“We all know someone, who without, our lives would be so much emptier.” — Sarah Ryder’s latest, “Woman”
Growing up in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Listening to country radio, hearing a Tim McGraw song (“Watch The Wind Blow By”) led you to writing songs at age 8. Going to see George Strait in concert when you were 16, confirmed what you felt — the need to create songs others would find relatable. “I hope people can feel the no bull**** emotion/reality that I am communicating through music. This is the best way I know how to be honest.” How do you pair lyrics and melody to make emotional connections for listeners?
I always try to go for a mood, so depending on what I am trying to say and how I want that feeling to come across to others tends to dictate melody. That said, it happens very often where a co-writer will have a guitar hook or melody previous to the writing session going on, so at that point it’s just a matter of looking through hook ideas and deciding what feels right! Sometimes a chorus comes first, sometimes we just start anywhere and get ideas flowing. Writing is an adventure.
Meeting producer Michael Jay (Eminem and Celine Dion have both recorded songs he wrote) at a talent competition in Las Vegas. Learning about writing and business from him. Switching from music to business in your sophomore year in college. Wanting to learn and create music in your own way, to experience it first-hand rather than in the classroom. What is the best advice he shared about the business side of the music industry?
Michael more lived and showed the advice I took from him rather than putting things into words. He was genuinely kind to others and genuinely loved music. He loved other people’s music and despite all his success was a legitimate fan of the arts. He respected others truly as though he didn’t even work in the industry at all, and I always noticed he never had a disparaging word to say about anyone. Between that mindset and observing his work ethic, I knew I had some work to do!
“The best advice I have received is to not stop. … I don’t back down typically. When the going gets tough, I am good at putting my best foot forward and pressing on.” How do you motivate yourself during difficult times?
I always keep my mind on my goals! You don’t get any further along, stopping your momentum and not making moves… and you certainly can’t wait around thinking others will do that for you. No one believes in you more than yourself. We are all the captains of our own ships and where we are headed is entirely up to us. I always think of that and get it going!
“We all have weeds.” “Another Fool,” co-writer Johnny Garcia overheard Loretta Lynn say, “why would I leave my fool for another fool,” at a show one time, never forgot that, and it was the inspiration for the lyrics. If you could record one of her songs as a duet with her, which one would you choose and why?
“Beat Goes On,” co-written with Mike Davis and Mike Meadows. “I wanted to write something that came from a strong voice not only telling herself, but the world, that no matter what, the beat goes on.” Originally the song had a pop sound until you decided to record it yourself. What was involved in making it more country?
We found the song to be so catchy that I thought, well why not? So we did!
Soul Sessions. “It Ain’t You” and “You Ain’t Breakin’ Mine.” “Some songs don’t always make the cut, are perhaps “too slow” or not mainstream enough…well, us songwriters tend to love to write a lot of those ones! So, I have decided to release some tunes I have been writing lately that are near and dear to my heart. A bit more raw and acoustic without bells and whistles…sometimes that’s even more magical in my opinion.” More Soul Sessions releases coming?
Oh yes, those will continue as the right songs come along for sure! I have been so busy focusing on other projects currently but I cannot wait to keep adding more tunes to that list.
“When you’ve asked Jesus to take the wheel but the wheel has not been taken.” Being grateful for the people who are always there, in the good times and the not-so-good. Your new release (co-written with PJ Ju), “Woman,” is meant to remind all women to support and encourage each other. “We all also know someone, who without, our lives would be so much emptier.” What’s one time you feel you made a difference in someone else’s life through your music?
Sarah Ryder's 'Woman' Honors The Supportive Women In Her Life
A song for all the superpowered women out there. Sarah Ryder pays homage to the women who have impacted her life with…
I do feel as though “Woman” has made an impact. I have received messages from so many who reach out to say that the song touched their heart. It’s an honor to write anything that people feel connected to, but especially this one.
The Northern Lights, Alaska. Joshua Tree National Park, California. The Royal Gorge Cloudscraper Zip Line, Colorado. Which outdoor adventures are on your travel bucket list?
Oh all of those for sure! I have been enjoying hiking in our National Parks and will continue to do so until I hit them all. A major bucket list item for me is Peru. I am trying to hike Machu Picchu and picnic with the llamas asap!! Then perhaps head to Chile and Argentina for some wine and more of the same.