For our 5th Clapper Sounds Interview, we are highlighting the Clapper powerhouse: Songparrot!
Songparrot, also known as Ariel Ryder, is a talented singer, and songwriter on Clapper. Her style varies, but mainly she is a soulful R&B artist. Not only she is a strong and confident musician, but also she is very involved with her Clapper community. We had an intimate Clapper Sounds interview with Ryder, where she shared her music process, her work balance post-Covid, and her thoughts on the music industry after her 20 years of experience. Also, Songparrot has a Clapper “Writing On the Fly” group chat where she writes collective weekly songs with her community. Join her amazing music community now!
Clapper Sounds is meant to be an intimate musical experience, and we want that mission to translate into our written interviews too. As you read about Songparrot, play their music in the background with our Spotify Playlist, and really get to know this artist’s unique sound.
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Let’s start from the beginning. What is your first memory of being involved with music? How did you start your artist journey?
When I was a little kid I really enjoyed singing like most kids do. Then, I went through a long time where I didn’t really sing and when I was in the 6th grade I started singing again. This is when everything changed for me musically. I started grabbing some attention for my voice, so I focused more on it. I recorded something for the first time when I was 13th. In my teens, I also did some cable access shows and that is when I really wanted to be a star. I don’t want to be a star anymore, I am just enjoying collaborating with people and doing whatever I want. I’ve been very blessed to travel and worked with a lot of high-profile pictures, but I’ve never been willing to sell my soul.
How would you describe your musical style? Who are your biggest inspirations?
At this point in life, my natural style is R&B, pop, and folk. It’s a big cluster of energies. I think there is more emphasis on the R&B because my soul is into the deep bass and drum, I really connect with a lot of songs that rappers would perform. Also, I really enjoy a challenge, I’ve done a lot of work for higher projects that have been completely different than my style, which is really cool. I appreciate those challenges when they get them in different styles.
What is your songwriting process like?
It depends on what is happening. If it’s just me, and I have total freedom, I find a track that I want to use and start singing over it. This is if I get to choose how to do it, instead of having a particular client that wants me to do something for them. If it’s just me, I’ll go in there, I’ll press record and I will mute it record another take, and so on.
I’ll go into each line item and delete what doesn’t sound good. Then, I’ll listen to it altogether, and whatever is left I see if I like it and go from there. That’s how I do most of the stuff I’ve written since 2020. I’m much more relaxed since covid hit because I have time to record songs and I don’t care about the format anymore. I just take my time and sing whatever comes out.
What are your thoughts on content creation as an artist? How do you feel about artists having to balance their social media presence and still be committed to their art?
For me, I struggle to keep up with social media. I could use someone to manage it, but I don’t, so I get behind very easily. Clapper is different for me though because it inspires me to create videos that I ordinarily would not create. Because of the community, there is feedback so I feel like it’s not a waste of time. What Clapper is doing for me is that these random singing ideas that I’m putting in my videos are ordinarily songs that would sit there on my voice notes and stay forever. This is great for me because it actually does something to those ideas that I never do anything with.
Do you have any side hustles other than music?
I am in the very fortunate situation of being in a 50s-style marriage where my husband makes the real money and I make the play money. I work in a very busy wedding band on the weekends and he works a regular job during the weekdays. Lucky for us, we have that dynamic. I am raising our daughter who is three and a half now. I have my gigs, I call it my day job band, I’ve been with them since 2015.
Deciding to be an artist can have its ups and downs. What advice would you give to that young artist who is just learning to play guitar, or starting singing lessons and their dream is to be a musician?
I would say just do it. Just put it out there, don’t wait for anyone. Don’t worry about all the red tape because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. I started trying to make it more than 20 years ago. Unless you are willing to do a lot of things that are not good for your soul, you have to do it on your own.
Make sure to check our recorded live session on our account Clapper Sounds and in our reels on Instagram. Enjoy the Clapper Sounds live session of the week!