Continuing our regular monthly feature highlighting the enormous talent we currently have in the area, the second article this month looks at the very hardworking Ryan Cregan.
I honestly can’t think of any other young solo artist in the area who puts as many hours into his work as Ryan, by getting out into various venues and showcasing his talents regularly. Not only that, he also puts plenty of graft into promoting his work via his own web pages online when not performing live. These ingredients are obviously essential when you are a young artist trying to get your work noticed and attempting to get a foot on the ladder. Ryan puts a great deal of time and effort into making sure that people get to see and hear what he does and he does it very well.
If any young aspiring artists out there need to look for an example of how to do things to draw attention to their work, then they need not look further than Ryan Cregan and the terrific amount of work he puts in. Music industry moguls regularly tell us that promoting and marketing your work can be just as important as the actual music itself, so obviously taking that advice on board, Ryan is now beginning to see the fruits of his labour
So, let’s take a look at how Ryan started out on his journey.
It all started with the school choir at the tender age of six. His music teachers discovered that he had a powerhouse of a voice, even at that age. They recognised his talent instantly and they wanted to make use of that. He began to attend vocal lessons, where he was taught how to treat and use his voice as an instrument. Gaining confidence from this, he then began his journey and started to perform in and around the Blackpool area. This soon expanded to places further afield and Ryan began entering competitions and also performing in various church and charity events. After becoming the North West Regional Junior Pop Idol in 2008, he decided that he wanted to take it further forward by attending a performing arts school, which would then give him the chance to develop his skills with similarly talented children.
Then, at the age of 14, Ryan had the desire to further his musical knowledge and skills, so decided he wanted to learn an instrument to add to his vocal talent. He was very enthusiastic about learning to play the piano, so an old one was purchased second hand, just to see how he developed and how keen he was. After discovering that in fact this was the instrument he felt comfortable with and enjoyed playing, he then began piano lessons with jazz pianist Mike Taylor, now of local band De Palma.
After a year of tuition with Mike and then deciding that the keys were a good choice, Ryan set his sights on purchasing an electric piano. As a testament to Ryan’s work ethic and determination, he managed to secure local gigs at hotels and clubs and began to save enough of his own money to eventually buy one. With many hours behind the keyboard honing his craft, along with his vocal skill, this has now seen Ryan reach a fantastic standard and gaining great reviews in the process. As well as performing every summer weekend at the Philharmonic Club in Blackpool and regular slots at the Soul Suite, he is very busy gigging at other venues around town, just to fund his development. Alongside his busy schedule as a musician, Ryan is also a full-time student at Blackpool Sixth Form College, studying for a diploma in music. After that, he’s hoping to gain a place at a specialist college where he will be able to take his musical skills to a higher level.
I first saw Ryan perform in the semi-final of the sixth form Battle Of The Bands back in Spring, as part of the acoustic section of performers. I was invited along by his mum Tracey to take a look and left the sixth form auditorium mightily impressed. His version of a Bon Iver/Ed Sheeran mash up of Skinny Love/A-Team was beautifully delivered on a wonderful grand piano and sung incredibly well and with plenty of emotion. He also put his own stamp on the U2 classic With Or Without You, again leaving everyone in the audience, as well as the judges, very impressed indeed.
I knew then that we had a special artist in our midst and I also knew that he had a lot more to offer. My only small concern at the time was that Ryan didn’t have any original material of his own. I briefly spoke with him after the event and encouraged him to sit down and attempt to write his own stuff as, once that happened, his career would begin to blossom and take off. He obviously listened to my opinion and advice and only last month released his brilliant debut EP Natural Disaster of which two of the featured songs are originals, in collaboration with songwriter friend Ollie Battle. Since then, Ryan is not only being recognised as an artist that can make a wonderful job of performing covers, but also as a great songwriter and composer. At only 17, things are looking very good for Ryan to go on to write some incredible compositions and ultimately record a very good album.
Ryan has now gone on to perform his own songs regularly, recently debuting them at the Blackpool Music Festival and is now incorporating his own material into his live performances along side some great covers. What we have established is that this particular young man will carry on working ever so hard, with fantastic support and encouragement from his mum Tracey and his family behind him all the way. He will no doubt continue to put the long hours in, working on his online presence, and is currently, and not surprisingly, ranked number one artist in the singer/pop artist section on Reverbnation for the Blackpool area. This is obviously an aim of making sure fans know exactly where to find him and therefore putting his music out there and accessible to all.
They say that hard work pays off and in Ryan Cregan’s case this is certainly coming to fruition. Ryan is another local talent we have very high hopes for and one that we will be following closely here at altblackpool as his career develops.
If you want to catch Ryan live over the coming weeks, here are a few dates and venues to keep an eye on.
Wednesday 27 November – THE SANDGROUNDER- Southport 8pm
Friday 20 December – THE OLD BRIDGE HOUSE – Lytham Road Blackpool 8pm
Tuesday 24 December – ST.CHADS HOTEL – Blackpool 8pm
Tuesday 31 December – ST.CHADS HOTEL -Blackpool 8pm
All images courtesy of Jason Kane Richardson.
Show Comments (0)