Growing up right outside New York, Ryan Vandal is a name which continues to skyrocket within the music industry. Following the release of his recent single ‘Single For Now’, the fast-rising talent continues to grow meteorically on account of his powerful production prowess. We sat down with the American DJ & producer to talk through his career so far, and what the future holds for Ryan…
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far!
“Well funny enough, I was always into acting , singing and entertaining at a young age. I think that is what drew me to DJing, was that I remember seeing DJ Skribble on MTV Spring Break in 1998. Fast forward to the early to mid 2000’s I just started to DJ anywhere and any place I could. Word got around and I started doing bigger events. From my neighbour’s backyard parties, right through to spinning at The Carter’s summer BBQs. As of 2022, I’ve performed at a number of events for the likes of Jay Z, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Richard Branson and many others. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to different states and countries doing what I love and making people dance. Recently, I’ve been focusing my attention on spinning in TV and Movies. I had two cameos for DJing. One for PowerBook II: GHOST as well as Apple TV + new series #WeCrashed starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. I’m on the stage DJing the big rave party! I’ve also been working super hard on releasing music, my first song ‘Single For Now’ just dropped on the 25th of March. It’s super exciting and I’m loving all the feedback it’s getting. On top of that I have a Docu Series I’ve been working on for quite a while. It stems from me being born 3 and a half months early and almost dying to be able to conquer that and do what I love for a living. I think people are going to love to see the journey from then until now.”
What inspired you to head into this direction?
“So, I started DJing at the age of 10 and within the next few months I was doing backyard parties in my neighbourhood for $50. I remember using my sister’s stereo speakers, a radio shack amp and a CD player. I even had some coloured bulbs and strobe lights. That all changed when I did an impromptu performance in Las Vegas for my Uncle’s surprise 40th birthday. My parents got me my first set of equipment for Christmas and the rest was history.“
What have been your biggest accomplishments to date, and what are you most proud of?
“It’s an interesting question because it keeps changing every year! I’d say being in TV and Movies are pretty awesome. Now I just need to get one of my songs in one! Besides that, I’d have to say putting out this recent record ‘Single For Now’. I’ve always wanted a record of my own. I’m so happy to just be working on a ton of musical projects with different artists.“
What’s the first track someone listening to the Ryan Vandal sound should familiarise themselves with, and why?
“‘Single For Now’ is a record I just released. Between the piano, guitar chords and melodic drop. This is certainly a song that some people can resonate with for sure! It’s a very lyric heavy song.”
Who are your biggest influences and future dream collaborations?
“I would say my top 3 influences are some of my good friends, DJ Suss One, DJ Ruckus and DJ Cassidy. As far as collaborations go, I’m a huge Joel Corry fan. I love all his music and seeing his career take off like that is amazing! Another collaboration would be with Loud Luxury and/or Two Friends.”
How would you describe your sound?
“I would describe my music as upbeat, energetic and all of them are very lyrical driven. Between the production along with a good vocalist my songs can tell a story and take you on a musical journey. The same as when I’m spinning an event or club. I always tend to mix a little bit of old school and new school and bring them together seamlessly.”
How do you think the industry has changed over the years?
“Oh man! The industry has changed quite a bit even with the release of TikTok now. For one, the access that someone wanting to do music has is incredible. You get all this knowledge right at your fingertips! Whether it’s through learning something on IG Reels or TikTok or even watching tutorials on Youtube. I think social media as a whole is great. The one downside is that anyone can release music or be a DJ. In my opinion there is a lack of drive , skill and talent. Some people are doing it for the wrong reasons, maybe for the cool factor. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go when it comes to making music and/or being a DJ. It’s not as easy as it looks. In today’s day in age you have to be comfortable wearing a bunch of different hats and balancing all that. I’m fortunate to have a good team around me but I’m still always the driving force and sometimes can micromanage too much.”
Where do you see yourself going in the future? What are your plans for your project going forward?
“In addition to being a DJ I also own a production company and an event production company. I definitely see myself doing a lot more traveling, bigger events including festivals and being in more movies and TV. As well as continuing to create and direct my own short films/ music videos with my team. The main goal for me is to inspire someone that is looking to do something that they love and because of me they went ahead and pursued it. I feel extremely blessed and happy to be able to wake up every day and do what I love for a living. Especially that feeling when I’m making other people have a good time through my music. Check out my website, DJRyanVandal.com for more information!”