It’s been ten years since Ryan Cabrera debuted on the music scene with his catchy lead single “On The Way Down” and his trademarks locks. Since then, the singer has been busy working on music, fighting the “norm” of the music industry, dating high profile ladies and fighting to share his craft with the world. On March 3rd, Cabrera will embark on the next phase of his career when he drops his new EP Wake Up Beautiful. The collection’s first single “House On Fire” is available now on iTunes and the video just debuted online.
Weeks before the release of the long-awaited new EP, I chatted with Ryan to talk about his new music, his changing style and what to expect on his upcoming tour. It’s clear that, though the length of time since his last release has been long, the last ten years has taught the singer to stay true to who he wants to be. And that’s just what he intends to do. With his biggest hits behind him and a fresh perspective on how to deliver a well-rounded and eclectic body of work, this is now Ryan Cabrera… on the way up.
Chris Vetrano: Welcome back! Your new single “House On Fire” marks the first studio single from you since 2013’s “I See Love”. What have you been up to since that release?
Ryan Cabrera: Hahaha! Well I don’t really consider “I See Love” a single. I only released that to let fans into the world of where I was going musically, but in reality I haven’t put out a single since “Shine On” in 2005, so yes it’s actually been that long. I’ve been touring nonstop and working on a record that I could be proud of and I told myself when I started that I wasn’t gonna put it out until it was ready. I know that’s a lost art form but I didn’t want to adapt to what everyone was trying to tell me to make.
CV: You’ve written some of the biggest pop songs in memory and the team of writers and producers on your upcoming EP [released March 3rd] are quite impressive. Tell me about the process of putting that team together. Did you hand pick them or did your new label, Dynamite Music, have a hand in that?
RC: I’ve been very fortunate to meet a lot of amazing, talented people in the business along my journey and I’ve always had a great relationship with them so it’s fun to now be able to call them and work with them. I feel very lucky to have such talented friends that I can now call co-workers. The process was just reaching out and being like, “Dude, let’s sit in a room and see what happens…”
CV: What else can you tell me about the direction of the new EP Wake Up Beautiful? Are the other tracks on the EP similar to the upbeat, feel-good vibe of the first single?
RC: Honestly every song took its own direction, and sound so different from the other tracks. I was always told time and time again that I had to make my record sound like one cohesive sound and I always wasn’t happy about that…I can’t stand when I buy a album or go to a show and every song sounds like one continuous song. I guarantee the label that pounded that idea in my head is now preaching different because of the single-driving world, which is bullshit. I want you to go through a journey with this record… a world of different sounds so you want to buy the whole record or you’re missing out.
CV: You collaborated with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’s Evan Ross and Travis Clark of We The Kings on the EP. What was the decision to bring them on the new material?
RC: The decision was [that] I love involving my friends in everything I do so it was time. And I’m glad we came up with some songs that were great… and such different vibes.
CV: You mentioned you’ve toured like a mad man since your first single “On The Way Down” was released in 2004, what is your favorite city to visit? And why?
RC: I would have to say Chicago cause I love the people and I LOVE the food there!! It’s a big music lover town [wink].
CV: Ha! Well, you’re about to embark on a new tour with Secondhand Serenade. How sick are you of singing “On The Way Down” [be honest] and will you on this upcoming tour? Will you be collaborating with SS on the tour at all?
RC: I can almost guarantee you that me and John will end up onstage together!! We’ve talked about touring together since we lived with each other 5 years ago! Haha! And to be honest, I don’t get tired of singing “On The Way Down” or “True” because I truly love those songs…the more I sing them the more my love for them forms.
CV: Speaking of love, your romantic life has been highly profiled online and on various reality TV series. Were you ever concerned that your love life was overshadowing your music?
RC: I can’t help what perception is formed because of TV. It was never my intention to be on TV, but I happened to date girls that were on reality TV and what can ya do, ya know? I tried to avoid it, but I really don’t care if people think TV has foreshadowed my music career than that’s definitely their opinion. All that really matters is if I feel that I’ve been honest with myself and the music that I’m making. Not many people in this world have had the blessing of playing music for a living so I don’t take that for granted. That’s all I really care about.
CV: Would you do reality TV again?
RC: I can’t say if I’d ever do TV again because I don’t know what the show is. Hahaha!
CV: Another topic of online conversation has been your changing hairstyles and fashion sense. How would you describe your personal style?
RC: My personal style is the same as anyone else’s… always evolving. I get bored with normal.
CV: Last year marked 10 years since the release of your debut album. What have you learned about music, the industry and/or yourself in the last 10 years?
RC: That yourself is number one. I’ve always made decisions based on making myself happy. That’s a lost art form but a very important one. Artists sometimes loose that and they self destruct.
CV: What most excites you about 2015 as you embark on this new project?
RC: Showing people what we’ve been working on all this time! Hopefully they understand fully why I did it the way I did. I’m not trying to please the world… just one person at a time.
CV: What do you want Ryan Cabrera’s “legacy” to be/ how do you want to be remembered?
RC: As a dude who truly loved people and life and wanted to bring joy to everybody.
Get more information about Ryan Cabrera‘s music, tour and upcoming appearances at RyanCabrera.com. ‘Wake Up Beautiful’ will be available on March 3rd on iTunes, but you can pick up the first single “House On Fire” now.