Check out the new song from Ryan Wood – 6:54
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I was born and raised in P.G. County, Maryland. My dad lives in DC and my Mom in Virginia, so I claim the DMV whole heartedly. I spent about 7 years in Tallahassee, Florida going to school at Florida State University and working. Earlier this year, I quit both of my day jobs and moved to Los Angeles to focus more on my craft. Music is a passion of mine. I produce, rap, and even hold a note sometimes. I am really just happy and blessed to be able to share my creative vision with the world right now.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
“6:54″ is an upbeat, feel good song with an awesome beat. I named it “6:54″ because that is the time in the morning I finished the original instrumental. After making it, the beat sat for about 9 months before I recorded over it. Then, I went back and added more to it. That’s how it goes sometimes. I think songs can grow and evolve just like people.
The message in the song is a positive one. I don’t think there are enough positive hip-hop sounds out there for people to enjoy. While the topics of all my songs can vary, I wanted to push this one because of the overall positive energy of the track.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
I am relatively new to the industry. I came up listening to underground hip-hop and that is where my heart is. The hardest challenge I have is getting good exposure and my music in the right ears; the red tape and egos. There are so many people looking to get into the industry and it seems for each one there are 5 more waiting to take their money and lead them down a wrong path. Filtering through everything and learning which voices to listen to is crucial. I had to hit the ground running and realize that if you want it done, do it yourself.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
I don’t view situations as setbacks. When issues or challenges arise, I see them as learning opportunities. I have grown most from having my music publicly rejected, getting evicted, and contending with disbelief. Each situation only left me stronger in the end and with a deeper belief in my ability to make pure music. Nothing can stop me from making music and that feels good.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Avoid having an ego. Someone once told me EGO = Edging God Out. That is so true. Every person on the planet won’t be a fan and that is okay. You can really get caught up, especially as a growing artist, in comparing yourself to already established mainstream artists. Don’t do that, everyone’s path is not the same.
Also, watch who you let in your circle. Keep the core group strong, loyal, and secure. If you have been painting a mural for 3 years with a crew of 5 people, why change 2 months or weeks before the release? Just never forget your personal reason why you are an artist making music.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Keep Going. Keep Going. Keep Going. Persistence will win out in the end. In order to be persistent, you have to have a love for your craft. Love it in your heart first and you won’t need anything else to validate yourself, for yourself. That feeling is priceless.
Don’t be upset when faced with doubt or constructive criticism; listen to everything people tell you about your music and weigh it with a grain of salt against the source.
Further, remember, your music is your music. I would never give up creative control, I think that is where you can begin to lose yourself. And if you lose yourself, why are you making music anyway? Love > Money.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
I like to promote using word of mouth. In all my conversations, especially when meeting new people, I leave them with the words Model Rebel. Always telling them to check out my site, modelrebel.com. We live in a digital age, so word of mouth has birthed a child called social media. The internet has made it easier to spread the word about myself and my music. Having a website is a great reference point where people can go to get the music, see the videos, and get comfortable with the artist. Fans can visit at their leisure and it’s just cool really.
I love to perform. I will be doing more live shows and performances; stay tuned.
Where can people visit you?
You can find me at www.ModelRebel.com . There you will also find links to all my social media sites. On Twitter, Instagram, Fancy, Reverbnation; my handle is @smoothwood (/smoothwood). I’m always up to something, so come visit, get interactive, and let’s have fun!