Ryan Beatty is hard at work on his debut album and he’s giving JJJ all the deets! Check out our new interview!
The 17-year-old singer/songwriter rose to fame after posting covers of his favorite artists on YouTube. And just last year, his first EP Because of You reached No. 1 on the iTunes pop charts.
Not bad for a guy who started off singing John Mayer songs in front of his bunk beds!
JJJ recently sat down with Ryan to get the scoop on his upcoming album, his loyal fans, and of course, what he looks for in a girl!
Keep reading to get the all the deets Ryan Beatty dished to us…
Ryan Beatty – JustJaredJr.com Exclusive Interview
JJJ: So when did you decide to start singing and posting your videos?
Ryan Beatty: My sister Jenni had a YouTube channel back in 2007 or 2008 and she wanted me to post videos with her. I was in 7th or 6th grade at the time, and I was like, “Sure, OK, let’s post some videos.” So we posted a cover together and didn’t really go anywhere from there. She kept wanting me to do my own channel and I was a freshman in high school, still getting the hang of things. In sophomore year, I finally decided to make my own channel, February of 2011. I made my channel and then that same day, I posted my first video and it got ten thousand views in a week. I posted another one after that just to see if it was going to be the same response. And it doubled in a week. So it was really crazy to see that and I didn’t really know what to do with it all. I kinda had to teach myself what to do with everything.
JJJ: Were you nervous at all about haters? Did you ever read the comments?
RB: Yeah, I actually would do that. At the beginning everything was mainly positive. But once I started getting more and more views, that’s when more negative things would come. But I kinda taught myself to not really pay attention to that.
JJJ: Is anyone else in your family really musical?
RB: Yeah, my entire family, we all love music. Me and Jenni are probably the ones who are the most, my sister Lauren as well. My whole family [is made up of] huge, crazy music people.
RB: One of the coolest compliments people say is that my music has an older sound and I really like that. I’m not trying to go for an older sound, that’s just really my music and the music I love to do. So when someone older says, “I would listen to that.” That’s awesome. I’m not saying younger fans are bad. I love having the range of variety of fans, that’s the greatest thing.
JJJ: Speaking of Justin, he covered your single “Every Little Thing” last year. That had to be crazy. Tell us about the day that happened.
RB: I was leaving the studio and I just got in the car, and I was checking my mentions on Twitter. I saw a tweet about it, “Justin Bieber covered your song.” I was just like, “What the heck?” I just didn’t think anything of it. And I kept scrolling while I was sitting in the parking lot. My dad was getting directions. And all of a sudden I saw all these tweets and I clicked the link, and I go, “Dad, Justin Bieber covered my song.” He goes, “No, he didn’t.” I said, “Yeah, he did.” I played the video. It took forever for me to load it, but I finally watched it and I could not believe that. I thought it was fake or something. It was so weird. I [later] met him in Chicago and it was really cool. He came up to me and was like, “What’s up, man? I love your song.”
RB: Cool! So are you finishing up high school this year?
RB: I’m on my last semester of senior year. I can’t believe it. I take online school and people will be like, “Oh, so you got ahead.” But no, if I was in regular school, I would be a senior. It’s so strange for me to think about. I see all my friends getting older and kids my age who I grew up with getting older. But I don’t see myself, I mean everybody else probably sees me growing up, but I feel like 7th grade was yesterday.
JJJ: Where are you at in the process of dropping your album? Will it be an independent release?
RB: I’m independent right now and I think I may want to keep it that way. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I love the way that it’s going – how it’s kind of our own thing rather than people coming in and taking over. But eventually, who knows what will happen. I have met with labels and I haven’t said no or anything. I would consider something, it just all depends on what it’s going to be. So working on the album, for me – I know I’ve released an EP and had a single out – but this is going to be my first album and my first impression on the music industry. It’s going to be the first time I’ll have an opportunity to even chart on Billboard. So I really want it be the best first album possible and not regret anything about it, and to get the right sound. Because there really is no rush. I’m really young.
JJJ: Definitely. And you have a lot of input on your music now, right?
RB: Yeah. What I love about my situation is that I’ll sometimes be in the studio and I’ll write a song, and I’ll have a recording of it – even if it’s the scratch demo – and I’ll release it for free. Whereas, if I was with a label, I probably couldn’t do things like that. I would be restricted on things that I love doing right now.
JJJ: So there’s no official date yet?
RB: There’s not a date yet. I’m really trying hard and I want to get it out, but I don’t want to rush anything. So I’m trying to keep it at this good pace without being too fast or too slow. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce a release date soon.
JJJ: What are most of the songs you’ve written about?
