“THERE ARE NO RULES – THERE ARE NO LIMITS – JUST BE YOURSELF AT ALL COSTS”
Ryan De La Cruz returns with the effortlessly cool R&B single ‘Stubborn’, the second single off his forthcoming and long-awaited Mixtape ‘Syko’ – a 5-track testament to accepting the craziness we all have within us, and it did not disappoint.
‘Stubborn’ starts with a calm introduction that combines a charming melody and a soft repetitive percussion beat, which lays the foundation for a seemingly tranquil piece. We’re pleasantly surprised by the joining of a short, but beautiful harmony that leads into the increased tempo of the beat, creating the perfect base for Ryan’s incredible and distinctive rap vocals that continue to add excitement to the track.
At only 22 years old, Ryan has already made a massive impact on the rap scene, from having surpassed a million views for their 2017 single ‘Know About Me’, that was crowned ‘Best rap video’ of the year by DJ Semtex, to collaborating with other talented artists, such as Ghetts and S Wavey on ‘Player’ and critically acclaimed single ’Syko’ earlier this year.
Having taken inspiration from old Soul and R&B classic artists, as well as drawing influence from his own life experience, Ryan De La Cruz showcases not only his talent but a passion for his art and connecting with his listeners. Ryan is one to watch out for, as it is quite clear he has no plans on holding back.
We interviewed Ryan De La Cruz to find out more:
Tell me about your new EP ‘Syko’
‘SYKO’ IS MY FOURTH PROJECT TO DATE – AND IT’S THE BEST I HAVE DONE YET. I’M GIVING YOU GUYS MORE THAN JUST RAP FLOWS AND BEATS. IVE GONE IN WITH THE BEATS – IVE TAKEN TIME WITH THE SONGS AND MIXES – LYRICS N’ EVERYTHING.
IT’S VERY CLOSE AND PERSONAL TO ME IT’S NOT JUST A PROJECT BUT MORE LIKE AN AWARENESS – WHEN I RELEASED ‘SYKO’ THE TRACK, THAT WAS MORE ABOUT INHIBITING YOUR INNERSELF – OUR INNER CRAZY BECAUSE TO A DEGREE I BELIEVE WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT SIDES TO US – SOME PPL ARE JUST MORE OPEN THAN OTHERS WITH IT.
What is your favourite track on the EP and why?
MY FAVOURITE TRACK IN THE TAPE IS ‘SELFISH MATTER’. IT ACTUALLY DERIVES FROM A SITUATION WHERE I WAS HAVING AN ARGUMENT WITH MY BIG SISTER AT THE TIME RECORDING IT IN HER LIVING ROOM. I THINK SHE WAS PISSED I WAS BLAZING THE MUSIC OR SUMTHIN BUT SHE WASN’T TELLING ME, LOL, I WAS JUST RECEIVING THE END OF THE STICK?… BUT YES, THAT ONE IS A SLAPSTICK AND EVERY TIME I LISTEN TO IT, THE FRESHER IT SOUNDS
Walk me through your writing process
I COULD NEVER REALLY TELL YOU A STRAIGHTFORWARD WAY OF WRITING – I’D BE LYING IF I TOLD YOU NOW I HAD ONE. BEFORE I DID BUT NOW IT JUST COMES… FOR ME I REALLY TAKE MY TIME BECAUSE I KINDA GET MY INSPIRATIONS FROM REAL LIFE STUFF – EITHER A CONVO – OR A STORY I’VE HEARD IN THE ENDS – SOMETHING THAT PISSES ME OFF ARE THE BEST TUNES – HARDSHIP WHATEVER.
WHEN NOTHING’S HAPPENING AND EVERYTHING IS CHRIS YOU KINDA GET COMPLACENT – AND YOU CAN’T WRITE – SO I SPACE THEM OUT AND GO GHOST FOR A BIT AND JUST LIVE – THEN COME BACK.
SOMETIMES I JUST WRITE THINGS I’VE GOT IN MY HEAD ON MY NOTE PAD OR VOICE NOTE IDEAS I HAVE THEN COMEBACK TO THEM WHEN THE TIMES RIGHT … GET ME, BAE?
What message would you like listeners to learn from your music?
MY MESSAGE IS ONE THING – THERE ARE NO RULES – THERE ARE NO LIMITS – JUST BE YOURSELF AT ALL COSTS. DONT BE LIVING SOMEONE ELSE’S PERCEPTION OR IDEA OF YOU THAT’S SHIT MAN… JUST STAY IN YOUR LANE -AND KEEP THINGS SIMPLE.
How did ideas for the ‘Stubborn’ music video come about?
THE IDEA BEHIND ‘STUBBORN’ CAME ABOUT AFTER I’D GONE DAYS WITHOUT DRINKING WATER. LOL, I KNOW IT’S MAD BUT I CALLED MURSHED JUST AFTER I HAD FINISHED MIXING THE TRACK … WE HAD BEEN PLANNING TO WORK TOGETHER FOR AGES AND THAT DAY WAS SOOO SUNNY SO WE THOUGHT LET’S GO OUT SOMEWHERE COOL AND GRAFFITI’D UP AND GET A SHOT OF ME DRINKING WATER —- WE DID JUST THAT THEN GOT BACK TO THE CAR AND I PLAYED HIM THE SONG … HE GOT GASSED AND THOUGHT BRO LETS GO SHOOT! SO WE WENT BACK TO MY HOUSE, GRABBED A CHANGE OF CLOTHES AND WENT AHEAD AND JUST DID WHAT WE COULD WITH ZERO BUDGET.
Who were your musical influences while growing up?
GROWING UP I LISTENED TO A MIXTURE OF THINGS BUT PRIMARILY RNB – MUSIQ SOULCHILD – JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – TIMBALAND AND MISSY ELLIOT – WHITNEY – MICHAEL JACKSON.
