I believe music and artists evolve over time. Listen to John Mayer or Coldplay’s first albums and their latest albums and you’ll know what I mean.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
Yes, there are two different music videos. One for each version of Ghostrider. The Radio Edit is fast-paced so I wanted the video to match that and went for a Fast And Furious style car-chase to match the energy and story of the song but it’s all done using radio-controlled toy cars including a Ferrari, Porsche, Mustang and James Bond’s Aston Martin, as well as a helicopter.
The video for the acoustic Deep-Space Edit is a beautiful montage of people skydiving in slow motion with breath-taking views and sunsets. It actually gives people goose bumps! I love planes, flying, and dream of sky-diving one day so I wanted to use the beauty of landscapes and colourful skies in this video. I’m really proud of that one.
(You can watch both versions of the music video on the homepage of www.ryankoriya.com)
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
My music is something I make to not only help ot
her people deal with the difficulties of life but it also helps me day to day. It’s so therapeutic to be able to sing and express myself that way.
My music and my voice have a soothing and calming effect on people and I even get little notes from listeners when I play live thanking me for making them feel so relaxed so quickly. It’s like a sonic shoulder massage or something. Haha!