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Introducing: Jean Ryden and her debut project 'Parallel Universe'.

Introducing: Jean Ryden and her debut project 'Parallel Universe'.

Jean Ryden has released her deeply personal self-written and co-produced debut project, 'Parallel Universe', off into the universe on November 10th this year. Born and raised in Great Neck, New York, but currently residing in Los Angeles, Ryden concludes that New York had a big impact on her music. The intricate world and endless fascination with old New York in "the allure, the style and the sort of spirit it has always had," has allowed to for endless bouts of inspiration for Ryden.

COUP DE MAIN: If you had to describe your music to someone as a colour, texture, scent, and object? What would they be?
JEAN RYDEN: Colour is red - wine maroon. Texture is water. Scent is a freshly blown-out candle stick. Object is a weathered Louis XV chair. 

CDM: Do you have a favourite song of yours - released or unreleased?
JEAN: My favourite song is an unreleased one I wrote recently called 'Secret'. It’s about moving on but wanting to remember the small things that made a relationship special and still holding them sacred despite heartbreak.

CDM: You also work with Angela Ricciardi and Silken Weinberg - what has that experience been like getting to collaborate with them?
JEAN: They are the most special humans. We met in such a kismet kind of way. Honoured that they help bring my vision to life so viscerally. 

CDM: Where are you born and where do you currently reside? Do you think either has an influence on your music?
JEAN: I was born and raised in Great Neck, New York, and currently live in Los Angeles. New York, I would say has had a bigger impact. Growing up, my mom was the pianist for the philharmonic so I attended a lot of classical performances and always heard her playing music in the house. Being introduced to that world at such a young age made me have such a large respect for music that I try to honour.  I’m also fascinated by old New York — the allure, the style and the sort of spirit it has always had. While most of my lived experiences are here in LA, and most of my music is now written here, I don’t feel culturally inspired or influenced by it. 

CDM: In 'Bittersweet' you sing, "But if it’s written in the stars / Then it makes this way less hard / I find it a relief  / If it isn’t up to me," and you mention the idea of fate again in 'Butterfly Effect' - what is it about destiny and fate that can be such a comfort sometimes? 
JEAN: I think there’s a sort of freedom in believing that things are predestined. To think that every choice I make has a ripple effect and could change the entire course of my life feels like a tremendous weight. After loss especially, it is hard not to look back and wonder if there was something you could’ve done differently. The idea of fate feels like wiping your hands clean. 

CDM: What does your writing process look like? Do you always start from lyrics or melody - or does it tend to be different song to song?
JEAN: Melody comes to me almost instantly. If the melody is really special, I usually will try to write to it although when I don’t start with the melody it gives me more space and flexibility to say more instead of trying to confine the words to a preexisting melody. I think my best songs are the ones where the melody and words come to me simultaneously, but that’s if I’m lucky.

CDM: What was running through your mind when you were writing 'Parallel Universe'?
JEAN: I had just woken up from a reoccurring dream where I was in my parent's bedroom - when I woke up I felt like in some other universe my life was continuing on and I was waking into the wrong one. This is the most special song I’ve written and shared to date. 

CDM: What does a perfect day look like to you?
JEAN: A long walk in my neighbourhood with my dog Cooper, or breaking a sweat of some sort outdoors. I love the feeling of being sun-kissed and tired at the end of a day. Dinner with friends and lots of wine finished off with a good book or movie. 

CDM: Do you have any manifestations or pipe dreams you want to put into the universe?
JEAN: I intend to compose a classical record. I also dream of having the ballet and philharmonic in New York accompanying me for a performance of my debut album.

Jean Ryden's debut project 'Parallel Universe' is out now - listen to 'Butterfly Effect' below:


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