Ryan Star
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Ryan Star

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The best kept secret in music


"Breaking Out: Talented R.Star Departs Major Label to Keep It Real"

Summer 2005; NYC, NY – One of Ryan Star’s greatest moments was signing a contract with Maverick Records. One of his worst experiences was getting over-worked and under-promoted.

Like many other talented musicians stained by major labels, Ryan Star wasn’t about to hang around a world full of empty promises and plastic smiles. Instead, he escaped the label wasteland to resurrect the artistic energy that once fueled his entire life.

What emerged was R.Star: a solo indie artist full of passionate music. The music is a fusion between Eddie Vedder’s vocals, Coldplay’s piano, and Ani DiFranco’s acoustic guitar.

The response has been excellent. In April, R.Star played his first show at Rockwood Music Hall for an intimate gathering of friends and family, and now his weekly residency at Rockwood packs the house to full capacity.

In addition to weekly residencies at Rockwood all summer, R.Star is opening for Avril Lavigne & Gavin DeGraw at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. When he returns to NYC he will perform a special show at The Cutting Room on August 26th.

On June 3rd, R.Star released what he calls the first installment of his fan-based bootleg series, Songs from the Eye of an Elephant. His intention is to give fans what they desire: a real, non-commercial, piece of art. In his words:

“This is music that you never get to hear. It is like a prom date without her makeup on— a cover model without an airbrush in her bag of tricks.”

R.Star will follow this 20-track bootleg with a fully-mastered album of fans’ favorite songs. He plans to launch a bootleg in between each mastered album so real fans can receive what the majors no longer provide: real music.

Although R.Star’s journey appears to have begun recently, he is no stranger to the music industry. Since he was 15 years old he has been performing in Long Island and NYC at top venues such as Bowery Ballroom, CBGBs, and Mercury Lounge.

“This is Ryan’s destiny. Only now will we truly witness what heights his talents are capable of reaching,” says Damien Hoffman, Managing Partner of Endgame Music.
- Endgame Music

"Album Review"

view at: melodic.net/reviewsOne.asp?revnr=3529

Ryan Star
"Songs From The Eye Of An Elephant"

Released: 2005
Style: Acoustic poprock
Format: Album
Website: www.rstar.net
Reviewed by: Johan Wippsson

The most simple is actually the hardest thing. To be able to create something magical and captivating with very few means and a low budget production is not the easiest thing. But some people can, that is really proved here on this debut album from the ex vocalist from Stage, Ryan Star.

On “Songs From The Eye Of An Elephant” he has collected 20 tunes mostly written in October, 2004 performed in a naked and stripped way. This is like Stage, but in a acoustic way with Ryan on his piano and some nice string arrangements here and there. And holy Moses how good this is at times!!

Part of this album is totally stunning and amazing. I get the shivers when I’m listening to the four openers here and can just imagine how it would sound with a proper production. Any fan of Jeff Buckley that very tragically past away a few years ago, will love this for sure! Those openers aren’t the only killers here. Nope, we got a handful more and enough material for a whole album here that should make this talent very hot for any label. I would be very surprised if this won’t lead to bigger things!!

At last I wanna say that it’s rare to hear such great demo songs, but this New Yorker is a something extra, that’s for sure. Get this while it’s available.
- Melodic.net

"Sample Press"

MySpace Feature Artist of the Week: March 2006

"A shining presense awaiting his close-up." ~ Chuck Taylor, Music Editor, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE

"R.Star blends folk, rock and classic elements to create beautiful melodies and fantastic choruses …passion remains the key force behind this engaging entertainer." ~ BILLBOARD UNDERGROUND

“A gift for cavernous melodies and haunting choruses … achieves a certain grandeur.” ~ NEWSDAY

Feature Artist of the Week (Jan. 26- Feb.2, 2006) ~ XM SATELLITE RADIO, The Radar Report

"A sound reminiscent of Jeff Buckley." ~ Meredith Goldstein, THE BOSTON GLOBE

“The next Neil Diamond.” Feature Musician of the Week (Oct. 11- 17, 2005) ~ ABC NEWS

"Movie Soundtrack Music."
"Top 10 of 2005"
~ Pete Harris, Editor, Indie Sounds NY

