Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meet Ryan Star...

In Ryan Star’s bio, he says, “I don’t think you really choose the time as an artist. I think the time chooses you.”

Well, there is no doubt that the time has chosen Ryan Star…

Star is currently on tour with David Cook, the reigning American Idol, and Star knows better than anyone what a great opportunity this is.

“There are a lot of people. And the reason I play is to get to people,” Star told me as he rode through Missouri on his way to the next show. “Everything’s great…Everyone’s excited. We’re really starting to hit that zone…And David’s a great guy.”

Star said the two met when they both played a radio show a few months ago and then Cook reached out to him about the tour. “It’s a great matchup. We compliment each other in a really cool way. The shows are awesome.”

And Star knows a lot about shows since he’s been a performer for most of his life. His first gig was at the legendary CBGB’s at age 16. “It’s been a long road,” he admitted. No doubt all of that experience adds to his show, which Star described as an “honest performance.”

Star has been kicking off his concerts on the tour with “Brand New Day,” which is the theme song to the new FOX hit series, “Lie to Me.” “People kind of know the song, so we instantly invite people to leave what’s been going on beforehand outside and just have fun.”

And from talking to Star—even for just a few minutes—it’s pretty obvious that there is a lot of fun to be had. He talks with such an enthusiasm that it was hard to keep up at times, but his excitement is so infectious that you can’t help but get sucked in…

This summer, Star will release his new album, “11:59.” He said it took him two years to put it together because he just kept writing songs. “David [Cook] has the pressure of 30 million people from ‘American Idol’ waiting for his music. I had the luxury of taking my time.”

And time is a very important element on the album. “There are a lot of songs about time, where we’re at right now. It’s a hard time, so I try to bring a breath of positivity…There are a lot of elements and layers. I’m proud to say it’s a true album.”

Star said he’s especially inspired by films—particularly those with positive themes. “I can watch a movie about death and not shed a tear, but if I see a little kid running into the end zone for a touchdown, that gets me. There’s a hope tied to it…That’s the music that I love—songs that make me want to fly.”

It’s that quality that Star believes is why sports outlets are a fan of his music. This year’s Super Bowl featured two commercials showcasing his song, “This Could Be the Year”—one for the Pro Bowl and one promoting NBC’s new series, “Kings.” His single, “Right Now,” has been used by the NFL Network and ESPN.

“I’ve really worked hard to get my music together, and now it’s starting to find its way in the world,” he said.

Star first came to national attention as a member of the band Stage, but he may be more recognized as a fan favorite on the reality-competition show, “Rock Star: Supernova,” which was searching for the lead singer of a new “supergroup” featuring Tommy Lee. About the show, Star said, “The opportunity was incredible. The exposure was magnificent. But I’m not that kind of musician. At one point I realized I don’t want to be a part of the circus.” So Star decided to use “Supernova” to get his name out there and it worked. After the show, he went into the studio to make his own kind of music.

As for what might have been if he had won, he joked, “More girls might have my phone number.” I couldn’t resist telling him that I was sure plenty of girls have his phone number…

Star’s latest single, which is starting to hit radio now, is called “Last Train Home.” But right now, Star is ready to ride the fame train wherever it may take him.

“I guess I’ve just been waiting on the world a little bit,” he said. “Sometimes it just turns out the right way. As an artist you can control every step of the process, but there are some things you can’t control. You can’t control where it leads when you’re done.”

As for where it may be leading now, Star said, “I’ll let you know on the other side.”

When I mentioned to Star that a lot of people at the concert who are David Cook fans will not be familiar with his music, he couldn’t resist joking with me a little bit. “Are you saying people don’t know who I am?”

Maybe they don’t now, Ryan. But they certainly will soon…

To learn more about Ryan Star, you can visit his website here.

Photo Credit: Atlantic Records