What art/artist changed you?
I'm not just talking about the artists that influenced you. I'm talking about the ones who got under your skin and made you think differently. We all have those dirty little secrets hidden in our CD collection. The places we return to when we feel out of sync. Musically I was a late starter and although I was playing instruments already it wasn't until I was about 16 that I started to find my passion within it. My good friend Nadine put Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic in my hands and I was never quite the same again. From then on I found a thirst for music, I had brief love affairs with artists like Imogen Heap, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and then delved into the likes of The creatures, PJ Harvey and pretty much anything I could get my hands on.
Falling in love with music lit a fire in my belly that has never really gone out.
I fell in love with writing, I fell in love with words, I fell in love with art and I fell in love with creativity. Music was the initial spark that opened a floodgate. I knew at that point that I was an artist through and through and that it was the meat and bones of what I loved.
Then I happened upon a band called My Ruin. And if there was ever a band that changed me in terms of the kind of artist I wanted to be it's them. I was never a huge metal fan ( to begin with ) and I always tended to move towards singer songwriter stuff and that was the pull for me towards this band. It wasn't the usual horror movie infested dark for it's own sake stuff. It felt almost private in nature. I even ended up covering their song Beauty Fiend, which although I do cringe a little when I listened to it a week ago ( my voice is sooo different!! ) it still has a special place in my heart! It was rare at the time to see an artist so connected to their listeners and someone who took the time to respond and to connect with you was refreshing. They taught me a lot, not just by the clarity of their example but through taking the time to actually sit and talk with me.
I have learned a lot from the artists I have listened to, watched and worked with over the years. The ones I tend to connect with more deeply are unsurprisingly the ones that are focussed around connection. Don't get me wrong I love all art but the stuff that sits with me, the stuff that really makes me think is the art based around honest, cathartic, unpretentious emotional presence. This is the kind of artist I try to live up to being because these are the kinds of artists that have lit my fire!
What artists changed you?
Ryan James x