Interview with RA’s Andrew Ryce

Andrew Ryce is a voice that matters in electronic music today. After paying his dues as a contributor to various music publications such as FACT Mag and Pitchfork, he later signed on as the North American editor for Resident Advisor. Andrew is a good friend of the Blueprint family and now heads the North American expansion of RA while he travels across Europe and North America reviewing new records and reporting on the progression of electronic music. We were lucky enough to catch him while he was in Vancouver recently for a quick interview that you can check out down below.

Established in 2001, Resident Advisor (RA) is an online music magazine and community platform that’s dedicated to showcasing electronic music, artists and events across the globe.

Andrew Ryce

Please tell us how you got to where you are now in your writing career

I think honestly, it was persistence. When I first started writing, it was just for myself, but through that writing and through knowing people, I met other people who starting asking me for my work. After I had a few articles published on FACT magazine, which was my first professional work, it kind of built up until I got a full time job offer from FACT and a counter offer from RA.

Is there a reason why you chose RA over any other blog you could’ve written for?

There are a few reasons actually. I really like the tone of RA; it’s a mixture of academic analysis, the scene and club culture in general. A lot of my reviews focus on a record in a club context which I think is a really unique perspective outside of other magazines. I like RA as well because the company isn’t owned by another company. We don’t have to publish stuff that makes sponsors happy and can just do our own thing. Also, the people that run RA are really into music, music culture and understand how editorial works.

So recently you went on tour with RL Grime to write a feature about when he was promoting his VOID album. Can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?

That’s funny because it wasn’t my idea, it was actually my boss’ idea because he wanted to find a way to cover an artist who was sort of EDM, but still good. He also wanted to cover that world where in the US DJs can play rock arenas and sell them out. Because that’s not usually something that happens with the type of music we cover.

So it was a mixture of RA having the accreditation and me personally knowing Henry (RL Grime) because him and his manager trusted me to do an accurate portrayal. They didn’t look at the piece or anything before it went up, they just trusted that I wouldn’t try to fuck them over or write something inaccurate. I’ve never had an experience like that. Full access to the artist, the entire crew, being on the bus with them, doing everything with them, eating all of the meals, just being a part of everything. It was really interesting because I’ve never been on tour before, so it was cool to see how a tour works and to see how venues are set up. It definitely gave me a different understanding about the industry and about promoting as well.

That’s dope! Because opportunities like that, don’t really happen these days right?

Well that’s the thing, I felt like it was such an unusual opportunity in music journalism that I just couldn’t pass up. It was interesting just getting to know him and the people around him for almost five days. Being with him all the time through both good and bad experiences.

So to relate it back to Blueprint, what was the most memorable Blueprint show you’ve ever been to and why?

There’s a few of them! I think the Avicii concert at the Pacific Coliseum back in 2012 was one of the first EDM events I’ve ever been to and it was just a crazy experience. It was interesting to watch all those kids at the time and just to hear the music in it’s natural setting. That was a valuable look into EDM and even though I thought the whole thing was kinda corny and I really don’t like Avicii, you could see how much the kids were enjoying it.

I think most recently though, seeing Eric Prydz at Seasons 2015 was one of the best experiences I’ve had. Because I didn’t like anything else at Seasons Festival, I was kind of unsure about Eric Prydz’s set, but he actually played a great set and it was really amazing to hear music that I liked in a stadium setting with that production value. I thought that was really impressive and it kind of showed how much potential there is with big stadium events.

-Vanessa Tam

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