By Melissa Wilk
Alumnus, singer and song-writer Ryan Lindsay (B.A. ’15) returned to campus to perform songs from his first studio album, featuring a special guest appearance by the Augustana Choir.
Augustana alumnus and former wilderness guide Ryan Lindsay brought his country twang to the Lougheed Centre on October 16 in celebration of his first studio album, “Wild”.
Already making waves in the country music community, in the past year, Lindsay won Country 105’s Rising Star competition, performed on the main stage of Country Thunder and made the Top 10 Ballot for ACMA male country artist of the year.
In anticipation of his concert in Camrose, we sat down for a Q & A with Lindsay to discuss his new album, his inspirations and more.
When did you start playing music?
At around the age of 9, I started teaching myself how to sing. I would use a tape recorder and listen to a singer, then try to repeat what they did and practice it over and over again. I was self-taught for a while, but now I have a professional vocal coach.
Who are your main musical inspirations?
Garth Brooks, Dirks Bentley, Dean Brody and Paul Brandt. Also, Jacob Collier—he’s more of a jazz musician but I’m so inspired by his engagement with his audiences. He’s a great performer.
What inspired the music on your new album?
The album represents a lot of different journeys. There are songs about the outdoors, reflections on relationships and some classic country melodies. A lot of my experience as a wilderness guide and my love for the outdoors are integrated into my music.
How does your time at Augustana connect to your music?
I graduated in 2015 with a BA in Physical Education with a focus in Outdoor Education, so a lot of my degree was spent outside, experiencing places and land. Augustana is such an interdisciplinary place, especially with the focus on the liberal arts. It encouraged me to take risks and learn new things; it really got me thinking outside the box and tapping into my creative energies. Music has been part of my life for a long time and Augustana helped me to dive further into that artistic side of myself.
You’ve been visiting Nashville to work on your music. What has that experience been like?
It’s been great to explore the creative tip of country music in Nashville. Last time I was there, I took part in 15 co-writes, and it’s neat to be able to be in the heart of the music genre. Canadian country music is all embedded in Nashville and it’s been where many musicians started their careers. It’s exciting because I’ve been accepted with open arms by the community, and I’ve accomplished a lot in this first year.
What is your favourite song to perform?
That’s a hard question, and I answer it differently every time. Probably, “Here Come the Blues.” We were getting to the end of the recording process and we had to finish the song, so it ended up being more acoustic and stripped down. It’s one of the most unique songs on the album for that, I think.
What excites you about returning to Camrose for the album release?
It’ll be great to return to Camrose and share my songs with such a supportive and wonderful community. I hope to engage with lots of students and community members, it’ll be a really fun night and I want to connect with them as much as possible.