"Had gotten me off harder than most men I’d ever fucked, and it lasted longer too."
~ Lara Hoegel, Cityzen

“He launches the words to audiences like firecrackers … He hurls choruses around the room like a slingshot loaded with fireballs … He is a bull at the piano, pounding the keys to put out flames, just so he can strike up another blaze.”
~ Monica Cady, Editor, Rag Magazine

"A skilled master at his craft ... the music you've been dying to hear."
~ Jessica Aptman, Fliggil.com

“Totally stunning and amazing.”
~Johna Wippson, Melodic.net

- ryanstar.tv

"Star Decides to Fly Solo"

Rafer Guzman

January 12, 2006

You might remember him as Ryan Stahr, but a few things have changed withthe former frontman for the band Stage.

For starters, he's got a new name, R. Star, and he's a solo act. His show atJoe's Pub in Manhattan last Thursday did feature a trio of string players, butthe focus was on Star, who sang a batch of songs from his self-titled, selfrecorded album, which was self-released last spring.

The disc is intimate and spare, mostly just voice and piano. The grunge-rockepics of Star's previous band are gone, replaced by ballads and sombernarratives. And thanks to Star's gift for cavernous melodies and haunting choruses, the stripped-down songs achieve a certain grandeur. There aremoments when the husky-voiced singer sounds a bit like Neil Diamond in one ofhis more metaphysical moods - and that's a compliment.

Thursday night, Star sat at a piano and opened his show with two songs,"Losing Your Memory" and "Famous Love," which both began simply enough butbuilt into passionate crescendos. For 45 minutes, Star journeyed through bombast ("We Might Fall"), humor ("Psycho Suicidal Girls") and bitterness("Famous Yet"). The packed crowd hung on every note, even during thesurprisingly effective covers of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole."

Star showed his earthier side by strapping on a guitar for "Take a Ride With Me," grunting out the sexually charged refrain, "I'll break you and your cherrytree." The song was a come-on but also a threat: "If you turn around here,nobody will hear." And true to form, R. Star wrapped it up suddenly with an a capella scream: "I'll show you some ecstasy!" Never let it be said the manbottles up his emotions. Check out www.rstar.net. - Newsday


It’s after midnight on a Monday at Sascha, New York’s newest warehouse-chic restaurant in the Meatpacking District. From the building’s third floor window, the city lights glow with a restless adrenaline that can only come from New York skyscrapers. Inside the dimly lit restaurant, a similar sensation of thrill and angst was felt only minutes ago when a solo artist, known as R. Star, performed an acoustic set of songs that cry to be epics and stir your insides with piano keys and a guitar pick. In black jeans and a tight white T-shirt, Star looks like a sturdy football player (tall, dark and tan). His tough-guy persona unintentionally obscures the expressive, bleeding-heart songster that he is. Tonight, his performance grabbed this chatty New York social scene by the balls and demanded undivided attention.

It was only two days earlier that Star played at Resort Lounge in West Palm Beach, where I experienced his show for the first time. The foremost aspect of Star’s performance is how artistically open and emotionally available he seems. His delivery is so raw and fierce that it almost makes you uncomfortable, in a strangely-good Bright Eyes kind of way. His music relays the feeling of reading poetry that touches you so deeply it burns your insides. His songs are about the feelings that lie deep beneath the flesh and soul. His lyrics reflect on things you think about, but you don’t want to say out loud. Star isn’t afraid of sharing heavier thoughts, and he launches the words to audiences like firecrackers.

This Hulk-esque guy has a vocal range and live deliverance that is a sonic collage of Fiona Apple, Damien Rice, Gavin Rossdale, Gavin DeGraw and Coldplay. With a name like R. Star, you might imagine he is either a) a big deal or b) considers himself a big deal. It’s actually kind of both. He is a big deal because he’s got talent. It’s just obvious. And you know he knows so because of his rampant confidence – the way he hurls choruses around the room like a slingshot loaded with fireballs. This is one area where his similarity to indie kids totally stops. Let’s be clear. Star is not some emo boy hiding behind a shag cut, staring sadly at his shoes, wildly whining about life. He’s the opposite of that. He is a bull at the piano, pounding the keys to put out flames, just so he can strike up another blaze.

