We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
I feel like success is defined not really as a measurement, but more of a state of being. Success upon itself on its own is defined as I guess really just waking up in the morning. I think about all the other situations I could be in or all the other lives I could have lived in my lifetime, and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be who I am and where I am today. It’s an odd prospect, thinking that everything’s dandy today, especially since of the pandemic, but I find myself being thankful more often than not when I feel down, because I know that I’m doing really good right now and I could be doing a whole lot worse. So I had to find success as opening my eyes each morning and starting another day to where I have a whole bunch of opportunity to do a whole bunch of different things and the world is at my fingertips.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started this whole thing as a film school student at SCC in Scottsdale. I remember going to school there and wanting to make skate videos, but leaving wanting to make music videos for bands as I was working with one of my friends bands at the time. That led me to this whole music thing, and the day that I met Thomas Laufenberg. Thomas has been a very good friend of mine and mentor as well for the past 10 years at least I think, and I remember when I met him I was 18, and I still wasn’t able to get into bars yet, but I was seeing one of his bands at this place called teak woods in Phoenix. I think it was the night before Thanksgiving or the weekend before and he had invited me to come to his gig there with this band called the pistoleros that was proceeding that gig. After that gig, I started taking guitar lessons from Thomas, and I remember one day Thomas was asking me about what I did, and I told him I did videos and such. I remember telling him that I did music videos, and he asked me if I wanted to come up to the studio he was working at to do some videos for his band. This is where I met Curtis Grippe. I met Curtis at his studio stem in Paradise valley and shortly after that I started meeting a whole bunch of people as Curtis wanted to have me shoot some video that year of some bands that were coming in to do some Christmas songs. Pretty soon after that, I just started meeting so many different people and was introduced to a lot of different musicians through Curtis. So that’s really where this whole music thing took off. Even though I was doing video work for the bands, I started becoming more interested in playing guitar itself and learning songs. Pretty soon I found myself in a local band playing with some local dudes, which led to another local band and pretty soon I was playing the circuit. It’s 2020, and you think that with the pandemic and all I would not be playing very much, but honestly this has been my crazy and busiest year as a freelance musician. I’ve played probably more gigs this year than I have in any year of my life. I really got to thank A couple friends of mine – Joey Gutos and The Dusty ramblers – for that. I still have a long way to go as a guitar player, but I am definitely having a lot of fun on the journey getting there.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to Arizona from out of town, assuming I had a best friend that lived out of town, I would tell them to definitely visit papago Park, piestawa peak (If they enjoy a good hike), Tempe Town lake for a nice walk, and probably the musical instrument museum. there’s not a whole lot to check out right now, and there’s not a whole lot to do but the outside and scenery right now, as it is winter right now is to die for in the state. For food, I would definitely recommend four peaks brewery, Dave & Buster’s for a little entertainment, and most local hole in the wall restaurants, especially Los taquitos, love that place. I still stand by what I said about hanging out in the park and stuff, it’s just beautiful outside right now, I don’t know why anybody would want to be inside, other than you know, the pandemic. Just wear a mask and keep away from other people.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really would like to dedicate the shout out to a good friend of mine, Curtis Grippe. this guy has given me so many opportunities and so many different experiences, in my life, that I wouldn’t be where I am without him. Curtis has given me sage wisdom, support, and mentorship throughout the years along with brotherhood. He’s one of my older brothers I never had growing up, and I’m so grateful for him.
Keith & Melissa photography