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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Artist draws from Texas A&M roots

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Photo by Courtesy

Ryan Ewing, Class of 2006 published his debut album “Mixed Signals” on August 7th. 

Drawing on his Lone Star roots, one former student is making a name for himself in the music world.
Ryan Ewing, Class of 2006, published his debut album “Mixed Signals” on Aug. 7. His hit single “Down We Go” has since gotten 75,000 streams on Spotify, a place on Spotify’s Weekly Buzz and placement in the Vita Coco Summer Street Campaign.
“I grew up playing in church,” Ewing said. “I started out on drums, and moved to guitar, and then actually First Baptist in College Station — I used to lead the music there.”
Despite the raw rock and roll vibe of his single, Ewing said he classifies his style as pop rock. 
“I have a word that I made up in an interview last week that I’m going to use again, but I like to think of it as ‘vanthems,’ which is songs that everybody in the van can listen to,” Ewing said. “Like the soccer mom in the front is okay with it, the kids in the back are okay with it and the dad in the passenger seat will roll his eyes — but secretly he likes it.”
Ewing said he performed around Northgate and in the Town Hall Variety Show when he was a student at Texas A&M. He now works in New York at Eleven Seven Music, the record label that features bands like Motley Crue and Papa Roach. 
“I played around Texas a bit, and then I came up here my senior year to an internship in the summer,” Ewing said. “I interned at Atlantic Records, and then when I went back to finish up my senior year — I was addicted.”
Although he lives in New York City, Ewing said he bleeds maroon. After taking the “History of Rock and Roll” course at A&M and being exposed to artists such as Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis, Ewing said he formed his first band with other Aggies. 
Ewing said his experiences at A&M added depth to his debut album.
“My girlfriend and I broke up while I was at A&M so there’s definitely some songs on there,” Ewing said. “I try to keep my lyrics kind of vague-ish so that people can attribute their own ideas, so that they connect with it, but if you hear something that’s really specific on there that’s way too specific to be made up, it’s probably because it’s a real thing that happened.”
Having grown up watching Elvis Presley movies, Ewing said he draws inspiration from the legendary artist. He said his song “Down We Go” was unintentionally influenced by “Jailhouse Rock.”
“I’m sure it was ingrained in me,” Ewing said. “My uncle is an Elvis tribute artist — he’s very particular that he’s not an impersonator, but he dresses up and sings like Elvis, so that’s pretty much the definition of an impersonator.” 
Ewing said the most substantial piece of advice he can offer to aspiring musicians is to “Just do it.” 
“We live in an Internet age where you can make your own music and you can distribute it yourself and put your name out there and play, so first and foremost my biggest advice would be to go make it happen,” Ewing said. “So just keep working at it if that’s what you really want to do.”

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