We caught up with Kent-born singer songwriter Ryan Weeks to chat about his writing style, musical influences and his move from Tunbridge Wells to Brighton to study vocals.
What’s your perfect scenario to write in?
“I have a few. I find it hard to be one of those artists that just sits down and writes. I have a few songs that are going to be great but I’ve been working on them for a year or so. Alternatively, I wrote one song in ten minutes the other day whilst sat at the kitchen table.
My favourite way at the moment though is I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a melody stuck in my head that I heard in a dream, and I’ll grab my phone and sing into the voice memo app. The next day I’ll work out the key of the melody and put some chords underneath it, then sing random words or some phrases until I get stuck on a hook and build from that.”
Any particular influences?
“One big influence is Ben Howard. He’s the reason that I picked up a guitar and his songwriting is sublime, another big influence is a guy called Andy Shauf, he’s kind of a musician’s musician. I’ve been listening to him for about a year or so and his songwriting style is so vivid, he’s the definition of painting pictures with words, any one of his songs could be turned into a film and it would be a best seller. Songs like hometown hero, – about a guy buying cigarettes from a 711 that ends up stopping a Robbery and then leaves before the cops show up so he stays an unknown hero.”
How do Brighton and Tunbridge Wells compare when it comes to gigging?
“They vary massively. Tunbridge Wells is a great place to perform, for a small town it has a thriving music scene, even back to the 50’s and 60’s with singers such as the Beatles before they were famous and Jerry Lee Lewis, to present day with venues like the Grey Lady and the Forum constantly winning awards from NME for being Britains best small venue, and hosting such artists as Oasis, Adele, the Kooks, and new bands such as Raised By Raptors, the Crew and the Gallerys.
I love gigging in Tunbridge wells, as most musicians tend to know each other we all help each other out. It’s definitely somewhere to visit for great music.”
“Alternatively the Brighton music scene is crazy! There’s such a mix of great music and venues, plus there is always something on every night to cater to your music tastes.
Since moving to Brighton it’s almost felt like starting again – like almost having to work back my way up the music scene ladder. With the plethora of musicians it can seem tricky to stand out at first, but I feel like I’m starting to find my niche here.”