RB: So far, there are a lot of love songs. I wouldn’t say the typical love songs. I’m definitely trying to get more creative with it and not say what’s already been said. There are songs about really just life in general. I’m not the type of person to go into the studio and be stuck on one thing. Sometimes what I do – I won’t even have an idea before I get in the studio – but someone will be playing something and I’ll hum the melody, and words will start to fly out of my mouth. Actually, that happened yesterday.
JJJ: Has the songwriting process gotten easier?
RB: When I first got into the studio and I first started writing songs, it was a challenge because I had never written a song before or had seen someone write a song before. It’s become easier in certain ways and harder in certain ways because when you’re an amateur songwriter – and I am still an amateur songwriter – from the beginning, you can write something and be like, “That’s the coolest thing ever.” Because it’s your own words. But now it’s more the challenge of saying something that everyone knows and everyone understands, but in a completely different, creative way.
JJJ: How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
RB: It definitely has an organic sound. I’m not a huge fan of synthesizers. It is pop, but not the super commercial pop. There’s no crazy club beats. More like summer kinds of songs and songs that you’d play by the campfire-type of thing. I love live instruments. Some of my influences are John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and James Taylor.
JJJ: And you play guitar now, right?
RB: I do play guitar, but I’ll mainly play guitar for myself when I’m at home writing something. But I have decided in a couple months, I will be playing guitar [in concert]. I’ll be doing that soon and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s going to be awesome because I always wanted that. When I first started, I wanted to rush the process so much. I’ve been playing for five months now and luckily I’ve picked up on it really easily. Teaching myself, the computer has helped me so much – Google and YouTube especially. That’s where I started off, I would just go on YouTube and learn the song before I even learned any of the chords. From that, I’ve learned all the chords from playing all these songs.
JJJ: Awesome! You’ve been playing shows all across the country. Are you sick of planes yet?
RB: I am getting sick of flying, but I love traveling. But I don’t like the traveling part of traveling [laughs].
JJJ: You still find time to help out with different charities. Why is that important to you?
RB: I definitely want to be one of those people that always gives back and not for the look, but just because you set that example of always giving back and helping others out. Then when people look up to you, I really want them to see my example and help out whether it be in their community or anything.
JJJ: Let’s talk about girls! Are you single?
RB: Yes, I’m still single. This whole thing is a job. I have fun doing it, but I’m everywhere and by the time I even make the decision to talk to a girl, they’ve already talked to someone else [laughs]. I don’t know. I’m still really trying to get a hold of what I’m doing with my career and I’m still rising up. I feel like any distractions right now – and I’m not saying a girlfriend would be a huge distraction – but it kind of would be. Not in a really bad way, but right now, that’s not what I need. At least these next couple months. I really need to be focusing on [my music].
JJJ: What kinds of qualities do you look for in a girl?
RB: I would have to say – and I always say this, but it’s true – when someone just has a really good personality. And they’re super spontaneous because I’m a spontaneous person. Someone who can keep up with my ADHD, ADD, OCD and all that stuff [laughs]. Someone who can make me laugh. I’m not the type of person to stick to just blondes or just brunettes or anything. It’s really just whoever I feel comfortable around to the point where I don’t feel like I need to impress her. I like that, a girl who has class, but not super classy and shops at all these fancy, expensive stores and things like that. I’m not about. It’s mainly about someone who’s really down to earth.
JJJ: Do you ever worry a girl might want to date you just because of your career?
RB: That is something to think about it, that before all this, would this girl still like me? But I feel like when it comes, I will know if she likes me for who I am. There are those people who really don’t care what I do. They think it’s cool, but they aren’t super crazy like that. I think when it comes, I’ll know.
JJJ: Tell us something about girls you don’t understand or like. What are your turn-offs?
RB: They take a long time in a bathroom when they are getting ready. Other than that, let me think… it’s not something that bugs me, but I just think it’s so funny. At high schools, I feel like they will all wear the same thing. It will be like sweatsuits and they’ll have on their Uggs. They’ll have their white iPhones and their Starbucks in the other hand [laughs].
JJJ: So what do you do for fun when you’re not working?
RB: When I’m in L.A., sometimes I’ll be lucky and there have been times I have a whole week off, especially during Christmas break, so my friends will come down to L.A. and we’ll skate. I love skateboarding. We’ll skate everywhere. I love seeing movies. When I’m in New York, I love walking around the city. It’s so cool. Just going to get food and things like that.
JJJ: Have you had any crazy fan experiences?
RB: I think it’s crazy when people come to my hotel. There hasn’t been a lot of people before – not like when One Direction stays at a hotel and there will be massive amounts of people – but there will be like three people who will be at the bottom of my hotel [laughs].
JJJ: Lots of marriage proposals?
RB: Yes, every time [laughs].
JJJ: Do you say yes?
RB: I do. I say yes.