I discovered Ryland James on Instagram back in June, when I was at work searching for new artists to help out with PR. I immediately fell in love and got a panic attack when I found out his debut single Good To You wasn’t available on Spotify, or anywhere else, for that matter. I’ve never managed to reach out but apparently, the kid is doing pretty well without me with over 180K streams since the song has officially been released on July 14.
Ryland James is an 18-year-old Canadian, son of two determined athletes (his dad was drafted to the National Hockey League) who surely taught him a whole lot about hard work and determination. Finding his roots in gospel thanks to his grandfather who was involved in the quartet at their church, the singer can count on the expertise of Chris Smith, Alessia Cara‘s manager, to elevate his career. Being surrounded by a great team is clearly something, however, this wouldn’t take you to great heights without an ounce of talent. As it turns out, Ryland James has just the right amount of drive and passion to succeed in this industry: after teaching himself to play the keyboard and the guitar, he dove into songwriting and his efforts paid off, resulting in the fresh, contemporary soulful ballad that is Good To You. On the release day, the artist recalled, on Instagram:
It seems like just yesterday I sat down in the studio on a December afternoon with @localsonlysound to write the song that I never knew at that time would become my first single. I remember being at the height of my songwriting frustration that day, not knowing where to go with my sound, and being so conflicted with who I was going to be as an artist, but this song changed that. It came out so fluidly and easily that it seemed to almost write itself, and it’s paved the direction for everything I’ve written to this day. Songwriting has definitely been a challenge for me, and it’s something that I’ve been working to seriously improve for just over a year now. I feel like “Good To You” really embodies the emotions I’ve felt and the struggles I’ve faced trying to become a better musician. I’m so excited for all of you to hear what I can only describe as my most transparent thoughts and experiences expressed through music. Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far on my journey, and to those of you who are just joining me. This is only the beginning, guys!
“Only the beginning” indeed. I’m setting my hopes quite high for Ryland James, who definitely has more in stores as he revealed he’s been working on an album since last summer.