Singer-songwriter Alec Ryan Smith’s music career is starting to take off with the release of his first single, “Rocket Ship,” which he released March 8.
Smith, who grew up in Creston said music was a strong part of his family. His parents are Jason Smith, former professional music instructor at Southwestern Community College (SWCC), and Cindy Taylor, part-time music instructor at SWCC.
“Getting the first single out felt like it was a monumental step forward,” said Smith.
Smith, who plays piano and sings on the record, said his team is currently working on “music discovery” to help others learn about their music.
“Right now we all believe a lot in the product we have here and the music we’re putting out. We think people will like it, but they just don’t know who we are yet,” he said.
Smith, who goes by the name Alec Ryan professionally, said the song “Rocket Ship” is available on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. On YouTube, the song had more than 20,000 views. Smith said the team is working on connecting with the audience they have, so they can get familiar with the sound.
Smith said his music is hard to classify – he calls it “piano pop.”
Smith’s music leans away from the electronic production of popular music heard on the radio currently in an attempt to remain authentic.
“One of the things we’re most proud of on this record is the fact that it has a lot of authenticity to the singer-songwriter type of musician where everything is authentic,” he said. “We play real drums, real performance on the piano.”
Smith’s goal is to be able to do music full-time. He said that music has been important in his life, and he wants to be able to inspire others.
“Music has always made a huge impact on my life, and I know that’s the same for a lot of people,” Smith said. “I think this music has an opportunity to impact people like that.”
Smith, who said he’s spent 10 years writing music, spent two of those years in college just writing without performing or sharing the songs.
“I was just falling in love with writing, really,” he said.
Smith graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Music and a mix of business and marketing, which has allowed him to work part-time for an ad agency while pursuing his music career. He also teaches piano to more than two dozen students per week.
Smith said he has been finding a theme in the last five to 10 years of his writing –átaking chances on things that matter.
His life has echoed that theme as well. A few years ago, he moved to Denver, Colorado to pursue music more seriously.
Smith said the Des Moines music scene is very supportive, but the four-hour round trip from Cedar Falls to Des Moines to get on stage at open mics and to meet other musicians was long. For him, Denver offers a larger community of musicians, and he felt welcomed by them.
One song, “Move,” which will be released in the second half of the album, talks about the reasons he moved.
“It’s the time in life where nothing is necessarily tying you to where you are at that moment, and it’s time to go pursue the things that you want most,” Smith said.
For more about Smith and his music, visit www.alecryan.com.