One of the first people Ryan Kinder met when he moved to Nashville from Tuscaloosa, Alabama was Keith Stegall. “He gave me two important pieces of advice: Never lose the groove to find the note and don’t cut someone else’s song unless you’re pissed you didn’t write it yourself,” Kinder tells American Songwriter over the phone. “And I was pissed I didn’t write ‘Something.'”
“Something,” premiering today (June 17), is the only one of the ten tracks from Kinder’s upcoming collection, Room to Dream, that he didn’t co-write. Penned by an impressive line-up of Dave Barnes, Laura Veltz, and Jon Green, the song resonated with the artist the first time he heard Green’s demo several years ago.
“It really hit me,” he explains. “It felt like it was mirroring my wife and I’s relationship. We started as great friends and it was one of those things everyone else, friends, family, knew was going to happen before we did. Obviously, we figured it out and ended up together, but every lyric of this song speaks to the feeling I had at the time when I was in that situation with her.”
With the guiding hand of dear friend and producer, Luke Sheets, “Something,” maintains the intimacy of that demo tape. The guitar-fanatic in Kinder was tempted to tailor to a rock-edge around the track, but Sheets fought him on the decision.
“His urge was yet again right,” says Kinder. “That’s the beauty in having someone who knows you really well producing with you. They can see from 30,000 feet when you’re down on the ground of what you think this song should be.”
Due July 30, Kinder’s debut album is a cohesive collection, but not in the traditional sense. The conceptual idea for the record is celebrating the opportunity, as an independent artist, to free yourself of singular genre constraints. Intertwining throughout are three separate segments—rock n’ roll, pop-country, and Americana-folk.
Though “Sometimes” holds the traditional country tune, tracks like the guitar-laden “Blame,” exhibit a strength that lies on the opposite end of the artist’s multi-talented spectrum.
Beyond these fabricated bounds of the commercial music industry, Kinder dug deep. He includes an impressive cast of co-writers spanning from Josh Osborne and Ross Copperman to Paul DiGiovanni (Boys Like Girls), from whom he learned more about each type of music. Wielding their influence to further hone his songwriting craft, Kinder explored interchangeable elements of his musicianship, leaving room to dream.
Listen to the exclusive premiere of Ryan Kinder‘s song “Something,” below. Pre-order his debut album, Room To Dream, before July 30.