Ryan Follese Makes BMLG Records Debut Album A Family Affair

Ryan Follese. Photo: Molly Hannula

Ryan Follese. Photo: Molly Hannula

BMLG Records’ Ryan Follese might be a newly-signed solo artist, but he is far from a newcomer to the music industry.

Follese is the son of Nashville songwriters Keith and Adrienne Follese. Keith penned Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That” and Faith Hill’s “The Way You Love Me,” while Adrienne wrote “I Love You” for Martina McBride and “Long Gone,” recorded by Lady Antebellum.

Ryan Follese previously found success fronting pop band Hot Chelle Rae, best known for its 2011 hit “Tonight Tonight.” That band also included Ryan’s brother Jamie on drums, as well as Nash Overstreet (the son of songwriter Paul Overstreet) and bassist Ian Keaggy (son of guitarist Phil Keaggy).

Ryan Follese. Photo: Molly Hannula

Ryan Follese. Photo: Molly Hannula

Now embarking on a solo country career, Follese previewed four tracks from his upcoming project on Tuesday (Aug. 9), via a mandolin-laced acoustic set that included the songs “Wilder,” “Lose A Little Sleep,” “Put A Label On It,” and “One Thing Right.”

“It’s about trying to keep a relationship together and not screw up, which in my experience is what happens,” Ryan says. “Guys do a lot of things wrong and when you meet someone super important, it kind of puts all your flaws under a magnifying glass.”

He says the new album stems from his time in Los Angeles, when his songwriting began showing more country flavor. “I was out there writing songs and going to sessions and every song that I would write by myself was coming out country, and coming from my heart and this place of experience,” says Ryan.

He also collaborated with his parents to create the music, making it a true family affair. “We didn’t write this record in typical songwriter fashion, where you go write a song every single day,” says Ryan. “Sometimes we would spend an entire week on a concept, or some songs we wrote in 20 minutes or in six months.”

Ryan brought the new music to his manager, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin. “I told him my vision and how I felt about it, and he brought us to the people who would let me do what I wanted to do.

“That’s why these songs are so real and so true, is because I actually got to write…I wasn’t being put in rooms with people, like, ‘Here is this song, record it.’ Coming from a family of songwriters, I was dead set on writing this thing myself. The label reps said, ‘Nobody can write this except you.’ Hearing that, it was like ‘Well, there is no better home for me as an artist.’”

Follese is currently in the studio with producers Dann Huff and Cameron Montgomery. His BMLG Records EP is slated to release in September.

Pictured (L-R): Switched On Entertainment's John Hamlin, Ryan Follese, and MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson.

Pictured (L-R): Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin, Ryan Follese, and MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson.

Ryan Follese visits with MusicRow staffers.

Ryan Follese and his band visit with MusicRow staffers.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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