Singer-songwriter Ryan McMahon will be showcasing his talents on Wednesday (Jan. 22) at the Dinghy Dock Pub in Nanaimo.
McMahon’s passion for music became evident in high school when became a member of a Rock N’ Roll band.
“I was an only child and I was trying on a bunch of different hats in high school. I always gravitated towards the arts, music and film and one day I just kind of started singing in a Rock N’ Roll band and really like that way that felt,” McMahon said. “I started writing my own songs and all the sudden I woke up today and I am 34.”
Since his high school days, McMahon has gone on to become a solo artist and has released two albums,Weeks, Months, Years and All Good Stories.
The rock-folk-roots singer is currently working on his next EP titled, I’ll Be Damned. McMahon said that he had actually completed the album much earlier but didn’t like how it turned out.
“It didn’t sound like me anymore. It was a little too combative,” he said. “I was just coming into a very positive and hopeful place and my songwriting was changing rapidly, and instead of complaining about all the problems that I saw around me I was singing and writing about ways to fix them.” In addition to releasing a new EP this year, McMahon’s song I’ll Be Damned will be featured in an upcoming episode of Califorication. I’ll Be Damned will be played in episode 3 of the show’s final season, which will air in April. “It’s not a toothpaste commercial using your song, it’s a television show and it’s not a cheesy television show. It’s a really clever well written program that I’ve watched and respected for a few years,” McMahon said.McMahon, who is with Mission Management Group, has been making a living solely from his music for a number of years.
“Like anybody who owns their own business, it’s like running a restaurant, you get what you put into it,” McMahon said.
The McMahon explained that it took him awhile to understand just how hard he needed to work to make a living as a full-time musician.
“It takes a while for a young man in his late teens, early 20s and mid-20s, who just kind of wants to do the music and the party thing, to figure that out. It took me awhile,” he said. “I just found that the harder I worked and the more that I treated music like a job, like getting up in the morning and taking care of things like social media and running your website and booking your own shows and doing as much as you can yourself, things can get a little easier.”
The turning point for McMahon came with the birth of his daughter. That’s when he realized he had to make the most out of his career.
“I think that’s probably a turning point for a lot of young men,” he said. “That happens and you see that little person is depending solely on you. So you better go all in because it is not about you anymore it’s about feeding your kids.”In addition to his solo career, McMahon is also a member of the band, The Lion The Bear and The Fox.
“The band has probably got more exposure in a year and a half than I have in 15 years of my solo career,” he said.
The Lion The Bear The Fox was formed in 2012, when McMahon, along with fellow band members Chris Arruda and Cory Woodward went on tour as solo artists.
“When we did that first tour it was quite obvious that we had something special,” McMahon said.
It didn’t take long for them to realize they needed to form their own band. Since 2012, The Lion The Bear and The Fox have released an EP and were recently named PEAK Performance Finalists. They will be heading out on a Western Canadian tour next month.
“I’m pretty happy to be playing with Corey and Chris,” McMahon said. “They are a couple of guys who work as hard as I do.”
For more information on McMahon visit www.ryanmcmahon.com.