C2C Interviews 2018

Interview: Talking to Ryan Kinder about C2C, Honouring Andrew Dorff with Still Believe In Crazy Love and more

Ryan Kinder is one of the most promising artists in not just country music but across all genres. Signed to Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville , Ryan is getting ready to release his debut studio album. Ryan has so far released a handful of songs, all sensational and made even stronger by his exceptional, soulful and emotive vocals.

Ryan is the real deal – a born to sing artist who will undoubtedly take the music industry by storm and then some.

Ryan Kinder joined a fantastic line up at this years C2C Festival making his fans very excited to finally see him live and gaining an enormous amount of new fans along the way. If you haven’t yet seen Ryan Kinder live then please go at the first chance you get as he and his band put on one hell of a show that is wonderfully captivating. Ryan’s live skills are out of this world and more than your moneys worth.

We caught up with Ryan just before his C2C appearance and he was so wonderful to speak with. Ryan and I spoke of his released singles, honouring the late Andrew Dorff through Still Believe In Crazy Love and so much more.

I hope you enjoy our chat.



Hi Ryan, how are you? Welcome to the UK – is this your first time here?

I am good thanks, very first time here, not even on holiday.

Well, we are very happy to have you and I can’t wait to see your sets at C2C. You are playing London and Glasgow?

Yes, going to Glasgow and back in 24 hours, and then back to London.


Well, I have been on your social media a lot and you recently wrote that the song Leap Of Faith made you fall in love with songwriting – why is that?

When I first moved to Nashville I met a guy called Luke Sheets and we became really good friends. Usually when you are in a writing session with somebody for the first time, you have to delve into your deepest thoughts to elicit an emotion that will make the listener feel the same thing that you are. It’s kinda strange jumping into a writing session with a stranger and doing that, but he and I just became such good friends and so quick, as we are very like-minded people. We just kept writing and writing and in the first year and a half I think we wrote about 200 songs. We were just enjoying being together so much that some of the material came from that time. Leap of Faith I wrote in 2012 and it was in that period that I really found my love of songwriting -and we found our compatibility as song writers, too. So that era of songwriting and music life was such an invigorating time, that I thought it pertinent that we record those songs.

Will it be on a future album?

Oh yes, for sure. We are writing more and slowly recording it. I have no idea on a date but one day, haha!

One song that I have been quite obsessed with is Fortunate Son. I shamefully didn’t know the original.

That’s ok, ha, but you do know Creedence Clearwater Revival though?

Oh yes, ha.

Oh, good – because otherwise we might have a problem, hahaha.

I instantly loved it.

Thank you.

It just reminded me of all the rock / grunge bands that I loved in the nineties and to have that sound brought into the current era was wonderful to hear.

Tell us about why you decided to cover Fortunate Son.

Well, to attest to what you just said, I feel that music is cyclical, so that kind of nineties rock era is coming back. We just saw the 80’s rock movement sort of come back – like with the group Walk The Moon – they have a song that could have been an A-ha song. It all comes back around and I feel like we are back at the nineties rock movement, which is awesome because that’s what I love, too. I am a guitarist at heart, so recording a song like that, which is really guitar-riff driven, is sort of my forte.

Andrew Dorff wrote your single Still Believe in Crazy Love. He is a massive loss to the music world. You get to honour his music….

It is one of the biggest honours. His father is one of the sweetest people; he was in the video and he is a prolific songwriter as well. To be able to call him and ask if he would like to be in the video is probably one of the biggest honours, because that song meant so much to him. He has Andrew’s complete catalogue, which is thousands of songs, and he always wondered why no one gravitated towards that song. It kind of embodies what Andrew was about, because he was a hopeless romantic at heart. If you knew him, he was a fun-loving guy and truly this masterful, loved songwriter.

As you just said, his dad wondered why no one had cut it and when I was listening to it, I thought the same. Why hasn’t Keith Urban recorded this or someone? But I am so glad they didn’t – and it must be fate, because I do love Keith et al – but I don’t think it would have suited anyone else as much as it did you. You really get the message and the emotion across in your vocals, which is what instantly grabbed me.

Thank you very much.

Tell us about the time you first heard that song.

