Coachella 2015: Ryn Weaver Talks Coachella Memories, Her Big Break & The Next Single
Ryn Weaver arrived on the music scene last year in a blaze of glory with the startlingly great “OctaHate.” The 22-year-old has since backed that up with stellar buzz tracks like “Promises” and showcased the quality of her debut LP with an exceptional set at Coachella on Saturday (April 11) afternoon. She had the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand, which is no easy feat considering that most of Ryn’s songs haven’t even been released yet.
I caught up with the rising singer/songwriter after her set and she happily chatted about music, relationships and Twitter while sipping from a coconut (it was really hot) and sucking a lollipop. Ryn spoke about her favorite Coachella memories, family history and bad ex-boyfriends. She also opened up about the double standards facing women in the music industry, her big break and next single. Find out more below.
Were you nervous before your set?
Yes. This, more than any other festival, is my childhood. I came here multiple times when I was younger and it changed my life. I’m from the suburbs of San Diego and you would be in five hours of traffic coming to Coachella. You would get to camp and then you would get to be like, I don’t know. I remember watching all these different acts and being like, this is what I need to do.
You go to LA to see people play, but San Diego, there’s not as much happening. Coachella for me was a staple. Also, my family is all from here. It’s also like a cathartic experience for me because my grandfather just passed away. It was really beautiful to be able to play in my family’s home town, you know? My dad was by the sound booth crying. I have a song about my grandpa. Do you know what I mean?
What’s your favorite Coachella memory?
The most memorable moment for me was watching The xx at sunset in 2010. That was my senior year, I was just about to gradate. Their whole record was so important to me. To be able to see it live and experience how minimal it was. That actually changed my life, which is very funny because that was the day that I told myself I had to play Coachella. I told my friend, “I’m not coming back until I play.” She went last year and I didn’t.
Tell me about preparing for the set.
I wrote the record to be a sort of play. It’s connected from start to finish, but a lot of that is dictated by lighting and stuff like that. I just wanted to make a fun rock show — have a rock and roll show where people can really have fun. I still basically told the whole story. We cut out one song — “Sail On” — not by choice.
The songs sounded gutsier live.
When you record anything, you’re trying to get the right take. I will start screaming on a take and the producer will like, “Okay turn it down a little. You don’t need that on the recording, do that live.” When I’m live, I get to just play. I’m a singer. I’m a little songbird. For me, it’s so fun to be able to just rip into it. There’s just a lot of freedom in playing live that you don’t have when people only know you from the Internet and what they’ve heard. You know what I mean? Is she real? Is she a hologram?
That’s another question I wanted to ask you. You seemed to appear out of nowhere…
Not really, but yes. Here’s the thing. Everyone has to catch a break. Whether it be the right song, whether it be the right anything. Everyone technically comes out of nowhere. This was a new project and I was releasing my first song under a new name. Which is still… It’s not like some calculated, weird stage name. My name is Aryn. A-R-Y-N.
I changed it when I was younger because I went to a school with a bunch of Erins. I’m like, “I’m not like them.” My nickname with friends is Ryn. Then, Weaver. My last name is Wüthrich, which is hard to say.
Yeah, it’s Swiss German from my grandfather. So, I just put the pieces together. My great-grandfather, his name was Ned Wever and he wrote songs. He wrote “Trust In Me.” He was the original Dick Tracy on the radio. I took Weaver because, he spelled it W-E-V-E-R, I like changing letters. That’s how I live. Yeah. No, so for me that was also taking a bit of his bravado, you know what I mean? Like taking on something that made me feel a little bigger than I was.
Let’s talk “OctaHate.” You just knew it was going to be a big song.
Come on now. It’s so good.
Isn’t that funny? Maybe that’s why I hated it…
At the beginning. I was so scared to put it out. I wanted to put out a different one first because I was like, “Isn’t this a lot to come out the gate with?” That was probably why because it was going to get attention and I was afraid. As a female artist, it’s hard because no matter what, you’re going to get a lot of negative attention. They expect artists to be these really sensitive people who write songs and talk about their feelings, but then also be hard as rock.
Do you know what I mean? I was just terrified of feedback. It’s really why I was afraid of putting that song out. Which obviously means that the song is good if you think that people are going to have a strong reaction.
Can just explain how you hooked up with all the amazing people that worked on that song?
Through Benny Blanco. Benny is like a gatekeeper if you will. He knows so many people in this industry. He thought Charli XCX and I would really vibe. Which we have. We’ve written together for other projects. Because I’m a songwriter, you know?
That’s the hard thing coming out the gate. Because you co-write a song and people are like, “Oh.” No, I’m still a songwriter. I just chose to put out a song that I wrote with someone else. It was really fun and I love writing with Charli. She’s great. She’s a fellow Leo and I don’t know if you believe in any of that stuff, but it’s just too accurate for me to disbelieve, do you know what I mean?
