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Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Rylander. Hi Daniel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story? 'I am a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. I first started playing the drums when I was 6 years old. While in high school, I was the drummer for a pop-punk band called, Trademark Mistake. I also did a lot of songwriting while in the band. I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing songs and in wanting to delve deeper into my passion, I taught myself to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele. In 2012, my older brother was killed in Afghanistan. At the time, I wasn’t really pursuing an active career in music, but the loss of my brother made me realize that none of us is promised tomorrow and in many ways, reignited my fervency to pursue music. My uncle and I co-wrote a song called, “A Friend & Brother [Be Thou at Peace]”, that we performed at the funeral. I was encouraged to get it recorded, which I soon did at a studio in Norton, OH called Creekside Audio. I fell in love with the recording process while working on this song, and having written dozens over the years, I decided to record my first, full-length record: Strawberry Skyline, which was released in 2013. Fast forward 10 years, I’ve released two EPs. a live album, a handful of singles, and am currently working on my second, full-length record which is slated to release in 2023. In addition to producing and releasing all this music, I’ve played hundreds of shows locally, regionally, and nationally.' Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way? 'I’ve been very fortunate to have the support of my family and friends, as well as other musicians in the Northeast Ohio music scene. I’d say we have one of the richest music scenes in the country, but along with that, it can feel very inundated at times. I know that in the past I’ve struggled with comparing myself to others and feeling like I’m not good enough or that I’m not doing enough. Burnout is also pretty common too when you’re playing multiple times a week, every week, and it can take away from my creative process. Overall, though, I’d say I’ve gotten to a place where I’m comfortable inside my niche and happy with what I’ve done, what I’m doing, and where I’m going.' As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do? 'I write and perform my own original music. I’ve played the drums for over 20 years, piano and guitar for over 13 years, and ukulele for the past 10 years. I’ve also been told that I have a unique voice. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been pursuing a career in music for almost a decade now, with no plans of stopping anytime soon. I’d say that I have a unique writing style as well – every singer/songwriter has a different approach to their craft, but I’d like to say that I’m not limited to a certain style or genre. The variation to my catalog of songs is a testament to that. I’m looking forward to releasing my second full-length record next year, so keep an eye out for that!' If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to? 'Work ethic, humility, dreaming big but maintaining a firm grasp on reality, and the ability to know when to say ‘no’.'”

Voyage Ohio Magazine

After 17 years as a drummer, Akron native Daniel Rylander was inspired to pick up the guitar, piano and ukulele after a tragic event changed the trajectory of his life in 2012. His older brother David was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Rylander co-wrote a song to perform at his late sibling’s funeral.  Rylander’s family traveled to Hawaii shortly after his brother’s funeral, and it was there that Rylander bought his first ukulele and learned the instrument in a two-week period. He had previously written songs for his high school band, Trademark Mistake, and begun to mature as a songwriter. In 2013, he had enough material to release his first full-length album, Strawberry Skyline. Rylander, now 26, returns this year with a new collection of songs initially inspired by the changing seasons, shifting weather patterns and variations in daylight. The five-track release, How The Seasons Change Us, took two years to write and record. Rylander explains that each song was written at a different point in that span of time, with some reworked prior to the recording of the album to polish the final result. “Writing the songs became like therapeutic for me because I was dealing with a lot of personal things,” Rylander says. “One thing I learned from my brother’s death is nobody is promised tomorrow. The title comes from how the seasons changed me.” The EP’s beginning track, “The Alibi of Springtime,” sets the tone for the five-song collection. The piano-driven number was written four or five years ago but was reworked in 2017 to reflect Rylander’s changing perspective. The track is reminiscent of Ben Folds, who the songwriter cites as a big influence on his writing and performance styles. “The Alibi of Springtime” will lead into an as-of-yet unreleased song on a full-length album Rylander hopes to debut in 2020. The current EP, which also contains the tracks “Right Now,” “Move,” “Understanding” and “White Elephant,” was released in August 2018 as a way to give audiences a taste of the larger project Rylander has in the works. “The industry has changed so much, and how we listen to music has changed,” Rylander says. “The single is the new EP, and the EP is the new full-length album. I’m using this EP as the ‘breadcrumbs’ that lead the listener to the upcoming full-length, inviting them to come along with me.” “White Elephant” was written in one day, Rylander explains, and was initially released as a single in 2016. It first emerged as a joke song inspired by an ugly candy dish Rylander received at a white elephant party. He explains he wrote the song in 24 hours, and through the writing process it began to develop more meaning and gradually evolved into a more heartfelt tune. “Move” came together in a little more than week, whereas other songs he’s written have been in the works over the course eight or nine years. “I like to connect ideas,” Rylander says. “I’ll write a melody, let it be for a couple days, or write a theme and record it on my iPhone and let it sit, then return to it.” Rylander recorded How The Seasons Change Us at Creekside Audio in Norton and worked closely with producer Wes McCraw, who the musician says he has a close rapport with. McCraw is able to understand what Rylander is trying to communicate through his songs, and the result is a collaborative effort — something Rylander says he hopes to do more of with local musicians in the future. His upcoming full-length record will involve talent sourced from the community. “Northeast Ohio is probably one of the best spots for music right now. There’s so much to choose from, style-wise,” Rylander says. “There’s really no wrong way to do it — music — these days. You have more independence and can be more personal. You can be the artist you want to be.”” - Brittany Nader

