We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Hiller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Simple! To start, I’ve been a musician since I can remember. I went to college for music, and have been full-time ever since. I came to a crossroads in my mid to late 20s where many of my musician friends ventured out into more “stable” career paths. At that time, I was hustling 110%, but not getting where I wanted to be. I was performing 6-8 times per week in those days and started to hate my passion, playing music. I gradually began to notice that there was a legitimate career path in performing for large, private events. The restaurant/bar thing started to evolve into more of an advertisement platform (as opposed to my sole source of income), where I could secure bigger and better-paying gigs. Once I started to grow my business, I formed an LLC, learned how to do payroll, and have also been managing the financial side as well. Although music is a very fun and enjoyable job, the actual performance is only a fraction of the work. Once I made that realization and began sharpening my “business” chops, my own business began to flourish.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The road is a constantly evolving one. Just when you think you’re on the right path, a pandemic comes to remind you that it will always twist and turn, and it is our job to not drive off a cliff! It hasn’t ever been easy, and I’m still motivated to keep going to find out where the road will lead! This year I’ve had some of the worst gigs I’ve played in years as things have been slow to recover. However, I’ve also had some of the best! I did a drive-in concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and the crowd was amazing! It was so cool to have cars honking and flashing their lights after each song! I also was tasked with a job to put together a band for the lead singer of Rascal Flatts for a private event here in La Jolla. I had under a week to learn 9 of their songs, verbatim. I had to gather musicians last minute and help arrange staging/lighting for what ended up being one of the best gigs of my life! Gary LeVox stayed after his set and jammed with us all night. He was a very nice guy and was a total pleasure to work with!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Belly Up in Solana Beach is a really fun venue to check out a show. If you’re further south, then Winstons in OB is also a total blast!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Josh Jose from The Acoustic Spot. He works with many local musicians around town and has been very supportive of our local music scene.
Brad Golden Jaime Murray