Canadian singer-songwriter Ryland James creates soulful pop music in the vein of Adele and Sam Smith. Ryland’s first two singles, “Good to You” and “Say Goodbye,” are emotive ballads, just a small taste of what’s to come on his full-length album, due late 2019.

Although Ryland has spent the past year writing songs in Los Angeles, Stockholm and London, both new singles were written in Toronto. “Good to You,” with Locals Only Sound (Gray Hawken and Curtis Smith), is about being lost or in pain, but this person brings you out of that dark place, while “Say Goodbye,” co-written with Baldwin House founder Andy Delisi, is about a relationship that has fallen apart, but you’re making a last-ditch effort to reconnect before
moving on.

Raised in Deseronto, a small waterfront Ontario town of less than 2000 people. Ryland started singing as a toddler. By age 10, he knew that’s what he wanted to do and went on to perform at local events from waterfront festivals to school musicals. Seeing other teens online playing instruments, as well as listening to songs by singer-musicians Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes, spurred him to take up piano and guitar, learn music theory and start writing his own material.

His goals aren’t dissimilar to many other artists: “People tell me that my music really touched them and helps them feel that a situation they’re in is okay,” he says. “I hope I can get to a place where every single time I write that it affects people in that way. I also want to get on big stages and perform my songs for the world.”