Photo by Shervin Lainez
Ron Pope is an outstanding singer/songwriter who makes pop and rock music. Ron’s music career has been professionally active since 2007. In this time he has released an impressive 9 albums. Even being signed to a major record label but later dropping them to allow himself more creative control.
How long have you been a musician for?
I’ve always made music in some way or another. I was the obnoxious kid singing too loudly in the back seat of the car. I played guitar and fronted a band for a long time. I realized that I was interested in pursuing music as a career while in my third year of college. I was at NYU and I joined this songwriting circle where we’d meet and workshop each other’s new tunes. The songwriters in that club really boosted my confidence and got me believing that I might really have what it takes.
What has been the most significant moment in your musical career?
There have been a lot of incredible landmarks in my career. For me, the most significant moment was the day that I told my lawyer to “make Universal let me go.” Deciding to strike out on my own and walk away from a major label deal felt pretty crazy and dangerous at the time, but it turned out to be the smartest decision I ever made. The freedom that my independence has afforded me allowed me to grow in creative ways; now, I can chase the muse and do whatever I think makes sense for me and my fans. That’s been an incredible blessing.
Your album launched in March this year, congrats, I’m a fan. What was the songwriting process like?
Thanks; I’m glad you like it. For my new album “Atlanta,” I decided to approach writing in a very different way than I have on previous records. I sat down every week day, Monday through Friday, for about four weeks and wrote. I’d put together at least one full tune every day. At the end of this process, I had twenty songs, and then I picked through them, decided on the ones that made the most sense as an album, and then workshopped and refined those tunes into what you hear on the record. In the past, I’ve spent months writing and demoing songs, so it was always a challenge to create something that felt cohesive. This album feels, to me, like one idea.
Which artists would you consider to be your musical inspiration?
My taste is pretty broad…I love a lot of different kinds of music. At the moment, Rick Ross is inspiring me. Tomorrow, it’ll probably be Jimi or Arcade Fire again. Who knows?
Which albums or songs have you been listening to a lot recently?
This week, Rick Ross’s “So Sophisticated” and a ton of old Elton John (especially the “Tumbleweed Connection” album). I’ve been listening to “So Sophisticated” a ton since we were on tour.
Over the years, you have released multiple albums. In what way would you say your sound has changed over that period of time?
Over the years, I’d say my willingness to experiment has grown. I used to say, “Oh, that sound won’t fit on this album because this other sound is on there” and now I just want to make all the things I love fit together and make sense. To me, “Atlanta” sounds much more unique and distinctly mine than anything I’ve ever done before because I combined all the things I love into one unique palette.
You were on tour this February and you even managed to come down here to England. What are some things you must have while on tour?
I’m pretty easy to please. I need room temperature water for the show(when you sing, you aren’t supposed to drink cold water; it constricts the vocal chords), cold water for after the show (I get hot on stage) and something to eat. I’m no fun when I’m hungry.
Do you prefer the guitar or piano?
I play piano like a five year old; I actually know how to play guitar. I’d always pick guitar over piano.
What one thing would you like to accomplish in your musical career?
Does “complete and total world domination” count as one thing? Seriously, I’d just like to reach as many people as possible with my music. This music is my way of connecting with people, so my dream is to connect with as many people as I can.
What advice would you give to artists who are struggling out there?
If you want to be great at something, great at anything, you’re going to have to work incredibly hard and take a lot of knocks as you go. Whether you want to be a ballplayer or a brain surgeon, a rock star or a CEO, if you want to be on top, you’ll have to put in a lot of work. When other people give up, remember to keep on working. Treat your music career as a job long before it actually is your job.
Thanks very much for doing this. Is there anything you would like to add?
Much appreciated. If anybody sees Rick Ross, tell him I send my regards.
I’m really glad this amazing and humble musician took the time to sit down with me. Ron’s album, “Atlanta”, is available for purchase now.
Keep up with Ron Pope:
Download his album, “Atlanta” from iTunes by clicking it’s artwork below