Saturday, 24 June 2017

Spin that - DJ Ryan Fennis

Ryan who you ask? If you haven’t heard about DJ Ryan Fennis you will soon!

Guest writer Akelo Costa recently sat down with this rising DJ/producer to chat about his career, his inspirations and his future in the music industry.

Ryan’s musical influences include Paul Hardcastle, Lakim, Snakehips, Sam Gellaitry, Blue Magic, Quincy Jones, Kaytranada and Ta-Ku.  With a self declared style as ‘RnB fusion’.

Ryan has previously opened for artists such as SAFIA, Basenji and Crooked Colours and most recently played at the Groovin the Mo line-up. With a personal fashion style as 90s hip-hop fashion mirroring his tracks Ryan certainly has a strong brand image already.

'I prefer older looking clothes.'

Five minutes with Ryan

What do you say to those people who think Canberra is boring?
Ryan: Canberra isn’t boring, you’ve gotta find the fun!

What are your thoughts on the creative music & creatives scene here?
Ryan: There’s less pressure on the Canberra music scene, I feel. I was taking it easy until I was introduced to the Sydney and Melbourne music scenes. Music shouldn’t be competitive but sometimes it needs to be.

What are you working on now?
Ryan: I am currently working on toning my abs (LOL). But more seriously I’m trying to work toward moving to Sydney next year, and just building up my networks. I want to meet new people to help interstate connections and I want to get some singles out.

Right now, it’s only on SoundCloud, which limits my audience. I want to release my music on other platforms too, like Apple and Spotify. But to be fair, I wasn’t ‘there’ creatively or mentally. Though I’m at that point now and I’m comfortable.

What are the distinct differences with producing and DJ-ing?
Ryan: Producing is making and constructing the beats for music, whereas DJ-ing is collecting tracks and playing them one after the other. In DJ-ing you don’t necessarily have to play your own stuff, though I do like to. That’s just basic DJ-ing though, and I consider myself a basic one I’m not too crazy with it. Most producers need to DJ to get gigs but DJ’s don’t have to produce, they can just DJ- (as in select songs).

Can you describe your creative process?
Ryan: I might find a sample and find a part that I like in it. Then chop it up then add stuff to it, such as claps. Sometimes I like to start with percussion like the beat; many songs are different. Usually I find the vocals sample then accompany it with chords and a beat. The time it takes to make tracks varies greatly, for instance the Day ‘N’ Nite remix took months. It involves a lot of experimenting and just building on the sounds like “oh does that bit sound nice” or “how can I make this part sound nicer”.

Is there an advantage in knowledge of musical instruments?
Some days I’m just at home and I like to make songs on the piano. I play guitar, piano and bass. I only picked piano back up recently, I stopped in high school. I gave guitar up for a while to on my production skills. I think knowing chords opens a different perspective and you have more variety knowing scales. Like a lot of this sounds I use is because I’ve been mucking around on the piano, sounds I never would’ve thought to use. It’s beneficial to have a few different approaches to making music.

When I first started, it was more guitar based as it was the main instrument I played. But now I can base it off piano and other sounds. I I’d love to learn other instruments like the saxophone, that’d be sick.

To check out the fresh tracks by Ryan go to:

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