SOUNDS FROM THE WORLD | Ryan Keen (UK)
Ed Sheeran fans, you’re going to LOVE this artist I’m about to introduce you to!
Yesterday again during the 2015 BRIT Awards, I was telling you on Twitter just how full the UK is of young and talented artists. Well, Ryan Keen is one of them. Now, if you’ve gotten the chance to see Ed Sheeran on his European Multiply Tour, then you know who Ryan is. But if you haven’t, here are a few things you need to know.
Born in 1987, in Totnes, UK, he starts playing guitar at an early age. He starts songwriting a few years later, after losing a friend to a heart failure during his last year as a Commercial Music student at Westminster University in London, UK. “It came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me,” Ryan shared. “But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.” He soon starts singing up for a bunch of open mics, his first solo show being in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of barely 20 people.
After writing songs for other musicians while still in university, Ryan starts writing and producing his debut 4-track EP “Aiming For The Sun” that releases early 2010 and is sold mainly during gigs. After winning a competition, he gets to perform at South by South West (Texas) in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signs a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he finds management.
While Ed Sheeran’s career is just getting started, he invites Ryan on tour with him the same year. And against all odds, and though he had to undergo a surgery on his hand three weeks prior to the beginning of the tour, Ryan goes on the tour that he describes as his “first decent exposure”.
Following the release of his second EP, Focus, in January 2012, he performs at many of the major festivals that summer. By 2013, though he’s still unsigned, he’s up on the iTunes Festival stage, supporting Plan B, and releases two more EP, a live one and another called Back To The Ocean. He promotes his music during his very own headlining tour, but also while opening for Newton Faulkner and Leona Lewis on their respective tours.
In September 2013, Ryan Keen releases his debut full-length album, Room For Light, through Lookout Mountain Records. The album is described as a perfect mix of “acoustic strummings, heavenly stings, warm electronics and rich vocals, combined with intensely intimate and personal lyrics.” What more to ask, right?
In 2014, he multiplies the gigs and grows himself a solid fanbase worldwide. Later that year, Ed Sheeran invites him back on tour, and they both embark on the European leg on the Multiply tour early 2015. This upcoming March, Ryan is set to join Ed Sheeran once more in Oman, Qatar and Dubai, which will be his first gigs in the Middle East.
And following the overwhelming response in Europe, Ryan will be going on an headlining tour throughout the UK and France later this year.
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