For music fans in Wellington 2013 could be the year that they walk tall because Ryan Hawkings comes from our town.
Ryan, 19, is a singer-songwriter with a growing reputation around the South West. In the next few months he has gigs coming up at the O2 in Bristol, Mama Stone’s in Exeter (owned and managed by Joss Stone’sfamily) – and on Sunday 30th the King’s Head in Welly.
In the New Year he’s booked to support Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy on part of his his UK tour.” The Two Ryans?” Maybe not.
So far, so regional, but in January Ryan’s first single Heart of a Warrior will be available worldwide on iTunes. “Giving away music on SoundCloud is easy but this will be a real test of whether people want to buy my music,” said Ryan. “I’m pretty optimistic because my EP sold out at gigs.”
Rayan began writing songs as a schoolboy at Court Fields. “I can remember my first song, called Good Night, that I wrote at a sleepover when I couldn’t get off to sleep,” he remembered. “Obviously it was awful – but I was only 12.”
Fast forward to Sixth Form and Ryan was singing with a band called Behind the Noise whilst an A-level student at Richard Huish. “It wasn’t really my kind of music and as just a singer I didn’t know what to do with my hands,” said Ryan, who describes his current style as a kind of folk/dubstep with some Ben Howard influences.
He describes is songwriting inspirations as observational. “I don’t write about my own life because at 19 I haven’t had that much happen,” said the endearingly modest Ryan. “The songs are mostly about what I see happening to my friends and family.
“You have good days and bad days writing songs. It can take minutes or months. You jst never know.”