Wonderland.

Backstage Pass: Ryan De La Cruz

Photographer Joseph McDermott meets Ryan De La Cruz.

In a unique access all areas series, south London based photographer Joseph McDermott goes behind the scenes with music’s finest.

Amidst his KOKO Friday night residency, Joseph links up with rapper Ryan De La Cruz to talk origins, inspirations and pre-show rituals….

So who are you and where are you from?

I am Ryan De La Cruz, singer/songwriter from east London, originally from Kongo.

How did you get into making music?

I come from a very music orientated family, my dad was a pastor in the church so he put me in the choir, forced me to play drums and I’ve just always had the love. It’s in the blood.

How would you describe your sound?

I would describe my music as very soulful but very raw at the same time. It can get very energetic. Raw ting.

If somebody hasn’t listened to Ryan De La Cruz, what’s the first song or project you would recommend they check out?

First project will always be the first project, you need to see the evolution. So that’s going to be the “Pagans” EP but also you can check out “Don’t Know About Me”. That’s me, the whole way through.

What’s the best show you’ve ever done and why was it the best?

The Great Escape festival has been the highlight for me. The vibe was unbelievable.

Who’s on the line-up for your ultimate/dream show?

Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Missy Elliott and myself.

Who is your biggest inspiration, musically?

Michael Jackson. The GOAT. And Frank Ocean gets a shout out as well.


Do you have any pre-show rituals?

A drop of rum, oregano and lemon and ginger tea.

What’s one song you’re currently playing on repeat?

Travis Scott – “Butterfly Effect”.

If you could collaborate with any artist/producer who would it be?

Burna Boy is dope, we could make a banging track. And I really want to work with Murda Beatz, he’s making slappers.

How do you feel about the current state of UK rap?

It is sick. The underground is so live right now, everyone is doing bits. Everyone is selling out shows, everyone’s on their stuff it’s so good being in the UK right now. There’s room for everyone right now.

What can we expect from Ryan De La Cruz in the future?

Expect more bangers. Expect more art. It’s not just music, it’s everything around it too.

Any final comments?

Catch me at KOKO for the next four weeks every Friday night, I’m tearing it up. Each week is going to be more nuts than the last.

Photography
Joseph McDermott
Backstage Pass: Ryan De La Cruz

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