Even so, you say, with a name that has “Star” in it, he’s still got some explaining to do. (An astronomer might tell you that R. Star is an obsolete name for what is now classed as a hotter carbon star.) Well, the “Cliffs Notes” version to Star’s life goes like this. He is 27-year-old Ryan Star from Long Island. He has been playing in bands since he was in ninth grade. His music career bloomed when he and two friends formed a band known as Stage. In 2001, the trio was signed to Maverick Records.

“Basically, Madonna signed us to her record label (Maverick). We made a record and toured the country,” says Star. “We came back to do a second record, as most bands do. But I just sensed that my partners were burnt. They were in it, but they were just praying instead of doing.” That’s when Star decided to leave Maverick and begin his solo career.

“I decided to be that 15-year-old kid again with a dream. As I started doing that, I found myself at a piano and whatever instruments were lying around the living room, and I recorded an album,” he says. That album was Songs from the Eye of an Elephant, a 20-track sketch that was released in July 2005. He was soon performing around New York and selling out his regular gigs at the Lower East Side’s Rockwood Music Hall. Star then joined up with Stone Crow Records, New York’s new progressive record label.

As for the 20-song release, which is catching buzz all around New York, Star says he wasn’t even aware at the time that he was writing an album. After hearing the release, this does seem a fair statement. He tells me, “If the record sounds like it was recorded in a living room; that’s because it was. And if it sounds like I recorded it without rehearsing; that’s because I did. There’s something so real about [the record] because it’s not perfect. That’s why I love it.”

Star began making demos for friends and the songs just started to come. “When I write I kind of just sit there and let whatever it is channel through me. I don’t really consciously write. Whenever I consciously write, it’s tough. I don’t like that. It feels like homework. So I just sit down and I play. Ideas come out, and I just catch them when I can,” he explains.

The album is dubbed Songs from the Eye of an Elephant because Star believes that elephants are all-knowing creatures. “They’ve been around. They are just kind of aware of the whole world. And an eyeball, to me, is just a witness to the world. So I figured these songs were just me witnessing songs that are already out there,” he says earnestly. “The record kind of just took off and started snowballing a little bit. And that’s sort of where I am today. It’s just like, ‘Cool, let’s see where it goes,’” he adds, grinning.

The album is as melodic as it is poetic. Poetry has been important to Star since his teenage years. “I was lucky enough to have an older sister who introduced me to Jim Morrison and vampires, and stuff like that,” he explains. A big turning point for him was when he discovered rock music, particularly when the movie “Singles” was released. “I must have been like 13 or 14 when that movie came out. Every band on that soundtrack became my Bible.”

The grunge era gave Star a deeper motivation to create music. He cites bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins as having a major impact on his approach to writing. “[The thing I liked about those bands] was how passionate they were and how emotional they were,” he says. “Most people will say [the best music] gives you chills, but for me, it’s music that makes me feel like I can fly. That’s the music I love the most,” he says, with a faraway look in his eye. “That’s probably what I love most about music – that I can’t fly, but when I hear certain music, I can. I think that [the grunge] scene also showed the world what really good stuff can do. And I don’t think we’ve seen anything like that since,” he says. “[Those bands] changed fashion, entertainment – everything.”

With his own music, Star strives for the same freedom and uncalculated honesty of the grunge artists that he admires. Honesty may sound like a cliché goal. But with Star’s music, it’s difficult to consider another descriptor. His words, melodies and themes stretch the gamut of the human experience. And he expresses them in a way that comes across as dear-diary truth.

Star admits that being so open with his emotions is sometimes a challenge. “It’s hard to be dating a girl, and write a song about the last girlfriend you had. But you do it,” he says smiling. Performing and writing about his deepest feelings is just part of the territory that comes from being an artist. “I have my moment with the song when I’m writing it, but then I don’t think about [how personal it is when I’m performing] it,” he says.

Grunge is one influence for Star, but he also looks to films for song concepts. He mentions “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as at least two movies that inspired songs on Elephant. “As I sang [“Losing Your Memory”] I couldn’t believe how personal, line-for-line, the lyrics were. It was like I was writing about my exact life and my exact feelings,” he says of the gut-splitting song that seems like could have been included on the “Eternal Sunshine …” soundtrack.

