Ryan McMahon was born in 1979 in Chemainus, BC. The only child of a longshoreman & a future educator, Ryan began entertaining early. The circles of aunts, uncles & grandparents were tickled by his early renditions of the theme song from Davy Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier. The same relatives were not so thrilled by his discoveries and emulations of the early stage stylings of Eddie Murphy & Richard Pryor. Whether the attention he received was positive or negative, it was during these early days that hooked Ryan into evoking emotion from those around him.
Now 35 years old, Ryan has carved out a 15-year career as an independent artist in Canada’s vibrant music scene. He’s always been a genre fence sitter, hanging out on the edges of country just enough to say he isn’t; Ryan is both a whisper and a scream.
“Ryan sings to anyone and everyone who has ever got drunk, smoked, cried, loved or been loved,” says producer Andre Wahl (Hawksley Workman, Luke Doucet).
Ryan’s life goal has always been to craft songs that speak to the human condition.
“I didn’t know who I was until I found music. I found that the person I was becoming in my songs was far more confident and self-assured than I was myself. Writing songs was my way of relating to people on a broader scale than I could otherwise.”
Over the course of his career, Ryan has toured Canada over 25 times, released three full-length albums, and seen his music licensed nationally and abroad. He has shared the stage with an extremely wide-variety of artists, ranging from Lisa Loeb & Carole Pope to Nickelback & Mother Mother. He’s had the honor of participating in JunoFest, the Western Canadian Music Awards, Canadian Music Week, Music West, and various other notable Canadian Music Festivals, including 3 wins (Male Vocalist, Record & Artist of the Year) out of 5 nominations at the Vancouver Island Music Awards in 2012.
McMahon has played some of the best venues the country has to offer, including the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, the Ironwood Stage in Calgary, The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver & Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. In 2012, Ryan co-founded ‘The Lion the Bear the Fox,’ with song-writing colleagues Cory Woodward & Christopher Arruda, and the band was immediately named as one of the Top 20 Finalists for the 2013 Peak Performance Project in Vancouver. The opportunity gave Ryan & his band mates the chance to shine light towards their charity, the BandWagon Project (mobile recording studios that visit various lower mainland care facilities), which was inspired by Megan McNeil & The Will To Survive Campaign that Ryan was deeply involved in helping take shape.
In April of 2014, Showtime’s original series, “Californication” featured the single “I’ll Be Damned,” which will be included as a bonus track on the upcoming full-length album titled “Put Me Back Together,” produced by LBF cohort Christopher Arruda. That album is due in April, 2015.
“Chris & I had no budget, and no expectations, other than to track ten songs that we both believed in. We set up mics, made sure we stayed out of the way of the songs, and had an absolute friggin’ blast.”
Legendary Canadian TV/Radio personality Terry David Mulligan may have summed up Ryan best: “The complete package. Singer. Songwriter. Performer. Troublemaker. Passionate human being. For me… priceless.”