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20 Questions With Ryan Maynard

The East Coast popster talks loving Lucy, collecting phobias & his stretchy kitty.

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For Ryan Maynard, success is only a matter of time. The New Brunswick popster just released his upbeat sophomore album — helpfully titled Matter Of Time — and has already shared the video for the seasonally appropriate single Summer Sun (Nothin’ On You) HERE. Today, Maynard wastes his time working his way through my immaterial inquiries. See what he had to say:

 


 

Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and other details you’d like to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
My name is Ryan Maynard, I’m 28 years old and I’m a singer-songwriter from New Brunswick, on the beautiful east-coast of Canada! I have two Siamese cats, I love pop music and I tend to accidentally skip breakfast on a regular basis.

What is your musical origin story?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t something I was trying to get better at consciously until I was about 14. I’ve always been a writer because I loved writing from a young age, I’ve always been a singer because pitch-matching was literally my pastime on long drives, and I’ve always loved how “produced” music sounds and how technology ties into music so beautifully. So I guess my interests as a child gave me a headstart for what would later become a passion for music and production.

What do we need to know about your latest project?
I’m super excited for people to hear the new album! It’s called Matter of Time and it’s a contemporary pop album with electronic and dance influences. It’s something I’ve been working really hard on and I think people are really going to love it. There’s some really talented producers on this record as well from around the world. It’s definitely an evolution from my first album in everything from production to writing style. I’ve always written all of my songs, I don’t think there’s one song on this new album that isn’t catchy in some way and I’m really proud of that. It will definitely make you get up and dance.

What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I really don’t think there’s anyone on the east-coast doing what I’m doing. There aren’t many pop artists where I’m from. It’s a lot of folk, bluegrass, country or rock and I love that music but I’ve never identified with it as an artist. I think there’s a lack of up-and-coming east-coast artists that can represent those of us that love and identify more with pop music.

Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played and what you got paid.
My first job in music was actually as a karaoke host and DJ for six years, working at a local nightclub. I’d perform and get people dancing. That’s where I learned how to truly entertain and communicate music to an audience. It was super fun to have 100 people singing along with me and dancing to songs I was singing. I looked forward to it every single week. I didn’t make much doing it though, so I’m grateful I had a full-time job on top of those shows.

What is the most memorable performance you gave?
I opened for Cupcakke back in April of last year and that was an incredible experience, but when my first album came out I was asked to do a concert as part of the Summer Concert Series put on by Music New Brunswick, and I remember being outside, on stage, my music playing out on Main Street, in the city I’ve grown up in, and that had to be the most surreal moment for me.

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you’ve seen another artist give?
Probably one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen was by Pink at the Grammys, when she was suspended in the air by sheets, spinning around and still able to sing Glitter in the Air… it gave me goosebumps and was one of those performances that sticks in your mind for years after you’ve seen it.

What living or dead artists would you collaborate with if you could?
I am a huge fan of Ellie Goulding. I love her style, I love her music, her writing, her live shows are so fun to watch. I think we would make an amazing song together. Her creative energy resonates with me a lot, and performing with her would definitely be a dream come true.

What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
When I was 19 I went through a huge classical phase and would only listen to classical pieces for almost a full year. Beethoven, Vivaldi… the amount I was obsessed with The Four Seasons’ La Primavera, you’d think it was in the  .

What are your favourite songs / albums / artists right now?
Well, I waited five years for Ellie Goulding to release a new album and she finally did it with Brightest Blue, so I’ve been listening to that, I’m also loving Marshmello’s collabs, especially with Halsey and their song Be Kind. Harry Styles’ new album is fantastic. I recently dusted off 2008’s The Fame by Lady Gaga and have been revisiting that album. I’m all over the place with music actually, I’m also in love with Camila Cabello’s album Romance. Other artists I listen to regularly are Troye Sivan, Demi Lovato, Daughtry, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.

How about some other favourites: Authors, movies, painters, you name it.
I have a bizarre and huge adoration for Lucille Ball, the actress and comedienne. If anyone doesn’t know who that is, Google her, go watch I Love Lucy and you’re welcome. I’ve seen every series she did and I have a collection of Lucille Ball & I Love Lucy memorabilia. I would watch it with my grandparents when I was five years old and it’s remained my favourite series ever since. It was the first TV series to utilize a three-camera system for filming a weekly series with a live studio audience, the first interracial couple on television, the list goes on… but it definitely became the benchmark for so many modern television series that would follow.

What’s your favourite joke?
OK, so this is such a dad joke and I don’t care because I made it up and I love it. How come LTE doesn’t get mad when you use Wi-Fi? Because Wi-Fight about it? Great, right?

What superpower do you want and how would you use it?
I would honestly love the ability to time travel. The things I could do are endless, and I think that would technically also make me live forever? I’m not totally sure about the science on that one but I’m going with it.

What skills — useful or useless — do you have outside of music?
I’ve been really good with computers my whole life, I’ve always been around them. I edit my own music videos and design my own lyric videos because of the skills I gained just having fun on the computer as a kid. I’m low-key a gamer, but I’m bad, and that’s OK. I just love the experience of immersing myself in a virtual world and getting my ass kicked, apparently.

What do you collect?
Phobias. You should see my collection, I’m afraid of spiders, mice, insects in general, heights, snakes and balloons.

Tell us about your current and/or former pets.
I have two beautiful Siamese kitties, I may or may not post a lot about them on my Instagram… I love them, they’re like little people. Their names are Isaac and Ace. They’re father and son and it’s adorable. Isaac is extremely smart, I taught him how to do something completely useless and adorable: I tell him to “do the stretchy kitty” and he’ll go up to a wall and stretch for my enjoyment. It’s pretty great.

If you could have any other job besides music, what would it be and why?
I love being around people. Meeting people and learning about people’s lives has always been part of my passion so I would probably be a public relations person or work in marketing.

What’s the best advice and/or worst advice you were ever given?
I think the best advice someone has ever given me is to never compare yourself or feel like you’re competing with anyone in life, because there’s only one you, and nobody could duplicate that even if they tried. That statement has always been the source of my confidence, and I think anyone struggling with their own self-image should remember that and live by it. We’re all unique and special. The worst advice I’ve ever received was when I was 14 and my friends told me I should dye my hair pink. It didn’t go well.

BONUS: Insert your own question here.
What was the funnest part about shooting the video for Summer Sun?

Probably the coolest part about the video is that it was shot entirely on an iPhone 11 Pro Max, in the stock camera app. It came out looking great and colour-grading it gave it this retro vibe that just looks kind of surreal while still looking summery and fun. Everyone laughs when they see me buried and trying to dance, I think that’s my favourite part.

Watch Summer Sun (Nothin’ On You) above, listen to Matter of Time below, and follow Ryan Maynard on Twitter and Instagram.