By Charlotte Christie
Despite the barrage of news alerts and arrows on the pavement, it’s easy to forget that we are still living through a global pandemic. Moreover, those in power are perhaps more complacent than ever about artists and their contribution to society. Keeping these factors in mind, the way in which creatives are still producing and experimenting shows an exceptional resilience. Especially, if it’s releasing their first ever track. Cue: Ristlynn and his new single, I’m Going Down.
At just over 2 mins, Ristlynn establishes himself as an honest and confident singer-songwriter. From the first Yo to the track’s abrupt ending he boldly commands your attention. I’m Going Down is also accompanied by an entertaining video, featuring impressive skateboarding guitarists (who said only women can multitask?) and bursting with an energy that felt all but lost to last February. It is also of note that the track’s production is particularly slick, which is unexpected for an unsigned artist’s first release. Most interestingly of all, the sophisticated way in which Ristlynn has written a ‘sad song’ but made it sound happy sets him apart from the rest of the pack.
I’m not sure if everyone will realize, but there’s a layer of that somewhere that I apply to everything in life including these songs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: Probably some Gary V stuff honestly, like “it’s important to not give a s***” and “make sure to get enough sleep”. Which I seem to forget about quite often.
What do you hope people will take away from your work?
The subtle sarcastic element. I’m not sure if everyone will realize, but there’s a layer of that somewhere that I apply to everything in life including these songs. It’s like salt. You put it on everything. Except cereal.
If you could have one artist cover your work, who would it be and why
For this song, Doja Cat. It’d be the perfect sequel to Go to Town.
Do you have a story from the recording process?
Actually yeah. I had a handful of songs, and this one was newer. So I asked some friends which one I should record first. The one they chose is the one you hear today. On top of that, I had some interesting journeys during this process. One of them involved a portable audio interface/mic setup that I took with me to my truck. I couldn’t track vocals at my place, so I actually did that in my truck… with the engine on. I couldn’t just have silence in the parking lot, and have people distract me because they heard loud singing, no no no, I had to have the dang truck on. Thankfully that idea didn’t last long, and I had a friend who let me use his vocal booth. Who wants to hear a ‘94 f150 in the final mix?
How do you measure a song’s success?
I like to think that out of all the songs I have, at least 10 of those- that are closer to the recording process- are going to be a success. I mean, there’s two released, and one finalized and ready, so you could say that those three are a success just because they made it to the very end of the creation process. To me, success is something simple like that, or too severely complex.