THE BACK STORY
Ryan Laird is a native of rural Ontario, where he grew up with a younger brother and sister on a 100 acre beef farm. He comes by his talent honestly - his great grandmother was a professional opera singer. When he was just a year old, she would sing to him in her rocking chair, and he would hum the melodies back to her. His musical upbringing included time with the Cambridge Kiwanis Boys Choir, with which he toured North America and Great Britain. In his early teens, he and his siblings formed a family band. Under the management of Ryan's mom, and traveling in a camper van tour bus, the group played the Canadian folk festival circuit for much of their teen years. He was 19 years old when he packed up his 1995 Honda Civic and made the move to Nashville to pursue his dream of being a country singer.
After writing a couple hundred songs and living in Nashville for a few years, Ryan decided it was time to take his music to the masses. He challenged himself to find a unique way to stand out from the pack, to get the industry to take notice of him over the hundreds of other musicians trying to make it in Nashville. The idea hit him one morning, and he spent his life savings on a billboard on Music Row appealing to Taylor Swift to produce his album. A short month later, he'd appeared on major media outlets across North America, and Swift herself commented on Ryan's talent in an E! News interview. "I listened to one of his songs and absolutely fell in love with it, and I think he's got great melodies and he's a great writer. I think he could really be great and be huge, so it'll be really cool to maybe work with him!"
Laird released his debut single, "I'm Your Man" in April of 2011 to rave reviews right across the country. The song went on to be his first Top 10 single, and the video also entered the Top 10 on the CMT Chevy Top 20 Countdown. Laird was on his way.
Since "I'm Your Man", Ryan signed a new record deal with On Ramp/EMI Music Canada. Laird has also recently toured with George Canyon, Emerson Drive, and Alan Jackson. He still remembers getting the call from his agent asking him if he'd like to tour with Jackson. "I couldn't believe it! I was like, 'Are you sure you're calling the right artist?' Alan is a living legend in country music, and opening his shows was an experience I'll never forget." His current single "Girl Crazy" is climbing the charts, and the video is in regular rotation on CMT. His self-titled debut EP is due to hit stores on June 5.
Below is the track listing from "Ryan Laird" - Ryan's self titled debut EP. With each song is a note from Ryan detailing the inspiration behind each.
I'm Your Man (laird, mccoy, silver)
My brother broke up with his high school sweetheart when he moved off to college. A couple years later, he came to me looking for advice saying he'd made a big mistake, and that he never should have broken up with her. I wasn't sure what to tell him, but I told him I'd write them a song. I got together with Jason McCoy in Nashville, and a few hours later, we had "I'm Your Man".
Two Weeks In (laird, wallin)
A friend of mine met a girl, and two weeks into their "relationship", they went off and got married! Some might call it romantic, others might call it crazy…I thought it was a little crazy, personally, but they were "in love!" Chris Wallin and I wrote this song based on their story. Not long after they got married, they ended up getting divorced…stay tuned for "Two Weeks Out" on my next record!
Girl Crazy (laird, silver, kipfer, mcgraw)
I had the best day of my life one summer. Everywhere I looked, I saw a beautiful woman. I was so distracted that just I kept putting off odd jobs around the house. The yard needed mowing and the house was peeling paint, but beautiful girls were everywhere! The chores soon didn't matter. We were headed to the beach! This is a fun summer song, and I had a blast shooting the video for it at Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier.
Want You Still (laird, fromm, godard, kipfer)
Remember the story behind "I'm Your Man" about my brother and his girlfriend? I guess the plan worked, because they got engaged, and I'm singing this song at their wedding! I just love the sentiment in this song, "No matter how old we get, I will want you still." Someday, I hope I find a love like that.
She Was The One (laird, powell, silver)
My talented songwriter friend Monty Powell (Keith Urban) helped me with this idea. Sometimes we don't realize how good we have it with a partner until after they're gone. I had a "She Was The One" experience once…it's never fun, but we got a cool song out of it!
Where Do I Go (ellis, monroe)
My beautiful and talented friend Leah Daniels approached me to perform a duet on her record. We got together to sing through this song and it didn't take long for me to realize our voices possessed some magic together.
If There Ever Was (laird, powell, silver)
I was feeling rather introspective one night, and three things of significant importance stuck out to me all at once - music, love and the world. We took a slightly different approach in the studio with this song. Rather than making it a big production piece, we decided to strip it down to allow the listener to experience what I was feeling when I wrote it.