How Spending Three Months in a Secluded Cabin Led to Ryan Neal's New Record

May 28, 2019

Everyone sometimes dreams of going off the grid to unplug and reset, but Ryan Neal really made it happen, and it led to his new record.

The Detroit-based musician had been living in Nashville and working on his music career when he decided to return home to do some songwriting.

Initially, Neal looked around Michigan to find a cabin to rent so that he could focus on his music, but when the results came back too expensive, he broadened his search and ended up finding a secluded house in Nova Scotia.

Due to some unforseen roof repairs by the home's owner, Neal's one-month stay turned into three, and he was able to not only work on his songwriting skills, but also on his skills as a producer.

"I started writing a lot of the songs (for the new album) there and learning how to produce," the singer told Pam Rossi during a recent appearance on Behind the Mic. "Getting into Ableton and Logic and all of that."

"I didn't have any distractions," he continued. "Before that, I kind of dabbled into producing and putting things together myself, but I didn't really learn mixing and all that jazz. So I really just worked as hard as I could, studied and shot stuff at the wall to see if it worked. That's where I learned the most in those three months, I think."

The result is Ryan Neal's new EP, Up My Sleeve, and he recently previewed three of its tracks, "Hang Tight," "Music of My Mind," and the title track, "Up My Sleeve," live in the MusicTown Detroit studios, showcasing a unique fusion of funk, R&B, pop and jazz with local group Strictly Fine serving as his backing band.

Ryan Neal will perform at the Detroit Shipping Company on Friday, May 31 at 7pm. Check out his website for a listing of his upcoming shows and to hear more of his music.