In 2019, Ryland emerged on the global stage with his breakout single “In My Head.” It notably soared to #1 on Shazam Canada’s Top 200 chart and also went platinum in Canada. Captivating audiences, he supported multiplatinum superstar Alessia Cara on a sold out North American tour and performed at festivals such as Life Is Beautiful and Bumbershoot. On the heels of his self-titled 2020 debut EP, Ryland James, he exceeded 80 million global streams. In the middle of a pandemic, Ryland started 2021 with the single “Blame,” which tallied another 6 million-plus streams, and the dancefloor banger “Save Me” with Shaun Frank. He kicked off 2022 with his latest 2022 single “I Give Everything,” and performing the Canadian National Anthem at the NBA All Star Game, receiving shoutouts from legendary Snoop Dogg and powerhouse vocalist Jennifer Hudson.
Along the way, Ryland fell in love for the first time and publicly came out as queer with a heartfelt Instagram post. These moments indelibly impacted his creativity. “Everything aligned exactly at the right time,” he observes. “I put out my first EP, got into my first relationship, and came out to the world. Now, I can just be myself, because everything comes from a place of love and wanting the best for me, my audience, and the world. I started to go into sessions open-minded. I wasn’t afraid of trying different things or failing. I stopped holding on to a perfectly planned timeline. I learned to let things flow more. I was finally in a place where I could write personal songs and talk about my direct experiences.”