Ryan Doyle’s Debut CD “Right By My Side” Launched
Ryan Doyle already has performances at Yoshi’s, Sheba Piano Lounge and even has Carnegie Hall under his belt, and there’s a strong ambition and natural talent here. Now the 16 year-old singer songwriter has just released his first album of original songs – a collection of plaintive tunes and ballads with just a hint of rock and pop. Almost done with high school, and then there’ll be no stopping this young man.
It was back in third grade when it all began. Ryan was encouraged by a teacher at his school to audition for the part of the young boy in Mame the musical, which was in the works at a local high school. Despite the initial jitters he remembers on stage surrounded by the “big guys,” Ryan was immediately taken by the wonders of stage and song. He started taking voice lessons from vocal teacher Victor Cervantes who further encouraged him to sing at public venues in San Francisco. From recitals to church performances, Ryan was moving towards his next step of singing and songwriting.
When I visit with Ryan in his Sunset district home, he had his chemistry homework books on the table so I don’t want to take up too much of his already crammed week of schoolwork, music classes and practice – not to mention the marketing and promotion of his latest CD.
As far back as he remembers, Ryan had an interest in both singing music and writing lyrics. “I remember writing kind of babyish songs – I’d write about anything and everything.” he says. One of the earliest ones he recalls writing was “Daddy Likes Coffee.”
Now Ryan is writing about love and loss. Right By My Side is a collection of reflections on broken relationships, dealing with deceit, with just a couple of hopeful love songs added. But pain and melancholy certainly permeate this teen’s collection. Reluctant to ask the obvious, (and likely irritating) question of how one so young can write and sing like a person who has experienced years of loss and a lifetime of love, I do anyway. Ryan explains that he writes about experiences that don’t necessarily belong to him. In “Stay Standing” he puts himself in the shoes of a soldier, for instance, and he can equally describe the feelings of abandoned and unrequited lovers. “The funny thing is,” he tells me “I’m actually a very happy kid!”
Usually the music presents itself before the lyrics but sometimes it’s the other way around for this young songwriter. Ryan’s influences range from Sam Smith to Billy Joel to Paul McCartney and U2, and he knows he has plenty of time to get in touch with his Irish roots musically as time goes on. With an Irish father and English mother, Ryan has grown up in a house where 1970s and 1980s music was played continually. His mother (and manager) being an avid Elvis Presley fan, the King has surely played a part on Ryan’s influences on some level, too.
Right By My Side is produced and mastered by Grammy award winners Christian Tumulan and Michael Lazarus, and there’s a strong helping of San Francisco backing musicians on bass, guitar and violin, including Grammy winning drummer Brian Collier. But Ryan’s piano is the predominant instrument and a constant throughout. It works in perfect synch with his well-trained voice, especially in the final acoustic version of the signature song “Fall.”
– Catherine Barry
The album is available on iTunes and Amazon.