A Q&A with CMN’s Ryan Feyre.
Jennifer Dixon: To kick things off, why don’t you start by telling people a little bit about yourself?
Ryan Feyre: My full name is Ryan Feyre, I’m 20 years old, and currently I’m a junior at Salem State. Originally, I’m from Agawam, Massachusetts, which is where Six Flags is. Outside of that, I used to write music articles for a pop culture site called The Young Folks. Typically my articles would consist of feature stories, album reviews, and track reviews. Now, I’m focused on writing for College Media Network, as well as searching for other internships for the future.
JD: So I see that you have an interest in music journalism, like myself. Tell me about where your passion for music originates? Did you grow up around music? Is your family musically inclined or involved in the music industry? As a child, did you play any instruments or do you currently play anything?
RF: For the most part, my passion for music started when my cousin showed me artists such as Kid Cudi and Kanye West back when I was in middle school. My interest in rap music specifically stemmed from my initial love for those two artists. My uncle is the only one who seriously plays an instrument. He’s been playing the guitar from about 25 years now. He introduced me to more alternative bands like Radiohead and Red House Painters. His inspirations allowed me to find other alternative music like The Strokes, or Tame Impala. Personally, I’ve never really played any instruments, however I do dabble with GarageBand every once in a while to create hip hop beats for fun.
JD: You just mentioned that your cousin introduced you to artists like Cudi and Kanye. Was there a moment or specific event that set you on the path toward music? If so, what happened within that time frame that made you choose to do something with music?
RF: I’d say the moment in my life where I wanted to go towards the path of music was when I first got hired for The Young Folks. Just learning about the different articles within the music journalism realm became fun for me. I was able to combine my passion for music with writing, which is something I greatly appreciate.
JD: It’s a wonderful feeling when you finally find your true passion. You will never forget that moment or how it made you feel. Since you are so passionate about music, who would you say are some of your biggest musical influences and why?
RF: Some of my biggest musical influences are Kanye West, Travis Scott, Radiohead, Tyler, the Creator and The Strokes. I think they all inspired me because, each one is an innovator in their respective genre. They’re always looking to be trendsetters, whether it be in music, or fashion even. Just look at Tyler for example. Supreme became huge because of Tyler and Odd Future’s tendency to wear something of that nature. Nowadays, every rapper is wearing Supreme.
JD: So, I have to ask you this question. If could you hang out with any artist for a day, who would it be and why? What would you do? I’m also curious to know what kinds of questions might you ask?
RF: I would love to hang out with Travis Scott, just because his lifestyle seems kind of insane. I’ve always been curious about how he’s able to balance his career with starting a family. I’d most likely want to go to a Houston Rockets game with him, especially since he’s a huge fan of basketball. I’d probably ask him questions about his creative process, and how he normally starts his albums. Since he’s a producer and a songwriter, I’d be curious to see what he values more at the moment.
JD: What albums are you currently listening to? What is your all-time favorite album and why? What makes it so significant? (whether it be a personal experience, memory, or just makes your soul happy).
RF: I’m currently listening to Saba’s Care For Me, as well as Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer. Graduation from Kanye is by far my all-time favorite album, mainly because it was the first physical disc I ever bought. Not to mention, it’s one of the first rap albums that I’ve ever listened too, and indirectly created my overall love for hip hop.
JD: If you could star in a (music-related) TV show/movie, what would you choose and why? What role would you play?
RF: I would love to star in the Brian Wilson movie Love & Mercy. It’s such an interesting biopic about The Beach Boys’ legend, specifically during the Pet Sounds era when no one from the band had his back in that creative process. I’d probably play the younger version of Wilson in the movie, because I would love to be a part of that creative process, and how the director portrayed it.
JD: Hmm. I’ve never heard of this movie before. I’ll have to check it out. It sounds very interesting. Who would you say is your current celebrity crush and why?
RF: My current celebrity crush is definitely Janelle Monae. I think what she represents is so inspiring, especially in the dark era we currently are a part of. She’s such a great model for the youth, and generally displays great intentions within her music, specifically on her newest Dirty Computer album.
JD: I couldn’t agree with you more. What is the best advice an artist have given you? This can be quote or from a famous speech they have done, or even a song lyric. Why does it mean so much to you? Do you remember where you were or how you felt when you first heard it?
RF: It really hit me when J. Cole said the line, “it’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” I feel like more people need to understand what that lyric means. To me, it represents how many people struggle to find what they truly love in life, and when they finally attain it, the success eats at them, and they forget about what truly matters in life. Cole has always had positive lyrics in his music, which is why he’s another artist I look up too. I think I might have been in gym class during my Sophomore year of high school when I first heard the lyric.
JD: Wow. Those are some powerful words. What & where do you see yourself in the future when it comes to music? Are you currently working on any projects? If so, tell me about them and what message do you hope to convey to your audience?
RF: My goal currently is find the next step in my music writing career, whether it be a paid internship for another program, or just something that will keep my writing fresh. As of right now, I’m trying to get my degree in Communications at Salem State, and after that, maybe go to grad school for my masters. My goal in writing has always been about spreading a positive but persuasive message in my writing, specifically when talking about artists in certain ways. I feel like there’s too much negativity surrounding modern journalism, especially with the “fake news” phenomenon spreading everywhere across the country. Hopefully our generation can mitigate that issue.
JD: Well said, Ryan. Before wrapping up this Q&A session. I do have one more question to ask. What is something that you want the world to know about Ryan Feyre?
RF: I want people to know that I always put family first, and I never hold grudges. I’m always down to hang with people, and just chat about different things, whether it be about entertainment, or simple things, like how their day is going.
JD: Thank you, Ryan. I enjoyed interviewing you. Good luck on everything in the future. Keep following your passion and never give up on your dreams.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.