I was on a radio tour and I had one day off in Nashville and my manager said “I know you just want to go home and sleep, but Jerry is playing a songwriting round”. Jerry Flowers is a friend of mine; he is Keith Urban’s bass player and is also an unbelievable songwriter – he wrote House Party for Sam Hunt which kind of got him known as a songwriter. I was like “Of course, I love everything he does.” I was kind of in a stupor, completely delirious, because a radio tour is non-stop and I was just so tired. But I was there, and he started playing this song and it just woke me up.

There were a bunch of people there and I was so delirious and not really thinking of manners in a songwriting round. People were standing up and talking and drinking – no one was sitting down – and when he finished that song I walked up to the stage and said “Hey Jerry, don’t play that song for anybody else; I am going to record it.” He laughed, because who does that? In the middle of a show, haha.

Well, if a song hugs you, you gotta have it! Going back to the vocals, the way you sing it – and as cheesy as it sounds – it makes you believe in crazy love, haha.

Somebody told me a long time ago that you should never cut a song you didn’t write unless you are pissed off you didn’t write it. I hate being on stage and seeing somebody else on stage singing a song and not believing it. If you cannot believe what you are singing, then why the hell is anybody in the crowd going to believe you?

I agree, and it is obvious too. For some reason I find myself watching these contest shows – you can be the best singer in the world, but if I don’t believe the words that you are singing then I am not interested.

Harry Connick Jr was the only person that I have ever seen who was judging one of these contestant shows, who said to a girl who had this very sultry powerful ballad which she was singing all over the place and he said “Stop, stop right now. Do you even know the words that you’re singing?”

You need to feel the song, not just sing it. It’s about the listening, the feeling and the power of the words, not just singing all the notes – or it is just a vocal performance. I love hearing somebody who is a master if their craft – if, for example, you are singing Etta James’ At Last, I don’t want you singing just the notes.

The video is pretty powerful too, with many stories of heartache and everything leading to Crazy Love. I guess one of the most moving would be Andrew’s father Steve holding up his photo and saying a few words, which you already spoke about, but there are also so many other moving stories in the video.

Was the video an idea of yours?

My manager Nick and I had the collective idea. A friend of mine passed away last year of cancer, we were super close, and his wife was super close with my wife. The day he passed away I played The Grand Ole Opry and I played that song. His wife obviously wasn’t there but she listened to it on the radio. I dedicated it to him and that kind of became her song and the story enveloped the song. She called me a couple of days later and asked me to play it at his funeral, so it became the first story for the video.

Then people would come up to my after-shows and share their stories of why they still believe in crazy love. They have been through this hardship or this fantastic thing that happened and they would tell me their story and why that song was a realisation that there can still be love.

So that was the genesis of the idea; there are so many stories, so why don’t I get the people who are closest to me and get them to tell their stories through that video. All those people in that video are friends or family – and then we did an interview section afterwards, and everyone told their story.

It did make me cry, I won’t lie.

I have heard that a lot and we cried a lot shooting the video .

The origami flower in the video…

That’s a Camellia. I grew up on a circle called Camellia Circle and it’s the Alabama State flower so I felt like it was one thing throughout the video which tied everybody together, through me and the song.

You also have a tattoo of it?


What inspired Everybody’s Got A Little Love To Give?

I wrote that a long, long time ago. I can’t remember what happened – haha. I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and a tornado came through and it almost wiped out me and all my friends. When that happened we were on tour with a hospitality rider – do you know what that is?


A rider is a list of requests for items to be provided by the venue for the comfort of the artist on the day of the show. So we give a list to a venue of things that we might need, that we can’t really take on a bus like water, food, towels stuff like that – and I put a fifteen dollar toy on the bottom. We gather all the things together and take them to a group of less fortunate kids who are affected by a disaster and we call it Kinder’s Kids. During that tornado, I remember going to help people clean up and I saw a family whose house had completely gone and this child had just one toy. I was thinking how this kid had lost everything so it became a way that I could help. That disaster happened in Texas as well so we sent toys and I had that song in my catalogue and put it up because I felt like it was something that may bring hope.


Will we get an official release of that song?

Not sure, we haven’t picked all the songs for the album yet.

Well I am excited for the album. Thanks so much for talking to me today

Thank you for your time.

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