© Ryan Hurd, used with permission
At 30 years old, Ryan Hurd has mastered the art of songwriting having written hit songs for Blake Sheldon, Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley and more. Rolling Stone has selected Ryan as one of "10 New Country Artists You Need To Know: February 2016." Hurd is determined to replicate that success as a country singer. Sony Music Nashville is placing bets that Ryan has the right stuff to make it all the way to the top. Ryan’s new EP, Ryan Hurd, was released on April 7. Here’s what Ryan had to say at Country Thunder.
AXS: We have Ryan Hurd at Country Thunder. You have new music recently released?
Ryan Hurd: Yes, we just released a new EP yesterday, April 7. It has been really fun to have fans react to it and buy it. It is a dream come true for me to have a release on a major label. The self-titled EP was released kind of underground last year on streaming services, but now its available for download. It has four songs on it.
AXS: What do you think will be the key to being successful in country music?
RH: I think that continuing to put out music that people react to. That keeps you around. I have a lot of friends that I have written for that do a good job to continue to give fans new music to grasp on to. It’s music that ties back to country music and their own careers. I’m really excited about being a part of the conversation right now because it’s such a fun time in country music. It’s such a fun time to come out with a new record.
AXS: How long have you been doing this?
RH: I’ve been a writer in Nashville for the last five years, writing for other people. I’ve been writing for guys like Dierks and Jake. I wrote a number one song for Blake Shelton. I wrote the new Lady Antebellum single, “You Look Good.” That’s all I thought I would ever do. But it’s cool to do my own artist project with my name and my voice. I get to pick the songs that people hear. Sony and RCA records jumped on board about half way through making this record. It’s great to have that validation.
AXS: Sounds like you’re doing very well. What is a typical day in the life of Ryan Hurd?
RH: Right now I’m on radio tour. During the week I go visit radio stations and show them my music. On the weekends I’m on tour with Thomas Rhett, “The Home Team Tour” with Kelsea Ballerini and Russell Dickerson. I’m never at home. It’s been really cool to feel this productive and feel like we are making strides. Right now it’s radio, opening tours, and cool festivals like this. It’s really fun to meet new fans. I love coming out here.
AXS: What is your ultimate goal?
RH: My goal right now is to have my single do well enough to have a full album come out is my main focus. It’s cool to be able to straddle the line between writer and artist. A lot of the artists I meet and talk to on the road want what I have. They want to have the kind of catalog that I have. And I want what they have which is kind of crazy too. Its cool to have that foundation.
AXS: The music you have streaming online is awesome. You have a great vibe.
RH: Thank you very much. I always love when people say that. It’s a huge compliment. I love people and I love talking about music. I feel like people who do this for a living whether its radio or journalism or writing music. They got into it because they love music.
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