Nick Ryan is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He graduated with degrees in Recording Arts and Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. He was a member of GRAMMY U during college and transitioned to a Voting Member of the Recording Academy in 2016. His latest single, “Jealous Sea,” is available on all streaming platforms
Nick Ryan's Top Six
What makes Nashville special to you? Nashville is the first place I lived that I felt like I belonged there. Almost everyone is a songwriter and into music. Everyone is so friendly, also. I was born in Connecticut and grew up in Virginia near Washington, DC, and the environment has been a welcome change of scenery. How would you say your hometown of Manassas, VA differs from Nashville? Growing up outside of Washington, DC was very stressful. There is so much traffic because it’s becoming overcrowded from all the government and military workers. I always felt so stressed out because I was an artist and had so much pressure to land a white collar, six figure salary job. No one there takes your music career seriously -it’s treated like a hobby. In Nashville, everyone gets it because almost everyone is chasing the same dream. Also, the cost of living is insanely cheaper! Say you had a completely free day in Nashville—no work allowed. What would you be doing? I would probably hit up the Gulch for brunch, then maybe go for a walk at Centennial Park. I would probably also go record shopping at Grimey’s in East Nashville. I’d get a good cup of coffee at one of the local coffee shops, then go for a nice dinner somewhere downtown and maybe watch some live music. I would also probably go to Duke’s in East Nashville because they have the best sandwiches!
What are some of your favorite Nashville restaurants? The Stillery in Midtown is one of my favorites. I lived down the street from them when I first moved here, and it was my go-to. Taco Mamacita is also a favorite of mine when I want Mexican, though there are many different places here! I also love Emmy Squared when I’m in the mood for pizza. For the most part, I haven’t had a bad meal here! Of course we love your style, any favorite Nashville shops? Tarrget! I don’t go anywhere fancy for clothes, and they have almost everything I like. I usually hit up the Cool Springs Galleria once a month or so. Opry Mills is also one of the nicest outlet malls I’ve ever seen…and Amazon.com for everything else! If someone is coming to Nashville for the first time, where do you take them? Broadway for sure! It’s the only time I can tolerate that part of town. It’s for the tourists with all the cover bands and honky tonk bars. It’s fun, but after you live here it becomes old. Mostly because of how crowded the bars are. It’s definitely a once or twice a year experience when you live here unless I know someone playing downtown.
One Thing About Nashville
How has Nashville influenced your music? At first, I stared writing more country-esque songs, but most of them didn’t feel authentically me. If anything, Nashville influenced me to be more of my alternative pop/rock self because there’s not a lot of that here.
What’s your favorite place to go for ice cream in Nashville? Jeni’s Ice Cream! I know it’s a chain, but I never discovered it until I moved down here. They have great dairy free options as well like the coconut cold brew flavor. What’s your favorite place for breakfast in Nashville? Biscuit Love! So many people recommended it to me when I first visited, and I was not disappointed! But if you’re hungry and don’t want to wait in the long line, there’s so much great food in the city! Do you have a favorite music venue? Definitely the Ryman Auditorium! Ironically, the first show I went to see there was Ali Wong, the stand-up comedian! I did get to see Sheryl Crow soon after as well Amy Grant and Vince Gill’s annual Christmas show! Looking forward to making that a new Christmas tradition. What grocery stores do you shop? I try to go to Whole Foods when I can! I feel better when I eat organic. I also love Trader Joe’s. Publix is my go-to when I’m shopping for something the prior two don’t carry. It reminds me of when I went to college in Florida. If I just need something quick, it’s definitely Target because I can get everything I need in one store including clothes and video games.
Best Steak? Del Frisco’s Grille is my absolute favorite! I’ve gone there with my family during the holidays and that’s probably going to be another tradition as well!