Ryan Curtis is a Multi-Platinum award-winning Scottish singer, songwriter, and vocal producer based in Los Angeles and signed to Kobalt Music Group and One Hit Away Music Publishing. Ryan has worked with artists from around the world, including NCT DREAM, Luhan, Taemin, Louis Tomlinson, Tate Mcrae, and many more. This internationally recognized talent spoke with EnVi about his work in the K-pop industry, collaborations with other artists, and his solo endeavors.

GarageBand in Rural Scotland

Ryan grew up in Scotland on farmland surrounded by animals, “the middle of nowhere” he recalled, about 30 minutes from any of his friends. He always had peripheral knowledge of the music industry because his mother was a music manager and his father was a music producer. Despite his parents’ careers in music, Ryan never found himself particularly interested in making music until his teenage years. “The beauty in it is that I kind of discovered it myself and found a love for it,” Ryan mused.

He recalls his parents buying him a MacBook, and on a whim, he decided to open the GarageBand app. The app sparked his interest in music and led Ryan to spend hours experimenting with different sounds. This hobby quickly became a newfound love for Ryan, and he found sanctuary in the art form. With his father’s technical expertise and mentoring, Ryan was able to hone his craft. He remembers thinking, “People can actually do this for a living?” In that moment of curiosity, he decided that he would pursue creating music as a career.

Finding His Way in LA

Once Ryan began to take music seriously, he knew a world of opportunities awaited him abroad. He worked hard to network and improve his craft while demonstrating that he belonged in this industry. Ryan took many trips to the United States, and did as many sessions with other artists as possible to gain industry experience. His hard work paid off when he signed his first deal in 2016 and took a leap of faith to officially move to the United States.

Image courtesy of Ryan Curtis

The initial transition to life in Los Angeles was a big adjustment; however, Ryan’s love of music kept him grounded and focused. He participated in non-stop sessions in various artists’ studios, especially fellow friend Cesar Da Emperor’s studio. He fondly recalls a series of sessions in 2021 for singer Bryce Vine for the track “Gold Rush” that was released earlier this year as part of the Serotonin EP.

Ryan has adjusted to his life in the States and has accomplished his goal of having a home studio. He loves being able to roll out of bed and do the work he loves. Reflecting on his career and the path it took to get to where he is now, Ryan has no regrets. He would advise his past self to “take the risk” and forge the career of his dreams.

International Impact

Ryan’s passion for music and his networking abilities helped gain him recognition from his peers and paved the way for his work with artists all over the world. He credits his publisher Obi Mhondera from Innerv8 Musiq for introducing him to the Asian music industry.

His work on Luhan’s single “The Moment” was one of Ryan’s first projects in Asia. The song was co-written with Mike Macdermid in 2012. “[Songwriters] produce so much and none of them see the light, the whole production process and seeing how it impacts people around the world,”  Ryan shared. Seeing the song performed to such a large audience across the globe was an impactful moment for Ryan as an artist.

Ryan’s most recent success was his track “Take My Breath” on NCT DREAM’s Winter Special Mini Album Candy. The album was number one in 16 countries in 2022 and sold over two million copies worldwide. Co-written by Hwang Yu Bin, Justin Starlin, and Willie Weeks, the song details a confession of love that is so intense that it leaves you breathless. NCT DREAM’s leader and main rapper Mark wrote his own rap verse for the song. 

In addition to the global success of “Take My Breath” with NCT DREAM, Ryan worked on the engineering and vocal production for the exclusive b-side track “Saved By A Stranger” for Louis Tomlinson’s bonus compact disc Bigger Than Me. The physical album Faith In The Future, which included this track, scored number-one album in the UK in 2022

Diving into Solo Music

Ryan makes his own music and sees the process as deeply personal and therapeutic. He released his latest single, “Nose Dive” on February 24, 2023. The song was originally written for Post Malone in 2021 with co-writer Cesar Da Emperor. Never released by Post Malone, Ryan decided to take the reins and rewrite the song with a more personal approach that was authentic to him as an artist and release it as his own.

What’s Next?

Ryan wishes to continue working with artists globally and sharing his talent with the world. He is invested in working in the K-Pop industry and aspires to work with artists like EXO and Red Velvet. Ryan also hopes to someday work with artists like The Kid LAROI, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Post Malone. The collaborations and opportunities are endless for this promising industry talent. 

Ryan views his career as a video game with endless possibilities and a world to discover. He is always trying to increase his skill points and advance to the next level. This mindset has gotten him to where he is now, and EnVi can’t wait to see what he does next!

Keep up with Ryan on Instagram, and listen to him on Spotify!

Want more to learn more about emerging artists? Check out EnVi‘s Artist Spotlight with Radha here!