Episode 61 - Ryan Oakes: Every Move Must Be Calculated

Ryan Oakes.JPG

Ryan grew up in Ashburn, Virginia surrounded by a younger brother and older sister. When he was eight years old he dreamed of hopefully one day becoming a movie director. During his senior year of high school he was getting looks from different colleges that were interested in recruiting him. He quit to follow his new passion for making music. Both his coaches and parents questioned his decision but he knew what he wanted and refused to stop for anyone.

Through his four years at Radford University he was able to really jump start his music career. Any free time that he had he spent writing, recording and mastering his craft. His remix for “Drinking About You” had gotten him tons of exposure and he ran with it. By the time he graduated he was able to live full-time off his earnings from his music.

Ryan recently surpassed 200k monthly listeners on his Spotify channel but for him the passion is more than just numbers. Music has served as an outlet for him to inspire people to do whatever it is they want to do and he continues to push this message to the fans. Although his music may touch some serious subjects he is a very outgoing and approachable person that wants to connect with people.

In this episode Ryan discusses if you’re doing something creative you must keep going, people won’t always understand your vision until you make it happen, visualization can get us to that end destination or even further, every move we make must be calculated, we can read how people are feeling just by their emotions, the key to making impactful content is being passionate and we can get whatever we want as long as we’re willing to work for it.

 

Podcast Outline (Time Marker For Audio Format)

  • Who is Ryan Oakes today and how young is he?

    • 22 artist/songwriter/entrepreneur

  • Grew up in Ashburn, Virginia  (3:36)

    • Great place to grow up but didn’t feel like the right spot to be as a creative

    • Everything he could ever ask for was available

  • Young brother who is a videographer and an older sister who is a chiropractor

  • At 10 years old he was making videos and sketches with his friends (4:43)

    • Was really outgoing but wasn’t necessarily the popular one in school

    • Ended up getting banned from YouTube because he was getting AD money from his friends clicking on the ADs a handful of times in a day

  • Dreamed of becoming a movie director since he was 8 all the way through to freshmen year of highschool

    • Put down the passion when he started focusing on sports in high school

  • Quit all sports (football/lacrosse) his senior year and put all of his time/energy into music (7:28)

    • Both his coaches and parents were confused with his decision but he followed through with it

    • Listened to Eminem a bit while growing up but other than that didn’t listen to hip-hop that much

  • If you’re going to go do something creative and no one around you is doing something similar, you must keep going (9:23)

    • Realize that later on people will understand but it doesn’t happen at first

    • Repetition and becoming obsessed with what we’re trying to do is important

  • Majored in Health & Human Performance at Radford University (11:08)

    • Was able to breeze through college because he studied something he was already passionate with

    • Would spend eight hours a day working on music in his dorm room

    • Huge reality check from his experience was that you don’t need a college degree to become successful

  • Dropped a “Drinking About You” Remix which hit 10,000 plays in a week on soundcloud (15:03)

    • This was when he realized he was onto something with his music

    • People were tweeting him, the fanbase was growing and he kept running with it

  • Music has been a form of therapy and relieves a lot of stress

    • Creating any type of art helps people with their emotions

  • Recently hit 200k monthly listeners on Spotify (17:58)

    • A strong fanbase that supports his music and strategic marketing with Spotify playlists

    • The streaming world is the “stock market” of the music industry. Purchasing space on one playlist could jump your streams but others could also be a complete waste of money

  • Through making music Ryan has realized that if you constantly think you’re going to get something then you’ll get it (21:58)

    • Every night he thinks about where he wants to be and almost everytime he gets there or even surpasses his expectations

  • Biggest misconception people make with Ryan is that he is a super serious person (23:38)

    • His music touches on some heavy subjects but he is a very approachable person that enjoys meeting people

    • Moving to LA he began to open up and instead of giving 20% of himself in the music he has began to give 100% into the records

  • Aside from the music he would like to get into acting and possibly starting his own business (26:58)

    • Recently was an extra in a movie and enjoyed the process

    • Could see himself possibly starting his own label or a business to run

  • Day to day routine of Ryan (29:08)

    • Wakes up, hits the gym, maybe has a vocal lesson, writes music, has business calls trying to strategize growth opportunities, goes to bed and then repeats

    • Exercising and writing daily is a must for him

  • Depending on what you want to do you need to learn how to invest in yourself correctly (30:48)

    • We must do research and make sure every move is calculated

    • Ryan and his friends that are artists share information about what playlists are working and sometimes gamble on new ones

  • Completely new sound/music he plans to roll out in the next six months (35:28)

    • Excited to start sharing a different energy through his music that he hopes will define him as an artist

    • Plans to start doing weekly drops come this December as long as things go to plan. Possibly do a late spring/early summer tour

  • We can read how people are feeling just by their emotions (38:10)

    • Through body language and how they’re reacting to a conversation, Ryan is able to tell if someone genuinely cares or not

  • The key to making powerful and impactful content is being passionate (39:30)

    • If you’re not 100% all in and the only reason you’re making the content is in the hope to receive a high volume of plays/reactions then don’t do it

  • Ryan Oakes purpose (41:46)

    • Using his music (the outlet) to impact and hopefully inspire people to do whatever it is they want to do

    • Life is too short not to be chasing something we love

  • He is very grateful that he has the ability to wake up everyday and do what he loves (43:18)

  • You can get wherever you want to get it if you’re willing to work hard and not give up (45:05)

    • One in a million people are willing to put in the work, it’s not just by luck

  • Ask Bobbbaaaay 1 question (46:34)

    • What is one thing you’ve learned from an entrepreneur perspective from your journey?

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see? (49:28)

    • Brother, sister, mother, father, handful of friends, new people he hasn’t met yet, new dog, no kids just yet in front of a mansion that he owns

  • Where to find Ryan Oakes on social media

    • Spotify/YouTube/Snapchat/Twitter: Ryan Oakes

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion/purpose

    • Take a step back and figure out what makes you happy

    • Go out and don’t put yourself in a box and try different things

    • Once you find something that clicks focus all of your time/energy into it