Usually when one loses a job, the immediate reaction is almost always total panic. But for Ryan Martinez, better known by his producer alias "G. Ry," it was the total opposite. "I was totally happy the day I got laid off because I knew exactly what I was going to do the day after that." The day before his firing, Ry was working a regular 9 to 5 at the company for the Marriott Hotel. But as a creative with a passion for music, which was driven by his friendship with Hit-Boy, Chase N. Cashe and their reputable Surf Club collective, the gig for Marriott wasn't cutting it.
"I was just like, Well this is my opportunity to really try doing music, doing the things that I [actually] want to do," he explained. Life post-Marriott found the Los Angeles native riding a wave of opportunity toward a dream that would bring him happiness. He began producing originally under the Surf Club and in more recent years branched off on his own to establish his brand via a creative spirit and infectious R&B sound that helped produce a friendship with PARTYNEXTDOOR.
After having worked on records like "SLS," "Let's Get Married," and "Things and Such" (co-prodcuction), G. Ry recently appeared on PND's latest album P3, thanks to his work on "Problem & Selfless." Speaking on his chemistry with PND and the origin of his own melodic sounds, the talented producer hopped on the phone with REVOLT to tell his story.
How did music become a career choice for you?
G. Ry: Basically it as just pure inspiration from the moment I met Chase N Cashe and Hit-Boy. Basically seeing them do it just like inspired me to really want to do it.
And this is the legendary Surf Club. How'd you guys even connect?
I met Chase N Cashe through a mutual friend of mine when I was actually trying to get an internship at Universal Records about nine years ago and long story short, I didn’t even get to like interview for the internship but that same day, the mutual friend introduced me to Chase N Cashe and we actually connected months later when he started living with Hit-Boy and I just started coming around and just being like a fly in the wall when they would make their music.
When was it that you decided to take music as more than just a hobby?
Around the same time I was working a regular 9 to 5 at a company for the Marriott Hotel and they actually went down. There was recession in 2008-2009 and the company went down and they laid everyone off and gave them their severance package. I was just like, Well this is my opportunity to really try doing music, doing the things that I want to do, network and taking that time and using that severance package money to hang around the Surf Club and that funded me being able move around with them and their studio sessions and different social events out here in L.A.
How important was their guidance during this time? Because you were basically at a crossroads.
They were only one year older than me, so that just really showed me that this is really, really possible and they were producing on this program called Fruity Loops. I actually had a copy of that on brother’s computer and I knew you could make beats but I never knew that it was a serious thing that could propel you to actually top notch music and they’re using it and I would just go home and do it secretly. And then when I really went out and tried to let them hear my beats and they’re giving me their feedback.
You also have a close relationship with your twin brother, who you say is one of your biggest inspirations.
He’s definitely like my best friend. When you have a twin you always have someone there in life. You’re never by yourself, so he’s definitely my best friend. He loves music just as much as I do, probably even a little bit more so, we always have that common ground. Whenever we do talk, it’s about music and he likes to hear about the things I’m doing and tell other people what I’m doing. It’s pretty cool. We never miss a step no matter how long we don’t talk for.
I understand that he's currently incarcerated, how does that impact your drive?
It’s a humble situation. One day you can be out and about and the next day you can be confined and have your rights stripped away from you. In the back of my mind, I know this can all be taken away tomorrow. It’s just a motivative force that just wants me to do better just for him. It was times when I wanted to quit, especially in my brother’s situation, but like, my mom, they just always had the belief in me. She, specifically, always pushed me to keep it going.
Through this push, you were able to make a big breakthrough in 2014 with PARTYNEXTDOOR, how did that connection take place?
We met on Twitter, we actually connected through Twitter. He had did a song over one of my beats, I had heard it and instantly hit him on Twitter. We exchanged emails over Twitter and from there just started sending him beats all the time. We finally connected in recent years in the studio. Twitter really changed my life. If you use it right, it could work wonders for you.
Having worked together for two years now, what’s it like working with PND in the studio?
He pushes me to really take it a step further than what I already have going. That’s a blessing, a lot of other artists they don’t push you, they don’t really sharpen you, they don’t really try to make you better. He makes me better.
Before aligning with PND, you also faced some trials and tribulations during the journey.
Yeah, people don’t know that producers deal with rejection on a daily basis. Almost everyday you have some kind of rejection because you’re putting your heart out on the line every time you play your music for an artist or executive at a company. You just deal with that on a day to day and it toughens you up and gives you thick skin. In my case, it didn’t happen quickly. Like I said, I was 20 when I started trying and I’m 28 now, anyone else would’ve quit a couple years in.
Now it's paying off. How would you describe your signature R&B sound?
It’s very melodic, it has a lot of soulful remnants in it. A lot of people don’t know my sound but the people that do, they could tell that there’s a beat in mind. The drums and everything are just hard-hitting. I wouldn’t say trappy but it’s a new wave. I just like to make the type of beats that I would want to listen to. I love listening to slower, late night waves. Slower, mid-tempo songs. Somehow when I sit down I always end up making something just like that. It’s just natural to me.
What are some R&B albums that you go back to for these "late night waves."
So Far Gone, that's not completely R&B but it's definitely the time when that new sound came about. 808s & Heartbreak, that made everything possible really, and the third one is the newest album that's out at the time and it doesn’t have to be R&B but whatever is out right now.
As one of the newest producers in charge, what is it that you want to be remembered for going forward on this journey?
Well I just want to be remembered for playing a key role in reshaping the sound of contemporary R&B. A lot of people don’t know my name, but they definitely know the songs that I produced. Those songs themselves have definitely changed the sound of contemporary R&B. A lot of those elements are being used right now. So that’s what I want to be known for, just playing a key role in this new R&B wave of artists and singing and just everything that has the same elements.