Friday, April 15, 2016

Mark Ryan Interview

What is your name and where are you from?
"My name is Mark Ryan. I make music under the moniker Paranormal City, I'm from Ireland.

How did you get involved with music?
"I started music when I was young I always played some musical instrument with friends or in choir as I went to a catholic school. I played the tin whistle (that flute sounding thing you hear in the titanic theme) and that's all I could play until I was twelve I started to teach myself some classical or fun pieces on the piano. Shortly afterwards I started playing guitar. At 13 I think I started writing, and I recorded and uploaded music when I was 14 on my soundcloud since. A little later I started producing more of my music and producing for other online artists."

Do you create your own songs? (lyrics, beats, etc,)
"I create everything in my music, I write lyrics, compose and produce. As I say I've done jobs for other people for a while too. It's really pushed me creatively. I'm not really dependent on anyone or anything if I want to make an EP I don't wait around, I just go and find a pro tool...I know there's a lot of criticism towards doing everything digitally and alone. But I'm to impatient to "wait around for a chance" to find a drummer, or anyone. I like to collaborate, but I hate being lazy and feeling unproductive. I seen too many bands do nothing because it's not just the "right time" or "right day" "

What mood helps you write your songs better?
"Any mood for writing, I read blogs and later usually inspires me. I don't believe in writers block. You're probably not challenging yourself in terms of bending your own perception of reality if you feel like nothing is evolving in some way. At the same time, even if I'm depressed a little about whatever too it's a good topic to talk about. I mainly write fantasy stuff of what I would like, my music is pretty chill and ambient-ish sort of theme music to sweet dreams. I think anyone can be inspired. I wouldn't say love cause everyone says that haha and it sounds cheesy and as I'm trying too hard I think, it can be anything but relationships are cool topics."

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it yet?
"Chill, fantasy maybe surreal, I don't know if it's feel good, as the lyrics can be deep but the chord progressions cheerful in my songs. The lyrics I try to make them food for thought, it could provoke anything. Mainly younger girls like my music or whoever else and they find it cute kinda relaxing. which is good cause a lot of synth I use you get them in ambient type songs. It's kinda a Passion Pit and The Flashbulb mash up. Both of those artists I really love. It's chill and happy overall."

Where do you get your creative ideas? How do you come up with your creativity?
"Less my life actually for creative ideas, as I say dreams or someone else's life in some blogs-as blogs are only written for epiphanies or deep thoughts to share that provoke some sort of change. My life is very boring. My favourite hobby is sleep. Dreams are cool. I'm really into believing you go somewhere inter dimensional when you're asleep. I'm really into that."

What musician(s) have inspired you the most?
"Musicians inspire me the most are near anyone that's a great artist like anyone who's in their prime. I love to listen to all their interviews and get to know them from Kurt Cobain to Miley Cyrus how polarising they are.I don't stop trying to understand an artist until I can get their perspective and get a thrill of understanding their reason for provoking that certain reaction. Anyone who is a shock jock type of material I really love. I don't like boring people. I love any kind of Lennon/Bowie reference. As for my own music, sonically I'm into Damian Rice, Jason Maraz, Otis Redding, Jack Johnson, Owl City, Marconi Union, The Flash Bulb and recently Passion Pit."

What do you hope to achieve with your music? & Where do you hope it takes you?
"I hope I get to do music on a bigger scale. I'm glad with the hundred thousands of plays/views so far, without even leaving my bedroom....Really I'm so thankful to every person who has supported me for getting merch, spreading my music online, liking, tweeting, etc, it has been cool. Really the only people who have supported me are people who I've never really met, as in social media is everything, people in other countries like the US and Canada seem to be where everyone's at. No one in Ireland, so far, cares about anything I've done. I'm getting over there one way or another."

Are you working on any projects right now?
"I'm actually working on projects. I'm still producing for other artists, right now folk songs and rock songs. Still from my bedroom. Just before I got to the question I was transferring voice memos of vocals for new songs I just recorded yesterday for another EP. I'm always to EPs ahead of myself. I got my next EP done for awhile now and I just release my latest EP, and right now I'm working on another...I still have songs from other artists made a long time ago, still not released as they're still working on them with lyric videos/lil music videos on their own channels."

How are you planning to stick out amongst the other musicians in your area?
"I think I stick out too much in a weird way. I've played to almost over play everywhere in my area and I've played a lot in big music scene places which I would count Dublin the capital city, a big music scene. I think maybe my genres too pop. In Ireland, everyone's just trying to be the next Ed Sheeran and everyone's just looking for the next Damien Rice or wanting to book another Hozier. But it's not disabling, I do get to play festivals and gigs regularly in my area and beyond. As I tone it down to just me and an acoustic guitar for performances which I love to do. I play anywhere I can get. I try to get out of my area to bigger venues further away as much as I can. America I sort of already fit into, where as here, the music I make is kind of like presenting a strange foreign animal in a cage to whoever I'm sending demos to."