The Devil Strip

Daniel Rylander has made a career for himself by fighting through adversity and turmoil. The singer/songwriter lost his brother to battle in Afghanistan in 2012 and has been inspired to find the [strength to] keep pushing [forward], and make his brother proud. His new single "Understanding" was released in January and is an uplifting tune about 'not letting our mistakes define who we are as people'. The song was revamped from the version that lives on The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance EP released in 2015. Daniel and his band (The Best Dressed) are looking to make themselves more marketable in 2017. ” - Floco Torres

The Devil Strip

 ' “Rylander touches on a wide variety of genres from indie rock to country and blues. It’s hard not to find at least one song that you like. Plus his voice is amazing. It’s fresh, young, and a bit soulful.” – Bronlynn Thurman, Tea Time with the Mad Artist  “It was on May 2, 2012 that Daniel received news that his older brother, 2nd Lt. David E. Rylander, had been killed in action in Afghanistan. He had been writing and playing music for a long time before this; having been a drummer for eighteen years, teaching himself piano and guitar for the past eight, and more recently the ukulele, music has always been a big part of his life. However, the endeavor to pursue his musical passions more seriously really began when he co-wrote a song with his Uncle, Tom Siebert, in order to remember and honor his older brother’s sacrifice.” – Daniel Rylander Facebook Page Leave a comment letting us know what you think – and who you’d like to see featured on #MusicMonday! '   ” - Staff Report

The Akronist

“ Saturday, October 17th, I headed over to Musica for Daniel Rylander’s sophomore album release, The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance. Now, I hadn’t heard him play in quite some time, so this was my first taste of any of his new music. He played a mixture of songs from both albums throughout the night. This new, seven-track album has quite a few songs that use the ukulele. It’s a story of heartbreak and love. I think my favorite track would have to be “Hurts Like Hell.” “” - Bronlynn Thurman

Tea Time with the Mad Artist

A drummer for seventeen years, local singer-songwriter Daniel Rylander then taught himself to play piano and guitar. He can also handle a ukulele. Back in 2012, Rylander wrote "A Friend & Brother (Be Thou at Peace)" for his brother’s funeral. He’s been writing songs ever since. Last year, he issued his full-length debut, Strawberry Skyline, and tonight he celebrates the release of his latest endeavor, The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance. Songs such as the somber “For a Moment You Were Mine” have an emo feel to them — think Death Cab for Cutie. Rylander’s got a great voice, something that comes across well in pretty indie pop tunes such as “Hurts Like Hell” and “Lullaby for the Sunshine.” (Niesel) ” - Jeff Niesel

Scene Magazine

Oct. 17 will be a banner day for singer/songwriter Daniel Rylander of Cuyahoga Falls. On that day, Rylander will officially unveil his new album, "The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance," at a music release party at Musica in Akron. The concert will start at 9:30 p.m. This is the second album for Rylander, who grew up in Stow. Rylander, who also is known for his acting work at local theaters such as Weathervane and Ohio Shakespeare Festival, said he got his start in music at a young age. 'I started playing the drums when I was about 6," he said. "I played in a band, Trademark Mistake, for pretty much all of high school. It was around that time that I taught myself piano and guitar and began to explore my writing style in different ways. When the band broke up, I continued to hone my writing skills and write songs, but wasn't really doing anything with it until these past couple of years. I just recently started playing the ukulele as well, which has been an extremely fun avenue to stroll down for the last three years.' A family tragedy is the impetus for Rylander to look at performing on a more full-time level. 'I would say I got serious about pursuing a musical career when my older brother was killed in Afghanistan in 2012," he said. "I co-wrote a song with my uncle that we performed at the funeral and it was very well-received. After some encouragement, I went into Creekside Audio in Norton and met with owner/producer, Wes McCraw to record the song, and eventually the rest of the [first] record, Strawberry Skyline, became the product of it. It was my older brother's death that made me really realize that no one is promised tomorrow, and we all need to make the most of who we are today; in the here and now. So I'm chasing this dream of music to the fullest while I can.' One day, Rylander said he would like to make music a full-time career. Right now, his "big boy job" is working for Market Track in Solon, he said. 'The nice thing about the company is you can kind of make your own hours, so I try to get their early, leave early, and spend the rest of my day either sitting in front of my computer handling the more 'business-side' of the music, rehearsing with my band, or playing gigs," he said. "It allows for a little more financial security to off-set the musical expenses, but juggling the two full-time jobs doesn't allow for very much sleep, ha ha. Like I said, the goal is to make music the sole, full-time gig.' Rylander said his new album takes "a more poppy approach" than his debut work. 'Like I said before, learning how to play the ukulele has been so awesome and I wanted to make a stripped-down, ukulele-focused EP," he said. "So that's what I did. Every song on the record, with the exception of one or two of them, is fashioned around the ukulele as the primary instrument. Ukulele has become increasingly popular and I wanted to try my hand at creating something that kind of played into that popularity, but still maintain my own originality. I'm really pleased with how this record turned out and I think I accomplished my goal.' 'Two of the songs on this record are originally off of my debut record, Strawberry Skyline. I stripped them down, changed the arrangement and 'uke-ified' them, so to speak. That was an extremely fun process for me. Another one of the tracks off this new record is a similarly stripped down version of a song on my next full-length album. Overall, I really enjoyed the process on this record. Finishing a few songs that I began to write years ago and approaching them in a fresh, new light was good for me. Being in the studio and kind of finding the 'broader sound' to really bring these songs to life was rewarding, and helped to kind of refresh my own identity of who I am as a musician. It gets really easy to fall into a pattern and I found myself in a creative drought. These songs, this record, really helped me take a large step away from that.' ” - April Helms

The Stow Sentry