Ryan McCartan is more than just your regular Disney Channel heartthrob. Known from his roles as Diggie on Disney’s Liv & Maddie, and Brad on Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 24-year old is now winning even more hearts with his music which he writes, performs, produces, records and engineers, all by himself. His debut single “Changed My Mind” is the first of five songs on his new EP “The Opposite”, dropping this Friday! It’s tough to listen to heartbroken, break-up inspired songs, but with Ryan’s voice… we’re not mad about it! *swoon*
Your EP “The Opposite” drops this week. It includes five songs about the stages of grief after a break up. In a reversed way, your debut single “Changed My Mind” represents the final stage of acceptance. Can you give us a sneak peek on what the other four songs will be about?
Each song covers a specific stage of grief: Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I released the song, Changed My Mind, in all honesty, because I polled my fans with some clips of each tune, and that was the one people seemed most excited to hear. The other songs exemplify the messy, cataclysmic nature of a break-up… Songs the sound happy that are sad, songs that sound sad that are happy, the whole EP exists in the world of post-break up: Hope, hopelessness, clarity, the unknown, and everything in between.
How did writing your EP help you work through your break up?
I wrote about 60 songs throughout my entire grieving process. 55 of them were… not good. But these five felt special, so I wanted to release them! That being said, writing is so cathartic, that’s what mattered. As an artist, I use art to help people understand their emotions, but first and foremost, I’m using my art to understand my own emotions. As I was going through the grieving process, I was writing these songs in real time. It’s amazing how helpful it was.
Will your future music be inspired by your new love and relationship with Samantha Fekete?
Aww, what a cute question! I was just saying to her the other day –as proud as I am of this project, and as badly as I want to share these songs with the world, this is a phase of my life that is very much behind me. I no longer live in that mental space, and I’m very eager to write the next batch of songs, which I anticipate will be about much happier things (Samantha included!)
Having been in a band, The Girl and the Dreamcatcher, you’ve already made your way into music. Do you want to focus more on a solo music career in the future, or is acting your main thing?
It’s definitely not an either/or for me. I have tons of passions, and many projects in the works, in the music world and in the acting world, all of which mean a ton to me. I’m extraordinarily blessed to be able to pursue whatever sets my soul on fire, and I never take that for granted. I wake up and say a prayer of thanks every morning for that.
How has your acting career changed after moving on from starring on The Disney Channel?
The subject matter and the roles I play mature as I do, that’s for sure. The theme I’m sensing in my career recently is that I crave autonomy over my projects. Both with music and with acting, I’m stepping into a producer’s role, being in charge of important creative decisions all across the board. That’s definitely new. There’s a steep learning curve associated with it all, but I’m rolling with the punches and really enjoying the ride.
You are also starting to produce yourself. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on producing a film with my manager, Nancy Kremer: I’m extremely passionate about it. It’s the true story of a Dr. Max Gerson, who’s medical research and protocols had and still have serious implications about the way we think about medicine – as a matter of fact, there’s a really good chance he stumbled across a way to cure cancer, among other incurable illnesses. As a type 1 diabetic, this is fascinating to me. It’s an amazing story of hope and betrayal, as he was ultimately assassinated for the work he was doing. I’m also working on getting a television show made, and a fun heist film as well. I’ve got a lot of balls in the air!
Look out for Ryan’s brand new EP “The Opposite”, available on Spotify and Apple Music this Friday on May 18th! In the meantime, follow Ryan on Instagram @mccarya and listen to his debut single, “Changed My Mind”!
Photos by Miranda Penn Turin