In this Dream Tour segment, the singer-songwriter, Ryan Nealon, lets you know who he would like on his ultimate tour lineup. You can check out the feature, after the break.
As an artist, I’ve gotten a lot of my influences through R&B and Soul music. My dream tour would consist of Allen Stone, ADELE, and my biggest inspiration, Stevie Wonder. Although this is incredibly unrealistic, I’ve picked these artists in particular because they’re not only incredible musicians and writers, but as artists they focus on creating more for themselves rather than for mass media, which is exactly the format I followed when releasing my single “Lost” which is not a typical mainstream release. Another reason why I chose these 3 artists, in particular, is because they are all unapologetically themselves—ADELE as an example is a goofball and isn’t afraid to show it. For young artists, seeing people we admire being honest and sincere is very important because it shows that not all hope is lost within mainstream media and that we don’t have to create content that we don’t love just to make a quick buck.
Starting with Allen Stone, I had the privilege of seeing him last year at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, and it was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. He was joined by artists like Joey Dosik and Theo Katzman who are incredible musicians, and it was super inspiring to see them take elements from Jazz, R&B, and Gospel music and fuse them all together to create a sound that never became dry to the audience. Shows like that are why I play music. Allen Stone is an artist that I look up to because he is playing music for the pure enjoyment of it, and is truly making a living doing what he loves.
Along with Allen Stone, ADELE is also an artist that is very focused on never straying away from her identity. I’ve had a lot of love and respect for ADELE ever since I saw her stop during a song after messing up the lyrics, then restart the song while laughing about it on stage in front of thousands of people. Let me tell you, THAT takes some serious balls. Although some people might clock that as unprofessional, I think that it shows that she doesn’t care about the media’s reaction; she just wanted to give the performance she knew she could give.
Lastly, Stevie Wonder is an artist that I’ve loved since I first heard Songs in the Key of Life when I was 7 years old. Growing up, I was very lucky to have a mother with a great taste in music who turned me on to artists like Earth, Wind, & Fire, Spyro Gyra, and of course Stevie. In 2015 I had the privilege of seeing the Stevie Wonder Tribute Concert put on by the Grammy Foundation and got to witness a night of so many incredible artists giving so much love to Stevie and it was inspiring to say the least. Also, getting to see him perform live was legitimately something I never thought I was going to get the chance to do, and I left that night feeling more inspired than I ever had felt before. Stevie Wonder has such a way with not only writing and performing, but his story is undeniably remarkable. For someone to come from such a tough upbringing and soar through the music industry gives me hope for a bright future.
I know this sounds corny, but yeah, that would be my dream tour.