Interview – Exploring Life, Love & Everything After: A Conversation with Steven Ryan on His Extended Album Journey

by the partae

Congratulations on the upcoming release of the extended edition of “Life, Love & Everything After”! What inspired you to expand the album with these additional tracks?

I felt like the concept of the album was so rich and I hadn’t fully explored all of the avenues of Life, Love & Everything After. Honestly they are such diverse subjects that it’s hard to ever feel like you’ve said all there is to say and I probably never will. But I’ve learned over the last few years not to be quite as precious with new material. I would hate to think I let a song sit on my hard drive that was maybe just the right song to help someone out in a time of need and that’s really what music is all about to me.

Can you walk us through the themes you explore in the new songs added to the extended edition, such as “Why Do I Do This,” “I Could See It In Your Eyes,” “Save Myself,” and “The End”?


“Why Do I Do This” is a song about self sabotage and feeling like you’re just going around in circles and never getting anywhere. At the same time it’s about reaching out for help when you need it and to a small degree not setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.

“I Could See It In Your Eyes” is a love song straight from my life. This is one of the older songs on the album as far as the time frame of writing it goes. It’s mine and my wife’s love story. It’s also a love story for anyone that met their partner under less than ideal circumstances which creates that scary in-between phase where you both know this is what you want out of life and have the faith and patience to let it all work out in time.

“Save Myself” is about having someone in your life and watching them slip away or get consumed by something unhealthy and the struggle between deciding when it’s no longer possible for you to help them and yourself and you have that hard decision to make. At the end of the day it is about that love you have for someone and that commitment to be by their side ‘til the end as long as they are willing to be there for themselves as well.

When it comes to the last song on the album “The End” you have to be fully immersed in the 20 song extended version of the album to get the full picture. The non extended release featured 15 songs including 3 songs named after the title of the album. The intro track “Life” the interlude “Love” and the final song on that release “Everything After”. They explored each concept in depth and to just add some songs after didn’t feel like I was doing the concept justice. “The End” is exactly how it sounds. It serves as the outro track of the album to tie everything together but also delves into the unknown and the cyclical nature of life, Although a less traditional track this one holds a special place in my heart.

“With You” is the current radio single from the extended album. What significance does this song hold for you personally, and why did you choose it as a single?

“With You” is a very important love song to me. I have some friends that got married recently and found it hard to find a first dance song that didn’t have specific details that didn’t pertain to their love. I also have a few friends that had a hard time finding non gendered love songs. I wanted to write an inclusive love song that didn’t have any language or circumstances that made them feel the song wasn’t for them or their love. Everyone deserves to be loved and everyone deserves a love song.

How do you feel your songwriting and musical style have evolved since your debut album, “Take My Hand,” released in 2014?

As much as there was an innocence to my writing 10 years ago. I was restricted by only being able to write songs when some mythical divine inspiration struck. Over the years as I developed my skills more as a songwriter I was able to write much more intentional music and I no longer suffer from the writer’s block that is waiting for that perfect storm of inspiration. This has given me the opportunity to write about much deeper concepts and express myself much more fully.

Your music is known for its emotionally charged vocal performances. Could you share a bit about your creative process when it comes to infusing emotion into your songs?

Over the years as I’ve grown as a vocalist and would start to receive compliments I knew I wasn’t by any stretch an amazing singer. But it seemed like what people were captured by was the fact that they felt something when I sang the songs. For me music has always been about connecting with people and making them feel less alone. I’ve always focused on being present in the song I’m singing and visualizing things and moments that make me feel the emotion of the lines I’m delivering and I feel like that translates through the vocal performance.

You’ve achieved significant success on platforms like YouTube and streaming services. How do you think these digital platforms have influenced your music career?

I think the biggest thing digital platforms in general have shown me is that there is an audience out there for everyone; it’s just a matter of reaching those people. There was a time where I felt like I was stuck playing the same shows to the same people over and over again. And as much as I owe so much to those people I feared my music just wasn’t good enough. My presence online made me realize I may have reached most of the people in my immediate physical vicinity that like my music but there are still tens or hundreds of thousands of people out there if not more that will like my music but just haven’t had a chance to be exposed to it yet..

Your 2023 coast-to-coast Canadian Tour was a huge success with sold-out shows across the country. What were some of the most memorable moments from that tour, and how do you think it impacted your growth as an artist?

Honestly some of the best memories were meeting some of these people that had started following me online but I had never met in person. As well as just being able to go across the country and have people show up for you in general is just a wild thing. The space inbetween the shows of traveling the country and bonding with the band I had with me was also a highlight. The way it impacted me most as an artist is that it made me realize there is no better time than now to take these next big steps. At one point it seemed like touring the country wasn’t going to be a reality but now after having done that I realize what’s stopping me from touring other countries and parts of the world.

You’ve collaborated with various Canadian artists and worked on multiple tracks for different projects. How do these collaborations influence your creative process, and what do you enjoy most about collaborating with other musicians?

I’ve been honoured to work on a lot of different projects in a songwriting capacity as well as an engineer, producer and mixer. Some of these projects are passion projects with friends and others are with accomplished world renowned artists and collaborators. The biggest influence this has had on me is as an inspiration to keep growing in my own art. The thing I enjoy most about working on other peoples music is helping them translate who they are into how the music sounds.

The new songs on the extended album delve into themes of life, love, loss, and mental health. How do you hope listeners will connect with these themes through your music?

My hope is that when they’re listening to a song about life or mental health the song is there to make them feel less alone and safe and understand it’s ok to be a little lost sometimes. When they’re listening to a song about loss I hope they’re reminiscing about the ones they’ve lost and allowing them to feel whatever emotion they need to to continue healing from that loss. I especially want them to remember those people because that’s one of the places our loved ones live on, is in our memories. And lastly when they’re listening to a song about love I want them to feel included and loved and believe in one of the most magical feelings this world holds for us.

Can you share any anecdotes or stories behind the creation of specific songs on the extended album that hold particular significance to you?

In the song “The End” similar to the Intro song “Life” and interlude song “Love” there are little easter eggs of titles, lines and concepts from not only other songs on the album but references to other songs that are important to me that reflect those topics.

As an artist who aims to emotionally connect with his audience, what do you hope listeners will take away from “Life, Love & Everything After”?

I hope the album can bring people a few things. One of which is just an escape from everyday life. In my mind there is nothing wrong with using arts and entertainment as a little mini vacation from the struggles the real world sometimes holds. Secondly I just hope that they connect with at least 1 song in a way that makes them feel like they’re seen. And lastly I hope listeners will find comfort in knowing they are not alone in what they’re going through and to embrace the good and bad in life and in love and take a moment to remember those they’ve lost along the way.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future of your music career, and how do you plan to continue engaging with your audience in meaningful ways?

Looking to the future, my main goals and aspirations are the same as they’ve always been, which is to reach as many people as possible through my music and have my music be there for them the way music has been there for me. In the immediate future I’m looking at ways of bringing different versions of my live show to not only in person audiences around the world but also virtual audiences as well.

Instagram: @StevenRyanMusic

Facebook: /StevenRyanMusic

Twitter: @StevenRyanMusic

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