When you imagine a college aged male who plays guitar, the typical stereotype is a guy sitting in a quad strumming the same four chord song over and over again to get the attention of any passing lady. But this isn’t the case for Ryan Fox, a junior advertising major who is more than just an amazing guitarist, he is an extremely talented and serious songwriter. Ryan Fox is currently the president of the student organization “Penn State Songwriters’ Club“, and does an excellent job inspiring young student musicians through giving examples of his songwriting.
Ryan started playing guitar in 8th grade and received lessons until quitting due to the frustration of having a guitar teacher who wouldn’t teach him jazz chords. He then decided to teach himself. Ryan’s original endeavor was teaching himself blues guitar, which he did wonderfully. As Ryan’s songwriting and singing evolved he started a full band at his high school, Wissahickon High School, that was titled “The Daily Special”.
When he arrived at Penn State he started focusing more on his acoustic work and as a freshmen he performed as a solo artist opening up for acts such as KOJI and also performed at Songwriters’ Club’s 2011 Concert Benefitting THON. In his sophomore year he formed an alternative band with fellow members of Songwriters’ Club called “Runaway Heroes”. The band performed at the organization’s 2012 benefit concert for THON and at SOMA’s annual arts crawl.
This past summer Ryan worked with his younger and equally as talented brother on an EP titled “Wild Strangers” by the Fox Brothers. This EP is the perfect example of how musical talent runs in the Fox family genes.
Ryan took a step back to focus more on his solo work during his Junior year and performed as a solo artist during the 2013 Songwriters’ Club Concert Benefitting THON. The newest project for Ryan is the new indie band that he has formed with fellow Songwriters’ Club member and past “PS-U Oughta Know Artist”, Olivia Price. Their band that goes by the name “The Fairweather Pilots” is currently working on their first album entitled “They Called It Night” that will be coming out this upcoming summer. But if you can’t wait to hear their songs, the band was selected to perform at the 2013 Battle of the Bands on Saturday March 23rd. Information for that event can be found in the linked article.
Ryan Fox as a songwriter draws a lot of his inspiration from the night time and the woods, as is evident in his lyrical content. He also finds inspiration for the melodic content of his music by experimenting with different tunings and chords. His songwriting mirrors the style of some newer indie acoustic artists and are the perfect addition to any playlist that also features Young the Giant, Coldplay, or The Killers.
Ryan’s advice for songwriters is simple and powerful at the same time:
“Write for yourself and be authentic because if you are true to yourself, you can’t fail. Just write”
You can sneak peak some of Ryan’s original work on the Bandcamp previously mentioned in the article. Ryan also posts covers and originals from time to time on facebook. Make sure to stop by the Battle of the Bands on March 23rd to get the freshest look at his latest project, “The Fairweather Pilots”.