I saw on soundcloud your music is marked as electronic. How did you get involved with Electro?
"I first started making little beats and uploading them to my soundcloud account when I first started. I waited a while to get together with people to start making music in a studio and use real equipment but I'm very impatient and hearing about other musicians making electro beats on their laptops was more inspiring to me, than waiting around and hoping for a bassist. I could just download a pro tool, but it really stuck to becoming more use with electro when I was kinda hired by other artists to make their instrumentals and made many songs and a lot of projects and videos with them. I always kept trying to find a band but this was working compared to constantly going out to open mics. I found more people who are serious online and other countries than anyone I know."

The #HeforShe EP is out already. Are you working on anything else?
"I have 3 Eps complete ahead of release I have the lyric videos made. I always did that, I just written my say the fourth EP since heforshe, and no I'm writing my 5th, if that makes sense. Also I'm producing for other artists, some from Brazil, USA, UK. I'm always busy. Some of those artists can be on the stage of just sending me ideas, others are waiting to release and need help on album art."

Where did the name paranormal city come from? How did you come up with it?
"I got the name paranormal city when I started producing my first gig was making horror, as a professional, as to officially release music. I could've been under my own name, but the person I was working with had a stage name and I had many other names, before paranormal city making music. I combine an idea of "Ghost Idea" as thematic for the horror tracks I was making, and that's went from ghost to aura, to  Paranormal. I really loved owl city, so and inspiration from that name and it became Paranormal City. Also I was told to make a facebook, so once I did that under the name there's no going back, hahaha."

Are you going to explore other genres?
"Yeah, I've done everything from my bedroom and I try get the highest quality, really, electronic is the only thing which doesn't sound so demoish. I would love to publish my acoustic songs with HQ, but I just formed them into electronic, they just sound too demoy. I lived out in old country, I don't have anyone who helps me, so I do what I can. If I were in a city, let alone I don't even live near a town, but somewhere with a studio I would have a lot to record acoustic.

Do you plan on trying out to be a DJ? Considering that you've done an electro song?
"I'm not Not really. I want to be solo artist. I've just done everything I could do, and I will do jobs so I can improve and own my craft, and get my name out there. I think of it as hustle, like how Ed Sheeran would make tea and mop floors for other band when he was 15 on tour with them, at the end he was only trying to get around an opportunity to make music to be his own artist. Everybody has different situation to get their name out."

Do you connect with fans often if so do you take their opinions and tips on what other songs to do?
"I do, I sent some fans unlisted links to song snippets off he for she, and I let them choose the lyric video to release, It was without you. I made other music videos in the past a lot in my bedroom. I also let them choose the video, the artwork. I have the artwork of my fans everywhere as my single picture it's really awesome and so cool."

How did you put yourself out there so you could have a lot of views? What did you do to make yourself stand out?
"A lot of years of producing, making YouTube videos, editing images for other artists, singing on their songs, making friends and meeting with some people in real life. I also try to respond to every DM, every message, comment, and I invite people. I say thank you for liking, please share. I'm always on time. I put a lot of fun and work in, not like it's exhausting work but more you gotta appreciate your audience.""

Out of all the songs from the #HeforShe EP which song or songs do you really connect to?
"I guess signs, as it's got a nice piano in it if I say so myself it's catchy. It's a loud pop song the connects well with 'scary big word' lyrics so to say that can actually rhyme, or Summerskies it's ambient and it's slow chorus it's alternative I feel. I like how to lyric video is similar to what it's like to listen to the song, like the kinda fantasy mixed with outer body. The main theme for the he for she ep is fantasy or dream states, which I'm mostly in."

Are your songs based on personal experience or from people around you?
"It's based on personal experience, right now, Fantasy's just in mind sort of space. thoughts and words really and each song is a concept of feeling more free and integrating a part of myself to a new perspective which is totally liberating and puts a fresh look on life."

How long did your #HeforShe EP take to make? which song was the most difficult to get through?
"I think it took about 2 months total. Which is strange but I work in a way of writing the song then I record a demo version of it, I choose which is to be produced for this EP, or I may just release it as a demo just to my soundcloud as I do that often for my fans. I think they deserve a little something while they wait, after I choose a song. I create an instrumental online fixing on the same chords and pitch as the guitar, as sometimes I put a capo on it, and I'm also constantly recording new songs everyday for other artists online and myself included. I'm always 3 EPs ahead of myself right now, and I'm also making music videos and YouTubing at the same time, but I get it all done...myself. I guess every song was kinda hard in it's own way...maybe not hard, but more a journey, as in without you, become very simplified in it's chorus the more I listened to the instrumental the more I made it less dance/rap to more a pop vocal with the long falsetto break. It was like that for every song. It ened up being near completely different as it were when I first wrote it."

Mark's Fun Facts:
Favorite Color:
Favorite Food: Pasta
One weird habit you have: Itching
Favorite sport (team): None
Favorite musician/band: Me
Favorite place to travel: My room
One place you would like to travel to:4th Dimension
One fun fact that you'd like your fans to know about you: Love you
Favorite TV show: Barney
Favorite movie genre or movie: Earthlings

Connect with Mark Ryan!
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