This is Ryan from Ryan Martin Music. Ryan is a Grafton born musician who has been heavily influenced by surf musicians such as Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter. He began performing gigs in 2009 and has since played at countless venues around NSW. Ryan has been the opening act for national touring acts; The Angels, GANGgajang, Wendy Matthews, Thirsty Merc and Juzzie Smith. You can regularly catch Ryan gigging around the Clarence Valley and beyond on the weekend at a variety of local establishments (if he's not doing a wedding). We asked Ryan a few questions about his career and what makes performing at weddings so special to him.
At what age did you start playing the guitar and singing?
When I was about 14 years old, my brother bought a guitar and started learning. I began sneaking into his room when he was out of the house and started tinkering with a couple of chords in a guitar book. I saved up and bought my own guitar, started weekly guitar lessons with Adam Eckersley who used to give lessons in Grafton. I used to take my guitar on camping trips, school excursions and around to friend's houses to jam. I started my first band in high school with Wil Edgar and Scott Garner and we mainly played smoke on the water over and over.
What first got you into music?
I started to become really passionate and devoted to music when Jack Johnson released 'Brushfire Fairytales' in 2001. I listened to the album daily and tried to learn every song of his. I had the opportunity to meet Jack Johnson at Byron Bay's Bluesfest in 2003 which fuelled my passion to become a working musician.
Who inspired you to make music?
I scored a week long booking a few years ago to play at the Coffs Harbour Busking festival. John Logan told me I needed to have a CD for sale if I wanted to make any money so I devoted the next month or so to finish all my unfinished original songs and record them using my home studio. What do you like about performing at weddings?
Performing at weddings is a musician's dream; an audience who is there to have a good time and celebrate! Part of the reason I started playing guitar was to lead sing-a-longs with friends. I love playing at weddings because the majority of the crowd sings along with you.
When you're not performing, what does a typical weekend look like for you?
If I ever get a free weekend, I set up all the instruments I own on my back deck and my kids join in on a family jam.
Personally, what is your favourite song to perform at a wedding?
Right now, it's "In the air - L.A.B"
What is your most requested song at weddings?
It changes with the pop song charts from Gangnam style to old town road, but one classic that is a staple request song is Wonderwall by Oasis.
What is the craziest/funniest thing to happen to you while performing at a wedding?
At one wedding we played at, in the first song we played, a drunken dancer fell over, knocked over a speaker and landed on the bass player. We got straight back into it once the speaker was fixed up but we were pretty concerned about how the rest of the night would unfold after that.
We appreciate the time Ryan has taken to answer our questions. If you would like to learn more or watch more of Ryan's music you can do so by visiting his listing page here. If you are interested in enquiring about Ryan's services for your Clarence Valley wedding or event you can do so via the contact form found on his page.