Fresh off the back of his debut EP PAGANS, Ryan De La Cruz comes through the office to talk the EP and how Pagans was just a page in the story of his life. As we get comfortable cracking into conversation he asks ‘Can I play tunes yeah’ and once given the head nod, he goes through his apple music and starts playing Nao’s track ‘This has been my wave right about now’ so as Fool to love is playing in the background the first thing said was that Pagans is finally here and he can only describe the long process from visuals and waiting for ‘everything to perfect’ and at times it was frustrating for him because he did want things to make sense in every aspect, the only word he can describe it is ‘relieving’ .
‘The way people have gravitated toward this has been MAD! I wasn’t expecting this, I was only expect few Soundcloud plays’ and surpassing his expectations, it gets plays across radio stations and a solid fanbase has been built from the project and can only describe it as ‘The best thing’.
One thing you can see from Ryan is that he has a vision and he understands that ‘When you have a vision, you’re the only person that has to make sure others get it, because these days people just jump on bandwagons and now looking back on it now everything has paid off’.
The EP is set like a movie and put into 5 tracks with one of the most stand out track being the intro Gotham and it was like a setting and the reason he called it Gotham was ‘There is film called Gotham and there was so much going on in that one place and that felt like how my life was and I was going through so much and was like a roller-coaster and I felt like that was the way to share it. Gotham was like a WELCOME; a welcome to my world, my madness that I have turned into everything you hear.’
The track talks about a friend dying in 2008 and one thing he expresses is that ‘When you lose someone, you have to go through a process, you grieve, you accept and you have to try and move on. Time has moved on and I’ve accepted it and I’ve in a sense moved on; I understand that there are things out of my control and have to take it and flow with it.’
Taking a pause and looking as he is about to get really deep what comes out of his mouth seems almost applicable to everything
‘We need leaders, people that are willing to make the first step and teach each other to manoeuver in these changing times and I feel like I am doing that from my situation, and people can take from my situation and grab lessons from what I have done.’
Although it was a hard topic to talk about his goal is to make sure that the people are ‘entertained’ and one thing he has noticed is that ‘you can look at entertainment now and thing “What I’m I getting from this, what is being pushed in your face and if its not the real how can we elevate. With Pagans its about being entertained but you will be entertained with a message behind it.’
With rapping and singing becoming such a norm with so many artists and you hear that when it came to the project and he can only describe that outcome as ‘its what I feel; at the end of the day I’m a songwriter sing and write songs and if the track makes me feel like I need to rap then I I’m going to do that and for me its LYRICS OVER EVERYTHING. People seem like they aren’t listening to lyrics anymore. The question is “what the person is saying, can you feel that or is it just mumbles?”
With a brief pause and another Nao track plays in the background we shift over to the visuals of the project staring to emerge as the days pass and we have had the first two tracks from the project being Gotham & Jimmy’s Story and directed by Foratini we see the story of Pagans unfold. We see Ryan use his acting skills gained from his stand out role in ill Manors years ago and to him ‘that’s the amazing thing about it, I get to show my full creative side of it and that hard to do and to just see all of that as a package to give to the people it’s a great feeling.’ With all filming happening years in advance his stand out favourite part was ‘the fact that I can just be me and just be as free with expressive with a project. I went to my friend with the tracks and said lets shoot something and we got on it, and it was never forced and that was the best thing!’
You will be getting a visual for every track and the most fun track to do was ‘Pagans and that was too fun to shoot, we had to come out in a van and kidnap someone! When people were looking on whilst the filming was going on it attracted a lot of attention to the point where the police were called and there was even a helicopter and videos was being shared across social media that day and when you hear that someone was getting kidnapped in Newham it’s a bit of a mad one but it was so sick and loved to shoot that. It was our job to shoot this and felt real!’
With the Pagans Chapter already on its close the next step it what will Ryan want to do next in this very microwavable music scene with a new song or project dropping from everyone everyday he want to be sure that you understand the ‘introduction of one thing that was going on in my life. Now I’m moving on and time are changing and now I’m diving into new waters and now its all about who I am, what I stand for and the most important thing and that is the Music. Your going to hear that I have levelled up’ This comparison he made was so relevant to the current Euro 2016 tournament going on and of course it made relevant and understandable that nobody can get confused.
‘When you watch a football or a more so a tournament the aim of the game is to progress till you got that trophy, you win and you may lose some but you always have to have a next move ready for any situation and I’m always making sure that I’m ready for every type of situation and that’s what is going to happen’
You can listen to PAGANS EP here