From the age of twelve Derek Ryan had showbiz aspirations in his DNA. From his first foray into the music scene performing regularly at socials with his brother Adrian as the Ryan Brothers right through to a pop career with an international band he has now become one of today’s biggest Irish Country artists.
Although his early exposure to the live scene was modest, not even he could have predicted what lay ahead - a career that many can only dream about standing in front of the dressing room mirror strumming a beaten up acoustic guitar.
Having grown up in Garyhill near Carlow town, Derek was bred into loving Irish traditional music by his family, attending fleadh ceoils on a regular basis with his Father. It was not long before Derek was himself a winner, picking up two all-Ireland titles in both bodhran and ceili drumming.
Having caught the bug it was all his parents could do to persuade him to finish his schooling with the promise if he completed, they would do all they could to help him follow his showbiz dream. And dreams do come true as Derek has proven.
At 17, his career in music became full time, signing to Warner Music London as he became lead singer of Irish pop band D-side, with achievements including several Meteor Awards nominations, a multi-platinum selling single ‘Real World’ in Ireland, adding to his 3 top 10 hits in the UK . Live T.V appearances included Top of the Pops, GMTV and The Late Late Show along with a sell out theatre tour and number one single in Japan in 2005.
Returning to Ireland in September 2009, after several years of gigging on the London function scene, Derek took time to consider many offers that were coming his way. It was at this stage that melodies from his formative years kept coming back to him. Unable to shake off the sounds that resonated from his Mother’s kitchen radio, Derek got hooked on Nashville greats; like Brooks, Jackson and Strait and so the plans were laid to go for it.
Having spent a couple of years studying as an accountant he also started writing his first songs. Following many competition victories including 'A Song for Carlow' and the 'International Song of Peace' and album cuts for various artists in Ireland and abroad, he was offered a publishing deal with the well regarded DWB music in Surrey, UK. He collaborated with writers in Britain and in the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee.
Derek’s love and passion for country are best measured in his song writing ability as was seen in his debut single ‘God’s Plan’ receiving enormous airplay and a deafening call from fans to get on the road to play his hits live. From that moment Derek rarely has a day off, travelling across Ireland playing in crowded Irish dance halls and most recently performing at sell out concerts in England and Scotland.
Now with four critically acclaimed albums, a five piece band and thousands of fans, Derek is well ahead of his dream. With no limit to his potential, songs such as ‘It’s Friday’, ‘Welcome Home (The Gathering)’ and ‘100 Numbers’ are just a small sample of the talent he is harbouring.
Derek’s most recent album, Country Soul, was released in October 2013 and is a mix of original songs, old time favourites and chart covers.
Look out for Derek when he passes through your town. It will be one of those defining moments in your life when you spend a few hours of non-stop exhilaration at one of his shows.