Ryan Haynes, better known as DJ Afterthought, has done well for himself in the EDM, DJ, and hip hop world. But that just wasn’t enough. He’s always felt there was something missing. Now, coming out with his own solo project, he’s showing his fans a whole new side of his art and himself.
DJ Afterthought knows how to party and make sure the entire room is having a good time. Ryan Haynes, however, is someone he wanted to get to know a little better. He needed his music to express something deeper, something that forced him to be introspective and discover who he really is as a person.
Haynes will never get sick of his high-energy Afterthought project. But his solo project is completely different, taking on a much slower and sweeter indie rock/R&B sound. “As much as I love the EDM and hip hop side of the things, I also haven’t taken time to really tap into [myself] as a person creatively,” he tells BTRtoday. “Some of the Afterthought stuff was created out of opportunity instead of just creatively—the Ryan Haynes project just really gives me an outlet to dive into some stuff that I really have been wanting to make for a long, long time.”
Read the entire interview with Ryan Haynes below.
Ryan Haynes, “Outside”
BTRtoday (BTR): First of all, what have you been getting into during quarantine? Has it helped flourish your creativity or do you feel stagnant?
Ryan Haynes (RH): I have been pretty active during the quarantine. A lot of music being created for sure along with movies, video games, and hanging with the fam. There is a studio in my house so anytime I can sneak away, I do. It’s really been pushing me to be extra creative. Been working with Garrett Hunter a lot as well lately and making some of my best work to date.
BTR: Your solo project and DJ Afterthought project seem very different, yet have some overlapping themes. What do they each give you separately that the other doesn’t?
RH: On the Afterthought side I really enjoy the high energy shows and being able to kind of release all of my aggression on stage or behind the decks. As much as I love the EDM and hip hop side of the things I do I also haven’t really taken time to really tap into me as a person creatively. Some of the Afterthought stuff was created out of opportunity instead of just creatively. The Ryan Haynes project just really gives me an outlet to dive into some stuff that I really have been wanting to make for a long long time.
BTR: Tell me about how being an artist has changed you or helped you grow as a person.
RH: It has helped so tremendously in my personal growth. From getting me out of my comfort zones to teaching me hard work and dedication it has been such a journey. I didn’t always know who I was, but music and art helped me find myself. I owe a whole lot to music and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
BTR: It’s hard to appreciate accomplishments at the moment, but looking back, what’s something you feel very proud of in your musical career?
RH: I got to work with some of my favorite artists—Gary Clark Jr., Mac Miller, J. Cole, EarthGang, Diplo, just to name a few. Also being able to give back in a multitude of ways, which always was very important to me.
BTR: If you had a life motto or slogan for your music, what would it be?
RH: Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
BTR: What should we keep an eye out for in the future of your music?
RH: Any and everything! I’m really coming hard out of the gate and have tons and tons of content coming out. There are so many different outlets that I am going to tap into.