Ryan Hemsworth is one of those producers that is sort of an enigma: I don’t fully know how to describe him, but what I do know is that he’s extremely talented.
The Nova Scotia-native has been on countless projects ranging from hip-hop to house to alternative to quite literally anything else…if you take a spin through his Spotify catalog you’ll see what I mean. He’s produced for big names such as Tory Lanez, Tinashe, and E-40, but also for up-and-comers like Joji and Riri (not Rihanna). And then you get into his remix work, which I didn’t count how many he’s made, but I’m sure you can find it on Wikipedia or something. There’s a lot: Frank Ocean, The 1975, Migos, Beyonce, A$AP, Lana, Mikky Ekko, the list goes on. Every single one of his edits take the original’s dynamics and flip them upside down. His ‘Let’s Have a Sleepover Version’ of Lorde’s “Ribs” is a perfect example of this.
My all time favorite Hemsworth song is “Snow in Newark” featuring the ever-so-talented Mad Decent vocalist Dawn Golden. This track comes off his 2014 album Alone For The First Time, and in my opinion, is a song that made people go “ok so he doesn’t JUST do remixes”. It definitely turned a lot of heads, which is why it’s amassed over 12 million streams.
Ryan’s “Snow in Newark” is an ode to loneliness and missing those who you’re close to. His music video does a fantastic job conveying this theme; he [actually] shaves his head and solely wanders what I think is Nepal backcountry. I was reading some of the comments under his video, directed by Martin C. Pariseau (who has also worked with Kaytranada, Rejjie Snow, and Lary Kidd), and one of them stuck out to me in particular. Some guy named Jacob Houlihan (S/O Jacob) made the comment “With this song, I feel like it’s okay to be alone,” which sparked others commenting back with words of support. THEN 3 years later and guy named Dimiranger (S/O Dimiranger) wrote back to Jacob, checking in on him….to which Jacob appreciated. Hemsworth would be proud.
With this song, I feel like it’s okay to be aloneJacob Houlihan
To be honest, I was going to save this song for the first snow of the year, but it’s too good not to write about (it’s also 65F in Chicago right now so I’d have to wait a while). He doesn’t normally dive into the “emo” domain, but I think that’s why I like it so much (in the colder months). It’s sad, it’s bleak, and it just fits the winter aura.
Check out Hemsworth’s “Snow in Newark,” as well as the entire Alone For The First Time album below. Also be on the lookout for more info on his new collective “Quarter-Life Crisis” which is releasing an album December 4th.