Ryan Garrett grew up jamming on The Eagles and Steely Dan, and these days, his long hair is in pigtails more often than not. He’s got a healthy dose of twang in his voice and drinks more often than he should. And damn, he probably should try to kick his smoking habit.
But he probably won’t.
“I once ran straight into an 18 wheeler because I dropped my cigarette in my lap,” he chuckles. “Thought they were going to throw me in jail. I got to drive my wrecked car home…and lived to see another day.”
And he lives loud. He always has. And if Ryan Garrett seems like he is not of this time and seems like he doesn’t quite fit into the somewhat straight-laced, filter-friendly 21st century, you might be right.
He doesn’t fit in.
But maybe that’s what makes Ryan Garrett so darn cool.
He’s a rocker and a fighter and a lover and a poet, and yes, even he believes he was born at the wrong time. And he tackles this stark reality in his new single “1993.”
“I can totally relate to it to that feeling of being born in the wrong decade and feeling like you just want to take the T-Tops off the 280Z and hop in the seat with bare feet and just drive,” Garrett says, an electric enthusiasm dripping off of every word coming out of his mouth. “I want people to have a good time listening to it. Give people a reason to rock, you know?”
Heck, his mom even loved it.
“Right from the start, she thought ‘1993’ was badass,” Garrett laughs. “She told me to get in the studio and record it right now.”
So, he did.
Garrett grew up in the backwoods of Texas, a self-proclaimed nerdy kid raised on the backbeat of rock and roll. Heck, his mom even played in a band in the eighties while his dad served as the band’s sound guy…go figure. When he was just 11 years old, Garrett’s aunt bought him a beat up, nylon string guitar for $50 from some guy in Mexico.
And soon, he started strumming.
“I was terrible at first,” Garrett admits, but he soon began finding his way, measure by measure and lyric by lyric, eventually writing his first song when he was barely a teen. He started crisscrossing back and forth between pop and rock bands through middle school and high school, skipping school in favor of band rehearsal. And by the age of 16, he was touring the country with a pop/rock band that seemed to be pointing Garrett in just one direction.
And yes, he could have easily found a home and made a mighty nice career within the rock industry. There was just one problem. Every time he sat down to write, everything came out ‘country.’ So, Garrett decided to grace Nashville with his powerful presence.
And he never looked back.
“I was pumped,” he remembers, having moved to Nashville fulltime in 2017. “People were nice and welcoming, but it’s a tough town. I see the good in people, and that can be as much of a blessing as it can be a curse. I was nervous…I don’t deny that.”
But eventually, the nervousness wore off…and for good reason.
Garrett started writing with Nashville’s elite stable of songwriters and fell in love with a woman that takes on the role of ‘mom’ and played iconic venues filled with fans bobbing their head to the beat of Garrett’s soul. Of course, in a world currently stuck in the deep tracks of a muddy pandemic, Garrett craves the stage at the moment. Indeed, an energy erupts within him every single time he gets up there.
“If the fans are not moving, I won’t be having a good time,” he says. “I mean, I’m not going to start throwing beer at people, but I’m going to make sure they are singing the words back to me. Because, that stuff is infectious.”
In the coming months, Garrett plans to release his debut album, a collection that he describes as ‘super country.” “The most songs I have ever written have come during this COVID time,” he explains. “I’m in this streak that I can hear a melody in my head and then the hook suddenly shows up and then a line of the chorus will appear and I have to high tail it to the writing room…and that’s where it comes to life.”
Sounds euphoric, doesn’t it?
There will be anthems and stadium bangers and ballads and train beat songs and a song about ‘how my girlfriends stuck with me through all my craziness.”
“People are listening, and people are more open to new sounds and acts more now that ever before,” he says.
And when Garrett’s not making his own music, he is listening to others, partaking currently in a heavy rotation of artists such as Brent Cobb and Sean McConnell and fellow redneckers like Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen.
But this ain’t going to be no ‘follow the leader’ deal.
“I’m always going to want to stand out and I’m always going to want to be completely me,” he says. “There are so many cookie-cutter artists out there. But why would you do something that has been done before? I’d rather be living in my small apartment and make no money rather than ever sound like someone else.”
It’s frankly not possible for Ryan Garrett to sound like anyone else.
He’s a Texas original.
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