Wine Chats with Disco Pop Queen RYAL
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jacque Ryal over wine in Brooklyn to talk about her debut EP and the crazy world of music. This was our first time to meet, and I have to say she is one of my absolute favorites. From her honesty, to her love for all things 80’s, she is definitely someone you need to know.
Starting her music career in the band setting, RYAL is an EP that showcases her experience, powerful voice, and a strong partnership with Aaron Nevezie who has worked with the likes of The Black Keys, Danger Mouse, and tUnE-yArDs.
She recently shared her latest video for “Lonely Love,” which definitely captures her kickass persona. Find yourself some room to dance & get to know a bit about the fab RYAL below.
TD: So, tell me about this new EP!
RYAL: I had so much fun making this EP. I came from working with a label that had such a daunting approach to making music and the results were not at all close to where I wanted to be, so when I took my previous band Strip Darling out of the label and we recorded with Aaron at The Bunker Studio I knew I found a good partner. When the band went on hiatus I holed myself up at the Music Building and started writing. I knew that the person I wanted to work with to make this project was with Aaron because, there was an element of automatic trust from the get go. The second track I sent to him, he was like yeah let’s start writing together. Yeah, so, basically the process has been, I write the melody lines and I work a lot in Ableton Live. Or Aaron will write some tracks and I will write a melody and lyrics on top. We take it from there. It’s been a year long process. Well, not that long I guess. We released “City Lives” maybe a year ago.
TD: Arguably my favorite. I love the 80’s vibe.
RYAL: Haha, really? That’s so funny. Yeah, I mean, they definitely all have that 80’s feel.
TD: That was my other question. Any major sources of inspiration from that time period?
RYAL: Oh yes… definitely Prince. I’m also a big Cyndi Lauper fan.
TD: Mhmm, I was gonna say. I hear that for sure!
RYAL: Omg, I covered “Time After Time” and this guy came up to me after and said “I just called Cyndi and she said you sounded great and she was surprised someone was covering her music!” And I was like wait, first of all, how do you know Cyndi? Second, of course people are covering her music!
TD: Whoa, was he being serious, or was one of those sarcastic Dads?
RYAL: Haha! I don’t think so. He was an industry dude.
TD: So, do you think you’ll play any shows?
RYAL: Haha. I feel like when people ask me that – it’s like when they ask me & my husband if we’re going to have kids. It’s not that I don’t wanna do it. I want to make the show a spectacle and that takes time. Some people are doing it really well. I hate watching artists do these full blown tours and halfway through they’re like “what am I doing?” Losing money and hurting themselves physically. I was actually reading this really interesting NYT article about the touring musician, focusing on the musician’s voice. Ultimately, when you think about it, that’s what this business is all about. Especially if you’re on the road all of the time.
TD: Yeah, that’s so true. I have definitely realized that I am much more of a philanthropist than a business person. Sometimes I think that when it comes to artists & the music industry, there could be a lot more done to take care of the artists who are contributing to such a huge business.
RYAL: I totally agree. And how the industry puts people on tour for their livelihood but they are hurting themselves and the business should be protecting their assets…ie a musicians voice. I don’t want to hurt myself. I want longevity.
TD: Do you feel like there’s a breakdown in the network within the music industry? I feel like there’s always been this existing infrastructure, but for those who want to experiment outside those walls, do you think that area is pretty loosely defined?
RYAL: Umm, gosh that’s a great question. I think the mystery is part of it, to be honest. I wish that there was a clearer path in this business, but music is so subjective so you release and see how it’s received. The hardest situation is being an artist that does not come from money or know / have someone in the family that is in the business….it’s like where do you turn? More time and effort goes into research and networking than actually making music, so having an infrastructure in place to engine that for an artist so the artist can actually work… yes, in my opinion that is missing. I wish I had that support. I’m working my ass off and would love the help.
TD: So what’s next for you?
RYAL: I’m making more music. I plan on releasing more this year for an upcoming EP… who knows it may turn into a full length.I have also been working on a musical for the past 4 years and we are starting to write a new draft. My hope is that we get into a reading later this year, but these things take time too. HA!