Last week I was lucky enough to ask Ryan Keen a few questions. If you haven’t already heard of Ryan, well, you should have. His EP, ‘Aiming For The Sun’, was sold across the UK after Ed Sheeran gigs that he supported wonderfully at. I was able to get a copy myself, and after seeing his gig, £5 was a complete bargain!
When you read the short interview, you’ll find out more about his development into music, and the event which cemented his future in music. And it was during the time around this, that he wrote ‘Aiming For The Sun’, and the emotions are put across perfectly in his mesmerising talent.
The first, and unfortunately the only, time I’ve seen you perform was supporting Ed at Scala in London. How do you feel before gigs, especially larger ones like at Scala?
It’s a real mix of nerves and excitement – its both terrifying and exhilarating to play to large crowds
I remember watching you and just being stunned, particularly your guitar skills! How long have you had to work on them to get to that standard?
Thanks! I first started playing guitar when I was 8 learning flamenco and classical styles , since then I’ve learnt a whole variety of other styles as well but over recent years I’ve been playing a lot of the percussive style.
Was there a defining moment where you suddenly realised music was what you had to do? Or was it a gradual thing?
I’ve always done music but it was after a close friend passed away very suddenly that I started taking being a solo artist more seriously – his passing made me realise a few things about myself and about life in general… during that time I wrote my first EP – “Aiming For The Sun”
What have you recently been addicted to, music-wise?
I listen to a lot of my friends stuff at the moment who are all amazingly talented and great people, my latest playlist Includes Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Delilah, Lucy Rose and Kal Lavelle
What’s been your highlight of 2011 so far?
The first gig since my injury was supporting Ed at Bournemouth academy in front of nearly 2000 people… As soon as I walked on stage the crowd roared…. It was such an amazing feeling and the gig was such fun!
Obviously, you had that accident with your arm. How long did it take you to think of upcoming shows, including Ed’s tour? How worried were you about making those gigs?
I was terrified at first – i’d severed 3 tendons and a vein and couldn’t move my thumb and had to undergo some pretty full-on surgery. The doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to do the tour with Ed as I wasn’t allowed to move my thumb for 6 weeks. So the only way I could play was by modifying the cast – I melted a plectrum into the thumb part of the cast, then spent the two weeks prior to going on relearning how to play guitar in a cast!
Got to admit, I didn’t hear it, but how did it feel when one of your support gigs for Ed was mentioned on Radio 1 recently?
When you are supporting such a talent like Ed Sheeran, who’s recently bagged a number 1 album, does your mind imagine where you can go and what you can achieve – if so, where do you see yourself going?
Yeah of course! I’d love to see my singles/albums climbing the charts! Id also love to be doing my own sellout headline tours – to be playing to thousands of people each night would be awesome
What can we look forward to hearing from you? Any releases lined up anytime soon?
I’m currently recording the next EP which will be out in the next two months. There’s a music video being shot for one of the tracks at the minute which is being made in stop animation by one of the animators behind Rastamouse so I’m very excited about that! There will be a couple of releases next year….
And, finally, where can we go and see you live in the short future?
Check my Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/ryankeenuk – I put all my gigs up on the events page there. I’ll be in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Bath, Devon, France and Norway before the years out!