Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Songwriter Feature - Ryan Oetken

AND WE'RE BACK with another week of features on The Songwriter Diary! With the release of "Lonely," we took two weeks off but I'm super excited to jump back in with one of my very favorites cowriters

This week I'm excited to introduce you to Ryan Oetken. If you've ever listened to any of my music, you probably are already familiar with Ryan's songwriting, voice, and guitar skills! Ryan is a co-writer on 9/10 of the songs on my last album "Love Shouldn't Be So Hard," including "Secrets" which has been featured on the Spotify curated playlist "Take it Slow" for over a year! So many of my favorite co-writing memories are with Ryan, we have such a fun and unique co-writing style that in my experience has been unparalleled.  

I'm excited to share that Ryan's new single "Long Road" comes out this Friday, November 3rd! You can presave the song now HERE!

I hope you'll join us tonight on Instagram LIVE at 8pm central time for some original music! In the meantime, I would like to pass the mic over to Ryan Oetken so you can get to know him!

When did you start singing/playing music?

I started singing from a very young age. When I was three I asked my parents how to make a record. I immediately called my grandpa and told him I was going to borrow his trailer to drive to New York so I could go make a record.

I started playing guitar when I was 12 and that opened a whole other world. I just wanted to play songs I already loved.

Before I knew it I was gigging weekly in bars with older musicians and then after that with my own band.

How did you get into songwriting?

It happened organically. I started playing around with different chord progressions and before I knew it a melody and some words just appeared.

Who are your biggest influences?

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Beach Boys.

What are you listening to right now?

Right now I am currently listening to "Wildflowers & All The Rest" which was released last month. "Wildflowers" has always been my favorite album so it is great getting an expanded edition and getting insight into how the songs came to life.

If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

What is "Long Road" about? What do you want listeners to know about what the song means to you?

The song I am currently promoting is "Long Road" which comes out on November 6th 2020. I hope people resonate with it and decide to do something spontaneous.

If you could write a song with any person dead or alive, who would it be?

Tom Petty. He was a brilliant songwriter and I loved his motto which was "don't bore us get to the chorus."

What was/is your experience in quarantine like as a musician?

At first it was extremely discouraging, but then I realized it could be a great opportunity to write solo and it's been a really positive and fun experience.

What advice would you give to an aspiring singer/songwriter?

Don't ever lose the spark that was there the first time you started playing, singing, writing, etc. and make sure it never feels like work. 


Ryan Oetken is a west coast native, born and raised in Wilsonville, Oregon. Pursuing musical interests, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2011 to collaborate with established musicians and further his music career. 
After touring with various artists, he teamed up with Holly Auna in 2017 and formed “The Haunted.” The two continue to write for their project and other artists across multi-genres. 

“Holly and I have a unique chemistry when it comes to creating music. We have a mutual understanding of what makes a good song and we’re not afraid to go beyond our comfort zones to achieve it. I’m proud to call her a friend and can’t wait to see where this project takes us.”

Among being the lead guitarist and a primary songwriter in “The Haunted,” he also plays and records with a number of upcoming artists including: Lazy Jane, Ian McConnell, Kassidy Lynn, and Ava Boney.

In 2017 he was the guitarist for Natalie Spiroff in the NashNext Finals and performed for Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records and Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn.

He is currently working in collaboration with Holly Auna for the bands first studio album release and his single “Long Road” is available everywhere on November 6th 2020. 

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