If music can accomplish this, then it has done everything right. With his new emotional and personal song “Soundless Motion” in which he processes the struggles that can arise out of growing up, the 17- year young Birmingham singer and songwriter Matt Ryder gives us goose bumps. We absolutely had to find out more about this talented artist!
When did you decide to pursue music as your career?
From an early age I was interested in the performing arts, I started learning piano around age 6 and guitar around age 8, but I think the first time I even considered music as a career was when I discovered Ableton at age 10. This is when I began to realise I could make and record music for others to listen to from my bedroom. It was also around this time I began songwriting and learning to express myself through music.
And what did your parents first think of you being a musician and were they supportive?
As I say, from a young age I was into the creative arts so I think they probably saw it coming in some form or another. My parents have always been massively supportive and for that I will always be grateful. I consider myself so lucky to have such amazing support from my family, my parents in particular. I always play every track I finish to them first no matter what. This type of support is the best in my eyes as they are so dedicated to me, my music and just my general growth as a person and as an artist, it’s really amazing.
Your new song “Soundless Motion” is about “turning away from innocence and childhood freedom to surrender to mature and toxic thoughts.” Can you tell us more about it?
I think the song really reflects my past experiences and others own experiences. I think kids my age all develop and move forward in different ways. But the main idea of this song is to reflect on the events that occur on that thin line between childhood and the ‘freedom’ of adulthood. I watched my friends grow up so fast and I felt left behind, not wanting to step over the threshold as, to be honest, still to this day it scares me. I’ve watched so many people I know change at the hand of these ‘experiences’ that on reflection are manufactured nightmares, at the time of writing the track I was in the middle of this toxic social bubble in which I felt trapped. Everyone would talk about everyone else, a complete lack of privacy led to me hearing others experiences and it allowed me to compare these to my own. I think that is why my feeling was so intense while making the track, as everyone knows when you’re trapped inside a loud, messy and toxic situation all you want to do is escape.
“I think kids my age all develop and move forward in different ways. But the main idea of this song is to reflect on the events that occur on that thin line between childhood and the ‘freedom’ of adulthood.”
What are your major inspirations inside and outside of music?
I draw inspiration from so many places, mainly outside of music, in the form of experience as a teenager and others experiences. Experience was definitely the main focus of ‘Soundless Motion’ but I find myself more recently drawing inspiration from films and other art. Visuals influence me a lot, and as I was writing this music I had images and sequences in my head that definitely helped me find more honest and emotional music. Musically however my main influences are varied, Coldplay ‘Parachutes’ is one of my favourite albums of all time, Bonobo, RY X, Hiatus Kaiyote, Tyler, The Creator and more recently 박혜진 Park Hye Jin.
One of the happiest moments this week has been…?
The happiest moment of this week was probably returning to college after lockdown and managing to reconnect with all my friends I haven’t seen in 6 months. I think being involved in social situations and keeping sociable is one of the most important things when it comes to keeping creative and stimulating yourself.
What values are important for you in other people?
In the last few years I have learnt that connecting with people and offering help, rather than trying to compete, or see them struggle, builds bonds that can carry everyone forward positively. It’s probably an age thing, or a school thing, but I would say to anyone in a toxic relationship – with one person or a group, just remove yourself from the situation if you have to, and find new connections.
photography by Milly Cope