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LADYGUNN RYN WEAVER 1photos / Angelo Kritikos
interview / Mikhael Agafonov
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Ryn Weaver is no fool. Last year, the 23-year-old Los Angeles native unveiled her debut record, The Fool, a multilayered collection of stories told through ornate metaphors, elaborate electronics, and Weaver’s quaint, folksy delivery. But as I find out during a phone call with the artist, she actually has no problem with people seeing her as a fool.
“I’m super into Tarot cards,” Weaver shares, adding, “There’s a card called ‘The Fool’ and [it’s] a good thing: it means innocence and naiveté. But it also represents travelling and strength and belief in yourself. I didn’t want my album to have any submissive songs. There are a lot of men writing pop songs and a lot of men are attracted to submission. I wanted to write a record about finding your strength as an independent woman. Surprisingly, a lot of my fans are straight men.”
Considering the record was written about a year prior to its release, it’s safe to assume Weaver has finally made her transition into complete independence and now enjoys the opportunity to not only to speak her mind, but to help others figure out their place in the world. “I wanted to write something that encouraged people,” she reveals. “Like how sometimes you grow quicker as an individual than in a pair. If people aren’t happy where they are, they need to find their freedom and change their situation, even if that means leaving something behind. There’s so much out there and we’re so lucky to live in the world we do. I wanted to create something that was inspirational and exciting and fresh and new and experimental. And that’s what I did.”
The fascinating thing about Weaver is how emotional she gets over the span of one phone call—depending on the subject we’re discussing. “I’m very emotional,” she exclaims, laughing, when I remind her that in one interview she proclaimed herself an “angry bitch.” “I called myself an angry bitch in an interview? Oh my! I can be an angry bitch; I can be a happy bitch. I think if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention, right? I have a lot of anger, sure, but I also think there are so many issues with society and the world. For a woman in general there’s a lot to be angry about. People discredit you based on the fact that you have a pussy,” Weaver laments.
“I tweeted something a while back about male vs. female [music]. It said if a male artist is genre-bending, he’s an enigma, he’s creative, all sorts of things. If a woman utilizes different genres, she’s viewed as lost, lacking an identity—the poor thing can’t figure out who she is, ‘cause she’s not quite Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Beyoncé or Lorde. And I’m like, ‘You’re right, because I’m me.’ So I do get angry, but it’s only because out of love and circumstance.”
But the very same cruel love gave her enough inspiration for a whole album: “I was getting out of my first relationship at the time, so the first half of the record is me dealing with the aftermath of this mess, and then finding pure love that was cool and real. For me it means home, something comfortable, and I wanted to articulate that. David Bowie once said that he doesn’t care about genres, because he only cares about the art he’s trying to create and that he can adjust the genres to match where he’s coming from when creating a song. And that’s where I’m coming from, too.”
One of Weaver’s earliest claims to fame was “OctaHate,” a Charli XCX co-penned, xylophone-heavy hate letter to a cheating ex. By now, however, she’s had enough time to heal all the wounds. “Hate is just dark love. I don’t actually hate him, we’re cool now,” she confesses over the phone. “He was very mad for a while, he was very shady on Twitter and I was like, ‘I see you, you’re an angry boy.’ This song was the aftermath of loving someone who betrayed me. The beauty of love is that it morphs and it shifts and it changes. Someone can fall out of love, someone can be selfish, but as time goes on, the heart heals.”
Turning emotions into catchy tunes is literally in her blood, which I discover when I ask about the story behind her stage name. “My real name’s Erin,” the songwriter reveals, adding, “But Erin to me is boring and I never felt like an Erin. But Ryn was cute and then Ned Weaver was my great grandfather’s last name, who was a songwriter. He wrote ‘Trust in Me’ for Etta James and a bunch of other old songs. He also worked on the radio and he was a Broadway star. Too bad I never got to meet to him! Whenever I hear people calling me Ryn Weaver, I feel like an elf from the woods.”
I don’t feel the need to ask if she believes in magic. You kinda have to, when you come up with something as magical as the rainbow tears Weaver rocks in the music video for “OctaHate.”
“The rainbow tears were a metaphor for going through a breakup: at that time you’re going through everything, the emotions are more complex than any single one. You’re crying everything out. You’re sad but you’re also happy because it’s over since you weren’t happy in the first place, but you’re angry, jealous, and frustrated, too. So for me all of these emotions can be summarized by a rainbow. A rainbow of feelings. I used to say that my favorite color was the rainbow.”
Judging by Weaver’s charisma and energy, she’s got a lot of rainbows in her—no wonder she’s already working on her next album. And we’re more than intrigued to see which Tarot card she’s going to pick up next from her deck.
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