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Interview with RYAN CLAUD & RAPHAEL DE LA RIE
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
RC: My love for music really started at the age of 11 when I started to be a big fan of girl groups. Solid Harmonie was one of them and through the years I became really good friends with one of the members Elisa Cariera and she made me pursue my dreams of going into music.
RdlR: My love for music started at the age of 10. Toni Braxton’s Un-Break my heart was the first single I ever bought. From the age of 12 I started to develop an interest in writing lyrics and haven’t stopped since. In 2014 I started to create melodies as well. I love Max Martin’s productions. I think he is a genius. He created so many hits for Britney Spears, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and even Taylor Swift more recently. There’s even a musical that contains his work. Lyrically I love Jason Mraz as well. He’s very creative. They all inspired me.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
RC: I work on writing lyrics, seeking into new songs, working on other artists their careers and design artwork. Beside from being an artist I also work as a purser in aviation.
RdlR: Besides working on lyrics & melodies I work for a Summer School in the Netherlands too. I’m also a huge fan of going to the movies and love to binge watch a show. I love to travel too and explore parts of the world. Earlier this year I went to Australia and next year I’m attending a wedding in Greece.
How long has your band been around?
RC: Raphael and I have known each other for almost 7 years. We were together in a band called STORM and after we split we still love to collaborate with each other on several releases. Beside from being in the same band back then we are also best friends and actually distant cousins.
RdlR: I’ve been releasing my own music since 2020. Before that I was in a band with Ryan!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
RC: I was born and raised in Leiden a city in the Netherlands, I moved to a village next to it called Zoeterwoude two years ago. I think Leiden did not really form me on a musical level, but more as a person and experiences.
RdlR: I’m originally from a smaller town in the east of the Netherlands. I lived in both Sydney, Australia and The Hague, the Netherlands for a year before I moved to Utrecht, the Netherlands where I live now.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
RC: The name Ryan Claud was all of a sudden just there. I thought of the name Ryan and looked outside of my window and it was filled with clouds amongst the blue sky and then Claud was added to it. I’ve decided to change the spelling a bit to make it more glamourous.
RdlR: ‘de la Rie’ is actually my grandmothers maiden name. I have many fond memories of her. I chose Raphael as first name because I think it has a nice ring to it. When I was younger my nickname used to be Rapz or Rappy so Raphael is quite close to that too.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
RC: For me I think the most memorable shows were De Dam in 2019 during the Gay Pride Amsterdam with STORM. We performed a Dutch song there, there were so many people and the atmosphere was so amazing. And another one is during the Canal Pride in 2022 were me and Raphael performed on a boat during the Canal Pride. Later we found out that that boat even won a prize as one of the best concepts.
RdlR: I agree with Ryan. I also enjoyed performing on the old canal in my hometown Utrecht back in 2018.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
RC: I like every venue! I love performing. My biggest dream would be to perform at arenas and stadiums in The Netherlands.
RdlR: Any venue is amazing when you’re in company of a great audience!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
RC: That’s hard one, I got some many amazing artists that I would like to have there: For me it would be Atomic Kitten, Solid HarmoniE and The Honeyz cause those were the groups where I was a big fan of and inspired me.
RdlR: I would love to be in a lineup with Britney Spears, P!nk, Jason Mraz, Rihanna, Lil Nas X & Troye Sivan. I’m also a huge Eurovision fan so I wouldn’t mind adding Loreen and Helena Paparizou.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
RC: Do what you love and only do what feels good to you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Always tryst your gut feeling.
RdlR: Stay true to yourself. Never give up on your passion! Don’t let other people’s opinions get to you too much.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
RC: I’m quite a talker and sometimes speak before I think. I think I would advise myself to be more into the thinking part and speak less.
RdlR: Learn how to play more instruments! Haha.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
RC: They all have something special. The only Dutch single that I released is called Beter & Beter was recorded for my boyfriend to thank him for all he has done. Another one would be the duet with Elisa from Solid HarmonIE called I Cry Real Tears, I think this one really symbolizes and put a crown on our very deep friendship that we have for over 20 years now.
RdlR: ‘Labels’ means a lot to me because it’s the first song I released on my own. I also think the message of the song is powerful. It’s about prejudice and putting people in boxes and how it would be better to talk to each other and be open minded. And besides that, it’s a fun track to dance to.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
RC: My fave right now if Bombadilla cause of the beats and the feeling it gives. The one that has been requested is my version of React of the PCD.
RdlR: I love to perform the songs I did with Ryan. Both Bombadilla and Radio. It’s always more fun to have someone else join you on stage. I’m also usually doing a mashup of Britney’s Gimme More and ABBA’s Gimme Gimme Gimme as a request.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
RC: Most songs that I do are from publishers or written by people I know. For me inspiration comes from feelings and experiences.
RdlR: Mostly anything can inspire me to write lyrics. There are tons of songs about love, which I write about as well, but I also love to write about other topics. Travel, self-care, friendship or partying! I recorded a song called ‘Road Trip’ and it was a joy to write because you can come up with totally unique rhymes.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
RC: Enjoy your life to the fullest. Make a party of your life every day and let every second count.
RdlR: I like to leave a certain message in each song I write. Love yourself, enjoy life, get up and dance and more positive messages like this.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
RC: With the recent collaborations, Raphael and I never disagreed on anything. When we were in STORM, there were some disagreements regarding clothes and what kind of sound we would use during a big performance. At one point there was a decision to be made and we just voted and the outcome with the most votes was the way we went.
RdlR: Ryan and I are very honest with each other and we hardly disagree on anything. And when we do, we just talk until we’re both on the same page again.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
RC: I have a lot of plans, I got some great songs lined up for recording and hopefully release them internationally.
RdlR: I’m thinking of releasing the Gimme More/Gimme Gimme Gimme mash-up and I’m also recording a new song I worte in November which I hope to release either at the end of this year or early 2024. I hope Ryan and I get to perform at some great venues as well. I’m excited for the future!