Until now, singer-songwriter Ryan Griffin’s biggest claim to fame may have been that he co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s chart-topping hit “Dibs”…but that’s about to change with the 2017 release of his first EP, led by the single, “Back Seats & Burnt CDs.”
You’re walking into a blind date with our readers – how do you introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m a Florida boy. My family is my everything. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I write a lot about love. I’m not perfect but I try to be a little better every day. My songs are my life – if you want to get to know me listen to my music.
For those who aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? What song should they listen to first?
For me music can be one of two things – truth or an escape. Country music is my foundation but pop and R&B have a strong influence on the melodies that make up my sound. I love George Strait, Vince Gill, Brain McKnight, Usher and Keith Urban. “You’ll think of me” changed my life and made me feel like I had a place in country music. It’s the perfect blend of pop and soul with a country lyric. It inspired my sound. “I Would Have Left Me Too” is the song that I want people to hear first. It tells you everything you need to know about me – an honest lyric with a soulful melody.
Tell us about “Back Seats and Burnt CDs” – what’s the story behind it?
The first time I heard it I was sitting at a club in Nashville listening to a few friends play a writers round. I was instantly taken back to high school. I could smell the smoke on her flannel, see the sharpie hearts on the burnt cd, taste her kiss, feel the rush that you only get with the first time. I knew in that moment that people needed to hear it so that they could feel what I felt.
You co-wrote “Dibs” with Kelsea Ballerini. Where were you when you found out it had gone #1? How’d you celebrate?
There’s a lot of firsts that music has given me. But my first #1 as a songwriter is one that I will never forget. It’s not everyday you get to celebrate something like that with your best friends – I think that’s what made it so special!
I was standing on stage with one of the co-writers, Josh Kerr, performing at a My Life Speaks charity event when we found out Dibs went #1. It was a surreal moment that I got to experience with a couple hundred people in downtown Austin at the intimate Paramount Theater. The next morning I woke up in a tie-dye “Keep Austin Weird” t- shirt with an empty bottle of champagne on the nightstand!!!
Sirius XM’s The Highway has broken so many artists over the years. What does it mean to you to be included in their Highway Finds program?
It means everything to be a Highway Find. As a songwriter and artist all I want is for people to hear my music and for it to make them feel something. Sirius XM is giving artists like me the chance to be heard. I am so thankful that they believe in the music I am making and want to share it with their listeners. Hearing “Back Seats and Burnt CD’s” in the XM studio for the first time with Storme Warren was one of the coolest moments of my life.
What else is on your agenda for 2017?
Since the debut of my first EP ‘Sake of the Summer” my calendar has been filling up pretty quick! I’m fortunate enough to hop on a few dates opening for Old Dominion and Kip Moore throughout the summer and fall – as well as a ton of clubs and festivals from coast to coast. We’ve picked our next single with Sirius XM and got it on deck ready to come out in the next couple of weeks. Other than that I’m gonna be raising my baby boy, loving my wife and trying not to miss them too much while I’m on the road.