GET FAMILIAR: Blaze Ryan of Savvy Row

Photo courtesy of  Patricia Bubis

Photo courtesy of Patricia Bubis

Blaze Ryan is fast-rising emcee from the Savvy Row crew, who have been building a rep off house parties, underground shows and a strong Soundcloud presence. Ryan is also the VTHH 2019 SUMMERSLAM Intercontinental Champion, a pretty clear signal that his fanbase is growing and his name will be getting harder to miss. He took the time on a busy Wednesday to talk shop about his crew and his goals.

VTHH: What was your first introduction to hip hop -- or at least, rap music?

Blaze Ryan: I was born into the Eminem era where he basically dominated the genre so that was my first exposure to rap but I really didn’t start to appreciate/fall in love with it until I dove into Run-DMC’s catalog when I was around 4 or 5. From there I really fell down the rabbit hole.

VTHH: Who were your biggest influences from there?

Blaze Ryan: Without a doubt, Mac Miller had the biggest influence on me and still does to this day. There have been others who have influenced me such as Kanye, Wayne, OutKast, Cudi, Big L, Biggie, and even a lot of rock bands. None of them had as much of an impact on my life as Mac did, though. That’s a loss that I’ll feel for the rest of my life.

VTHH: Did you grow up in BTV?

Blaze Ryan: No, I was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Long Island. I moved to Vermont when I was about 10 or so.

VTHH: Do you feel like Vermont is open & welcoming to new talent?

Blaze Ryan: I feel like Vermont is unique because of its acceptance for anyone expressing themselves through art. It’s a great environment to hone your craft and spread your talent because the majority of people can appreciate and respect the energy, time, and effort that goes into doing so.

VTHH: How did the Savvy Row team come together?

Blaze Ryan: I had been working with JustBobby for a few months and I had been recording some demos for what would become a rough draft of Demons early last summer. Bob approached me about another young artist (Elias Green) who he had been working with and thought that our three styles together would mesh well. After one lunch meeting with Elias, I was also convinced.

We’ve grown and added some members since, but the root of what makes Savvy work is that we all have different styles while also being willing and able to collaborate to put them together.

VTHH: As a collective, are you guys consciously following a blueprint or just seeing what happens?

Blaze Ryan: In terms of our music, we really have an “anything goes” approach where we are all just down to trying any ideas and seeing what happens. As far as our long term plans for our future as a group and where we want our music to take us, we all have a clear view or “blueprint”  of how we want our brand/sound to be formed.

VTHH: After a deeply personal project like Demons, what are you looking to do next?

Blaze Ryan: SavvyRow is currently working on its debut collaborative project so I’ve been focusing most of my attention on that, but that being said, I’m always writing music and working on future solo projects as well. We’re also trying to play shows as often as we can to showcase our performance. It doesn’t ever really stop for me, I just love to create and that’s what I’ll do until I’m gone. 

Blaze Ryan and the Savvy Row team will be in effect at The Monkey House in Winooski for 3rd Thursdays tomorrow night. The lineup is absolutely, absurdly packed. Be there.

Justin Boland