We just have very similar energies. Writing with her is always just, I don’t know … She’s great. I don’t know. It all just happened. Michael Angelakos was really interested in working with Benny on a project and he heard my stuff and he was like, “Whoa!”
How did you meet Benny?
I met him four years or so ago at a Halloween thing. Just through my ex-boyfriend. Benny was a friend. I was just like, “Hey guy, nice to meet you.” We had a lot of really funny conversations. He’s a ham. He’s hilarious. He’s one of those guys that makes everyone feel so comfortable. That night I felt really uncomfortable because we were at a burlesque… Do you know The Box in New York?
It’s a burlesque club and my ex used to work there and he loved the little 18 year old girls that walked around without any tops on. He always made me feel really bad because I’m there and I’m like, “Okay.”
He sounds gross.
He’d ignore me the whole time we were at his job and I was like, “Oh.” Benny was like this light that night on Halloween. He was just like constantly cracking jokes. We made a really good friendship and it only lasted a day. I never reached out again.
Then we stumbled upon each other in LA. He invited me the next day to his birthday party. I drunkenly chased him around with my Soundcloud and he’s like, “Is this your voice?” I’m like, “Yes, it’s my voice.” He’s like, “Sing for me.”
I’m like, “I can sing.” Then he’s like, “And these are your lyrics?” Because I kept showing him the lyrics. I’m like, “Read this. This means this and this means that.” He’s like, “There’s a lot of thought in what you write.” The images. He just really believed in me as an artist.
Michael and him were working at the studio one day and he showed Michael my stuff and Michael is like, “Whoa.” He showed him the lyrics and he was like, “This girl is dope.” Michael has been wanting to work on another person’s project as well, so it all just fell into place. People get lucky or they don’t. I got very lucky to meet great people, but to be lucky you also have to be prepared, does that make sense?
It’s not like, you got lucky and luck is going to carry you through. It’s like, luck can’t make you be able to sing every show and rock it. Luck can’t keep you writing songs for yourself and other people. That’s not luck, that’s preparation meeting opportunity. I’m lucky, but I’m also a hustler and I’ve been hustling for a long time. There were those 4 years before… I could have been doing this four years ago.
But I was in New York and I was dating another musician who was oppressive and I lost a lot of my confidence, which it took me a long time to get back to where I was when I was 18.
Is “OctoHate” about one of those dudes?
Yes. I don’t have to name him because a) he would like that and b) everyone writes about ex’s on one level or another. Male artists, female artists. Female artists are the ones grilled hardest about it. Who is it? Why?
No, not you. I’m just saying people like female gossip, you know what I mean? Females run gossip columns. We like to see like, “Oh is she getting cellulite?” Do you know what I mean? That’s the world that we live in. We like to objectify and turn women into these icons that are also so readily available. It’s the same as when these nude leaks happen. Everyone’s like, “Oh yes,” and they download them straight to their computer.
The second a woman does actually a photo shoot where she looks sexy and she’s proud and she’s showing it, people are like, oh god. It’s the same thing. You just don’t like the idea of a woman owning herself. You prefer for her to be stolen from herself and you have it on your desktop.
Well said. Have you picked a second single from the album yet?
It’s between a couple. It’s hard. I think it’s more just we’re going to see. I’m personally always so tied to “Promises.” I love that song. Everyone that I work with is like, “That’s the second [single].” The UK single is “The Fool” and the response to “The Fool” has been crazy. I also have the song “Pierre,” I have a song called “Free.” I have a lot of songs that are potential singles.
I think we’re lining them up and figuring out what the next one is really for America, because it’s hard to talk about singles when your song is just charting right now. We took our time with “OctaHate” though because they were like, “Let’s push the song to radio last summer.” I was like, “Let’s wait. I want to have the record.” I want to feel proud of my body of work, so I can go out and tour and not just play an EP.
You already have an incredible fan base.
I love my fans. They’re so funny. I don’t want to be cool. I want to respond to my fans. That’s cooler to me. Getting to be a real person is cooler than trying to be cool. I lurk on everything they do. All my fans get so annoyed. They’re like, “Ryn!” Because every now and then, I go through my Twitter and I have fun on the timeline. I click on something they did and then I’ll scroll through their page and accidentally like something from a week before and they’re like, “Who is Ryn?”
Can we quickly talk Twitter beefs?
The Beyonce one? Is that what you’re talking about? I’ll talk about that. Guess what it was. I saw someone tweet something and then one of my fans retweeted it. I was like, “Is this shade?” More the same way one of her fans would because I’m a fan. I was like, “Are you shading Beyonce?” Then all of her fans were like, “Fuck you bitch, we will kill you in your sleep.” I’m like, “I didn’t do anything!” They’re like, “You’re a flop before you even started.” I’m like, “Who are you? Fuck yourself! I don’t even know you.”
Do you feel closer to Ryn now? Let us know in the comments below.
[All photos by Josh Fogel].
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