British blues singer and songwriter Ryan Keen first introduced himself to Czech fans in February, when he supported Ed Sheeran on his tour. On October 19th, Ryan came back with his own tour and played in Rock Café. During the interview, I asked him about the current tour, his career and his plans for the future.
You have been on a couple of tours so far with singers like Lucy Rose, Ben Howard or even Ed Sheeran, do you think it somehow helped you with your career?
Yeah, definitely, I think when you’re starting off, one of the main things is getting exposure, getting the opportunity just to play in front of people, let them hear your music in lots of these countries, particularly here in the Czech Republic or in the Baltics, where I have just been. The opportunity to support someone at a big venue means 70 thousand people get to hear my music, so it has definitely helped out a lot.
When talking about supporting, do you prefer more supporting someone on their tour or have your own tour?
It varies. Having your own tours is always kind of nice in some ways because the people are there to see me, the people are those who love my music. But last time I was here with Ed, it was amazing, 10 or 12 thousand people were there, which is a big crowd, a great opportunity. I kind of see it like that I have half an hour of supporting, half an hour of trying to show to people what I play about, hoping to win some new fans, get them to like my music. So it’s kind of a cool challenge and it’s exciting playing somewhere so big.
Do you think that maybe the audience reacts in a different way, when you support someone?
Yeah, you never know entirely what they are gonna be like, but I think, generally, especially from supporting other singers or songwriters, you know they are gonna like that style of music. I’ve supported some other big bands as well and when that’s happened, I still have done that well actually, so it’s been good.
It is not your first time here in Prague, do you like it here?
I love it here, it’s awesome and amazing! I hope I’m gonna get to see a litle bit more of Prague, because often with touring all I get is one afternoon and then I’m gonna get to leave tomorrow morning, but it’s beautiful, I’ve visited for example Charles Bridge and other places, but I hope I get to spend more time here soon.
This is your last gig on this tour. Could you sum up the tour? Do you have any moments worth remembering?
I think it’s just not ever gonna get old! I just find it amazing going to countries I haven’t really been to at all, where I’ve done maybe one or two shows. It’s just incredible, I have people I’ve never seen, who know my music, singing along. These are songs I write in my bedroom, so certainly having a room with hundreds of people singing along is really surreal and really nice and humbling.
What about your future, are you going to write and release a new album?
Yes, a new album si written, I fly back to England tomorrow and start recording the day after, so it’s gonna be straight back to work.
Are you going to another tour next year?
For sure! I’m not quite sure when it will be yet, but realistically – I think I will be recording until the end of this year, then releasing early next year – so probably spring is when I’d like to start getting back on tour.
Where do you get inspiration for your songs? Do you have any artists you get inspired by or maybe even look up to?
Musically, it’s a very eclectic mix. I’ve always loved Chris Martin, particularly his early stuff, the couple of albums are my favourite, I also like John Lennon or Nick Drake. But then also it’s blues – I got quite influenced by BB King or Eric Clapton, John Mayer is kind of blues crossed into pop, which I certainly appreciate as well. Flamenco has an influence on my guitare style, and I still love hip hop, so my taste is very eclectic.
Will the next album be in the same style, or something different?
It will be similar. I think there will be a natural progression in it, some of the sounds might be a little different – I will be playing a little bit more of electric guitar, but there will be some songs that are still very much just me and the string guitar. As I grow up, most of my thoughts and feelings change, so the sound will naturally evolve a little bit, but it’s not gonna be a big change, nothing too dramatic.
Are you going to involve some artists?
We will see. I’ve written a song with Ed Sheeran, only I dont know whether I’ll do it as a duet or it’s just going to be a song for me. I’ve been writing with some cool artists, for example with a guy called Gavin James – he’s amazing and I think next year could be a big year for him – so there may be some features, I’m not too sure.
Foto kredit: Andrew Stawarz/Flickr
Text vznikl v rámci předmětu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.