IN MY LATER YEARS AS A TEEN I GOT INTO CHRIS BROWN – DANGELO – DRAKE – AALIYAH- PRINCE.
I KNOW I CAN’T BE THEM… EVER BUT THEIR LEVEL OF MUSICALITY IS EXCEPTIONAL AND IVE ALWAYS TRIED TO EXCEED THAT LEVEL, YOU KNOW?
What lyrics, written by you or otherwise, have really resonated with you?
LYRICS THAT HAVE REALLY RESONATED WITH ME ON THE TAPE ARE
“Amen if it’s bad, can’t live life sad
It ain’t wrong if your just trynna get it in any way that you can” – Syko
‘I’ve got issues, you got issues’ Aaliyah – More Than A Woman
‘You must believe in something’ – Frank Ocean
Top 5 tracks at the moment
HEADIE ONE – MUSIC X ROAD
JIJI BABA – TELL ME
JiuLing – HUMAN FT MYSELF & WAVYTHEPIRATE
KZFIVE – MONEY
MICKAIL CHASE / HENNESY
If you weren’t making music, what else do you think you would be doing?
APART FROM MUSIC I’D BE EITHER MODELLING – OR I’D BE ACTING – OR I’D BE MAKING CLOTHES – IF NOT THAT THEN ART DIRECTION BECAUSE I LOVE ART. SOME OF THESE I ALREADY DO ON THE SIDE WHEN MUSIC ISN’T TAKING UP MY TIME BUT I DEFINITELY WOULD BE A DIRTY DANCER FOR SURE.
How much time do you each spend on social media per day?
I ONLY USE SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN I’M SITTING ON THE TOILET, BRO, NO CAP – IT’S THAT SHIT FAMILY.
What are the biggest challenges you face in the music industry?
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS BEING UNDERSTOOD. THIS IS EVERYWHERE ASIDE FROM MUSIC AS WELL BUT TO BE UNDERSTOOD. LIKE WHY YOU TRYING TO FIND A BOX TO FIT ME IN WHEN THERE’S NONE ????
YEAH I SING & RAP SOMETIMES – SOMETIMES I DONT FEEL LIKE WEARING A TRACKSUIT SO I PUT ON CONVERSES AND SMART TROUSERS – SOMETIMES I READ BOOKS ND STUFF, LOL – SOMETIMES I LIKE MY HAIR OUT THAN CUT // ITS BLOODY SO HARD THESE DAYS ESPECIALLY AS A BLACK MALE FROM LONDON – MAKING MUSIC IS NOT EASY WHEN SERVING IT TO THE INDUSTRY – LIKE BEING BLACK IS A WHOLE THING IN ITSELF BUT THERES SO MUCH STIGMA THAT COMES WITH IT THROUGH SUCH A PATRIOTIC SOCIETY WHICH CONDITIONALLY BLOCKS US – WITH WHAT THE MEDIA PORTRAYS ASWELL THE FIRST THING WHEN YOU HEAR AN ARTIST YOU INSTANTLY TRY TO PICTURE WHAT THEYD LOOK LIKE…. THEN IT’S LIKE HOW MANY FOLLOWERS DO THEY HAVE… ARE THEY INFLUENTIAL? WHERE ARE THEY FROM? LIKE ALL THAT IS SOO WRONG AND WIRED – WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY AND TIME WHERE YOU’RE CONSTANTLY BEING BOMBARDED WITH ALL THESE STANDARDS OF LIVING THAT WE ALL OUGHT TO LIVE UP TO BUT ITS NOT FOR EVERYBODY… IT’S COMPLICATED.
BUT SOMETIMES NOT EVERYTHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE CLEAN YOU KNOW – NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS STORYTELLING – YOU CAN’T TELL A DOG A STORY – BUT YOU CAN PLAY THEM A SONG… SOME THINGS ARE JUST DONE THAT WAY… A TREE COME WITH EDGES AND ROUGH PATCHES ON ITS BODY AND IT STILL BREATHES AND CONTRIBUTES MASSIVELY TO OUR LIVES. BUT NOT EVEN THE SCIENCE HAS THE ANSWERS TO HOW IT’S MADE.
3 things you cannot live without
I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT A STUDIO
GOOD SOUL FOOD (CARIBBEAN FOOD IS FOREVER THE ZEEEEEEEZEEEE AIGHT)
What do you think of the current British R&B soundscape and where do you think you fit in?
SINCE CRAIG DAVID & ANGEL WE AIN’T REALLY HAD A MALE BRITISH SINGER TO DOMINATE THE R&B SECTOR.
I THINK R&B IN THE UK HAS BEEN DEAD FOR A LONG TIME. AND WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO…
THE BRITISH FEMALE R&B ACTS LIKE MAHALIA AND JORJA ARE AMONGST A FEW PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES BUT STILL THERE ISNT REALLY A PROMINENT MALE ACT ???
R&B IS MAKING A COMEBACK THO PROGRESSIVELY… TRUST ME – I’M ONE OF THE GATEKEEPERS AND PIONEERS IN THIS SECTOR HERE… MY MUSIC ISN’T FOR NOW – IT’S FOR THE GENERATIONS TO COME.
Who would play you in a movie and why?
LISTEN… RIGHT NOW ITS #SYKOSEASON SO GET MI A VERSION FOR A BLACK JOKER AND IM PLAYING THAT GUY MATE
My guilty pleasure…
I KNOW JESUS CHRIST UNO. THAT’S MY DUDE.
JUST GOTTA WAIT FOR WHAT’S COMING… ?
Ryan De La Cruz’s Mixtape ‘Syko’ will be released at the end of October 2019.