Watch the 17-year-old YouTube sensation perform three songs in this Tastemakers @ Sunrise session and talk about his fans, his music and his future.
Less than two years ago, bright-eyed Ryan Beatty fired up a YouTube account to see if the world might have an ear for his smooth, sunny singing and found a huge, loyal audience to the tune of 34 million video views and counting. As he looks forward to a very promising 2013, the 17-year-old sensation rose with the California sun recently for a special Billboard Tastemakers session. Watch Beatty's three Tastemakers @ Sunrise videos here, featuring the young singer performing three of his tunes -- "Hey L.A.," "Like Me Or Not," and "Every Little Thing" -- and sharing his thoughts about his fans, his music and his future, all in the early morning Los Angeles sun out on the deck of the London West Hollywood Hotel.
The song "Hey L.A.," which Beatty co-wrote along with his pal Dayyon Alexander, was inspired by the Fresno, California native's first trip to Los Angeles back in 2011. "It was the first time I came to L.A.," he says. "I had such a great time, such great experience. Dayyon started playing some chords. I really liked it so we wrote to it. It was such a quick process, so natural." After joining forces with producer John Fields, who helped hone this tune and two of the other tunes on what became Beatty's six-song summer 2012 debut EP "Because of You," "Hey L.A." came to fruition. "I was so proud to put it out there for my supporters because I knew they were going to love it," Beatty explains. "Seeing the reaction was great, because when you work so hard on something and you put it out there and people actually really enjoy it, that's one of the greatest things about being a musician."
But the teen's first trip to L.A. bore more fruit than even just that well-received single. Beatty soon became a Southern California resident. He says Fresno, "will always be my home town, no matter where I go, but L.A. has always been somewhere I've wanted to go. . . I felt like it was time for me to open a new chapter in my life and my family also loved it out here. So we all felt like it was the right time to come out here."
Since moving to L.A. in recent months, Beatty has been tirelessly working on treats for his fans for 2013. "Yes, I'm working on an album this year. I'm really excited for it. I just want to make sure its my best possible first album," he says, "because you can only get one first album."
And as he warms up for his first full-length, Beatty is also set to head out on a brief east east and midwest tour that kicks off Jan. 18 in Pennsylvania. He explains that that being on the road will mean "really early mornings," but he credits the eye-opening process when "I put my headphones and listen to really good music" including "my favorite artist John Mayer" with getting him ready each morning to face the day. "It really wakes me up for the day and puts me in a better mood." That and the prospect of playing for his growing legion of fans, no doubt.