Star tells me that the subconscious journey he experiences during silent films or off-beat flicks leads him to other ideas. “[Inspiration can come from] a movie where you are like focused on one person for an awkward amount of time, where like a minute goes by. At one point, you’re like, ‘Okay nothing’s happening.’ And your mind starts wandering like you’re reading a book, and you go through three pages and you’re like, ‘Whoa, what did I just read?’ I like to use that [concept] as a blueprint for my words – not to be too specific, but let it be general so everyone can get their own story out of what they are hearing.”

Today, Star describes himself as “evolving.” “I’ve always been confident with who I am. And I think I just try to top that every day. I feel like every day I am humbled by such great music that it just makes me want to try harder. Lately I’m hung up on death and the afterlife. So I guess I am evolving in a metaphysical way, too,” he says and pauses thoughtfully.

“I feel now, more than ever, such a change – a change in my music, a change in my being alone and doing it. I’m a guy who probably would never get on a rollercoaster because I like control. Right now, I’d probably get on a rollercoaster with you. I feel changed. Something’s going on. It’s not often that that happens. The key for me is that I’ve done the whole major label thing. And this is my time to fight that.” Star continues to dictate his fight, journey and experience on his own path. Perhaps like the astronomer’s hotter carbon star, whose name he shared, R. Star, too, will continue to find himself changing and evolving into something even more fierce and bright – but never obsolete.

- Monica Cady, Editor, Rag Magazine (ragmagazine.com)


"Songs From The Eye Of An Elephant"

"A shining presence." Chuck Taylor, Music Editor Billboard Magazine

R.Star is just starting to explore the new freedom by writing constantly and sketching raw music in his living room. The music thus far is focused around the emotion and intensity of the voice. Twenty songs stripped down to the bare instruments of piano or guitar with the occassional strings, it feels and sounds larger than the loudest distortion guitar or big rock drums. The CD is captivating because it is real. It truly sounds like what it is. An artist in his living room playing for the whole world.



“Ryan Star is absolutely incredible.”
~Tamara Conniff, BILLBOARD Editor in Chief, at Billboard Showcase for R.Star

Ryan Star is currently a finalist on CBS reality show Rockstar Supernova. He rejected lucrative major and indie label record deals to keep it real at Stone Crow Records. He was the Featured Artist at MySpace in March, and his debut solo album "Songs From the Eye of an Elephant" has been critically acclaimed. He has had notable appearances such as opening for AVRIL LAVIGNE, GAVIN DEGRAW, and headlining MAYOR BLOOMBERG’s Pre-Election Night Party.

R.Star has toured the country supporting major acts such as BON JOVI, KISS, CHEVELLE, and THIRD EYE BLIND. He has also worked with top producers such as Greg Wattenberg (FIVE FOR FIGHTING) and Tim Palmer (U2, PEARL JAM).

R.Star Bio

• During high school Ryan Star played at famous New York City clubs such as CBGB’s and Mercury Lounge;
• R.Star is the former lead singer for indie-rock band Stage (Maverick Records);
• R.Star toured the country supporting major acts such as Bon Jovi, KISS, Chevelle, and Third Eye Blind;
• He has also worked with top producers such as Greg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting) and Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam);
• R.Star decided to leave Maverick Records because the label was experiencing internal dilemmas;
• Upon departing from the label, he was offered several major record deals but turned them down to start his own indie-label Stone Crow Records (New York City);
• His debut solo album, Songs from the Eye of an Elephant is a heartfelt menagerie of rock, soul and piano inspired by real-life stories of love, hope, and freedom;
• He currently lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY;
• He is 27 years old.

Stone Crow Records

Stone Crow Records LLC (“Stone Crow”) is a progressive strategic development firm in the music industry. Our record label seeks to use superior business strategies and best-of-breed service providers to execute our creative and effective business plan. Stone Crow Records’ major projects are: 1) promoting our feature artist R.Star (rstar.net, myspace.com/rstar); and, 2) producing events (Ultra Party in Central Park featuring Chemical Brothers and Paul Oakenfold).

If you live in a world beyond bullet points,
please visit ryanstar.tv for more information.