I had the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend, Ryan Hunt, this week and the added pleasure of being able to share it with y’all.
I met Ryan last year in our first year advising group for our women of color feminism class. The first thought that came to mind was how tall he was, standing at a solid 6’4, he had become the tallest man I’d ever met. Then he started talking, and from the way he eloquently spoke about social and political issues, I knew he would become one of my favorite people.
Since then, I’ve gotten to know Ryan much better, like how he’s a musician. I hadn’t known that he made his own music until later into our first semester when he released a single on the group Facebook page. I hadn’t seen his on-stage presence until the second semester when he went and performed at The Side Walk Café. I’ve grown to love him, not only as Ryan but as LOV, too. Here’s a little more insight on who he is:
Q: I know what your first music experience was, but what music experience let you know that music was a passion for you? A: I think the first inkling of passion I developed was at this concert I went to in eighth grade. It was Foster the People, but I was there to see the opener: Kimbra. Her wild performance at Red Rocks in Colorado was amazing. It was energetic, experimental, and forthright. She ignited the passion for me, bringing to life some of my favorite songs ever. Q: What was the first song you wrote? A: The first song I wrote was about my cat when I was 7. It was shit. The first “real” song I wrote (“real” meaning that I made it and released it) was called “The Sunrise Anthem.” It was so amazing for me, because I wrote it about this specific night with my friends after our prom. I put emotion and detail into it, and it felt like a story and everything that night was for me. It really felt like an embodiment of one of my favorite memories. Listening back, I think it’s pretty simple and boring, but the moods that I perceived in my head all those years ago are still there. The emotions are still there. Q: Where did your stage name “LOV” come from? A: I think that’s funny because everyone thinks LOV is just “love” with no “e.” It’s meaning is so much simpler (and not as fake-deep) as that. My last name is Hunt, which is obviously a larger part of language than just a name. I put “hunt” through Google Translate and decided that the Bosnian translation was best. It just had an edge to it. So I became LOV. Q: How has your views and identity affected your music and/or life? Has it influenced it in any way? A: Oh my God, my views have affected my music so much! I think more than political views, my views on a situation drive my music a ton. I always think I’m right, so that goes into the song. In a situation I feel victimized, so I write about it. I think the identity part of it just inherently goes into my songs. I write love (or LOV) songs (lol), and I’m a gay man. Some of these songs are about how I’ve felt in relationships with other men, but some of these songs are about how I personally navigate my community, especially in finding where I fit in (the queer gaze can be very narrow at times). I think had I not embraced my identity as early as I did growing up, then I wouldn’t have the confidence to even put out music or discuss my views, both politically and personally. I’d still be angry and insecure and not pursuing my passions in any sense of the phrase. Q: How have you grown since when you first began making music? A: I’ve grown so much! I began really writing in high school, and at first I had no idea what my sound was. I was a little baby that was influenced by anything and everything. Now that I have about 6 years of making music under my belt, I can pull out songs like nobody’s business. That being said, it still takes me a long time to curate my music that I put out because I do make so much music and sometimes, waiting on putting out a song is better. I’ve learned, and I’m still learning. But I’ve come a long way from my karaoke machine days. I would love to tour as a musician. Performing for audiences is my main goal in my career, so if I could do that every night and make cool shirts and meet cool people, then let me know when. If you liked what you read, you can find his music on Soundcloud, iTunes, and Spotify. You can also follow him on Instagram @lovsounds! Don’t forget to comment and subscribe to the blog and to follow us on Instagram @tiesidesandscoops!