Ryan Thomas Smelle

Niagara artist Ryan Thomas Smelle released his debut full-length album In The Homestretch earlier this year – following up the leadoff single “Novel Study”, he’s just put out a brand new video for his second single, “Easier Said Than Done”. We caught up with Ryan once again to chat about the new song, his favourite local venue to perform at, and where he finds inspiration for his music.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Easier Said Than Done”.

Ryan Thomas Smelle: Everyday we plan to get things done and there is always a list of things we put off ‘til tomorrow. I penned this tune 20 plus years ago and when I was picking songs for ‘In The Homestretch’, I dived into my back catalogue and revamped this tune.

Now having my own studio, I was able to record all the parts myself and the bass line totally drives this song. There is a definite laid back vibe to this one and it seems to be the track that resonates with a lot of my listeners.

FTS: What’s your favourite local venue to play?

Ryan Thomas Smelle: The Niagara Region has a lot of great venues that are very diverse.

When it comes to covers, tourist places like The Irish Harp (Niagara On The Lake), Eager Beaver, Johnny Rocco’s, Mick & Angelo’s (Niagara Falls), Casa Hugo (Crystal Beach) are always fun. Personal favs of mine are The Docks Pub, Manhattans, Puddys and Pitchers (St. Catharines). I’m a sucker for a patio and enjoy the winery circuit in the summer.

When it comes to originals, there are three places that support singer-songwriters that I love, which are Honsberger Winery, Taps Brewhouse and The Vegan Hippie Chick (VHC).  I will be having my CD Release Party at the VHC on May 4th, 8 to 9pm. All in attendance will receive a free CD.

There are many venues I will be playing for the first time this year and many I hope to play in the near future.  Thanks to a supportive community and Niagara being a tourist destination, the appreciative audience is what makes a lot of these venues great.

FTS: What do you hope that listeners take away from your music? How do you hope they feel after listening?

Ryan Thomas Smelle: My hope for anyone that hears my music is to feel something. Music can be that escape we need from that bad day or that reinforcer on that good one. I hope my heartfelt lyrics make them feel something one way or another, that they can connect in some way to their own personal experiences and life.

“Life happens. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Really bad. My story is your story. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is not a bad thing. Love often and listen always.”

FTS: Where do you find inspiration for your songwriting?

Ryan Thomas Smelle: I’m a heart on my sleeve songwriter.  I find inspiration from everyday life, my kids, my struggles with mental health, love, death, grief and the bright side of the mundane.

FTS: What are some of your non-musical hobbies?

Ryan Thomas Smelle: My kids and my 3 rescue pups keep me busy and I enjoy spending every moment with them. I like the outdoors (hikes, biking, sports, swimming) and retro things like old school arcade machines and collecting vintage toys.  Lastly, I love spending time with a good book.

Check out “Easier Said Than Done”, the new release from Ryan Thomas Smelle!