Who is Ryan Larkins? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Ryan Larkins
Birthday – October 5th
Hometown – Nashville, Tennessee
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Label – Red Street Records
Current Single – “King Of Country Music” (Out 10/13/23)
Country music is a true art form, and this week’s spotlight artist abides by that. Ryan Larkins is a true student of country music. Beginning his career as a songwriter, and now venturing out on his own as an artist, his journey is an incredible display of talent and drive.
“I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, which is Music City, and we’re known for country music,” began the singer.” Despite growing up in Nashville, Larkins was not introduced to the country music genre in his youth. “My dad was a Pentecostal pastor, so it was a very strict childhood. I didn’t listen to anything except gospel music.”
Even though country music was not on his radar back in the day, Larkins did fall in love with music. “I started playing guitar when I was twelve years old, and I started singing in church.” He even began songwriting at the tender age, just for fun. Although Larkins did not grow up learning about country music, he did understand the power of music.
Eventually, he would go on to discover country music and fall in love with the storytelling aspect that the genre is known for. “I love Willie Nelson and the reason I love him is not only is he a great artist, he is a great songwriter, and he has written songs for other people, and he’s so unique. […] I love Randy Travis, I think he has one of the coolest, most unique voices in music history. George Strait, he’s another one who’s up there for me. […] I love Dolly Parton. She’s a great songwriter, a great artist,” he shared, adding, “And then with new people, I love Cody Johnson. He’s staying true to that authentic country sound. Lainey Wilson is another one. I think she’s incredible. Tim McGraw, I love all of those artists.”
The Turning Point:
When Larkins was 21 years old, his friend convinced him to audition for a singing competition show called ‘Can You Duet?’ on CMT. “A friend of mine from church was like ‘man we need to go try out for this show, and we’ll be the next Brooks & Dunn.’ I was like “That sounds great! Who’s Brooks & Dunn?.”
After finishing in third place, Larkins began to write songs for a living, discovering more and more music along the way. “I love those classic country artists like Randy Travis, George Strait, Merle Haggard, and I just remember thinking, there were preachers that came through our church when I was a kid and they would tell these stories that I would be on the edge of my seat wanting to hear, and then I heard “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis, and I thought it was so similar. The storytelling is really what I fell in love with.” He added, “I really had no clue about the history, but I got a record player and I started learning about the history, and I put myself through school listening to some of those old albums.”
Eventually, with the support and encouragement of his wife, Larkins earned his first publishing deal and then later, a record deal. “Five years ago I signed my first publishing deal. […] and then last year I met with Red Street Records, and I loved the people over there, and I feel so thankful to be able to release my own music. I’m living the dream.”
Flash forward to today, Larkins is releasing his debut EP, Meet Ryan Larkins this Friday (10/13) under Red Street Records. “I’ve been writing songs for a long time, and these five songs are like my favorite songs that I have ever written,” he shared about the record. “When I signed my record deal with Red Street Records, I knew it was the right home because of Jay DeMarcus, he just got me from day one. He knew exactly what to do with these songs, and he produced this EP, and I’m so excited that these songs are going to be out in the world.”
Each of the five songs showcase different sides of Larkins and his talent as an artist, which is exactly what he has set out to do. “I think it’s a great representation of who I am an artist, and I’m just so thankful to have that opportunity. Hopefully when people hear that song that feels like they have been introduced to me not only as a songwriter and as an artist, but to me as a person.”
Fans can look forward to songs like “Dream Baby” that has some tempo, as well as, “Paid For It” which is a great example of a storytelling song. However, one of the best off the project is a song called, “King Of Country Music.”
““King Of Country Music” is probably my favorite song that I’ve ever written,” shared Larkins. “I got that idea just sitting in my car, driving around, listening to some classic country music. My oldest boy, he looked up and asked “Dad, who is the king of country music? Who is the greatest singer in the history of country music?” And he kind of caught me off guard, ya know, there’s so many great singers […] And that idea just hit me. I knew exactly who the king of country music is. [the song].”
It is safe to say that the rest of this year is going to be a big step in Larkins career. Check back on Friday for our full review of Meet Ryan Larkins, and keep your eyes and ears pealed for live shows, coming soon too!
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Ryan Larkin’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.