Introducing: Skinny Living
Wakefield-based band with fully-formed songwriting partnership in tow…
YOUR NAME: Ryan Johnston.
BAND NAME: Skinny Living.
WHAT DO YOU DO/PLAY? Lead vocals, lyrics and melodies.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER AS A BAND/PLAYING MUSIC?
Will Booth (Guitar/Vocals) and I formed the band as a duo in September 2013. Rhys Anderton (Vocals/Percussion) and Danny Hepworth (Guitar/Vocals) joined us at the end of December 2013. I have been singing for as long as I can remember and started writing lyrics and vocal melodies around the age of 13. This may sound strange, but I have never succeeded at playing an instrument before. I tried learning keyboard when I was 16 and just didn’t have the patience. I enjoyed creating original a cappella songs and that’s what I stuck at until I met Will. The other lads have all been playing guitar and messing about with other instruments for about five years.
GIVE US 3 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD TRACK DOWN, LISTEN AND DISCOVER YOUR MUSIC?
We are very original in our writing style probably because of what I have just described. Our songs are relatable by almost anyone and our current fan base shows there really is no age limit to who enjoys what we do. We take our influences from so many genres and artists, making each song interesting and different to the other. We still hold a distinctive sound through it all but it doesn’t get boring.
WHERE DO YOU SOUND BEST – FESTIVAL, CLUB, BEDROOM – OR SOMEWHERE ELSE?
We really enjoy the club atmosphere because our songs are like stories so it’s easier to get a connection with the crowed in a club. We haven’t experienced a festival yet but have a few lined up for this year and we are really looking forward to it!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST…
RECORD? The first song that caught me was a record my dad had of Steve Wonder’s song ‘Isn’t She Lovely’. In fact, I think it was on a tape. I remember rewinding it over and over again on my own because of how much I loved it! I was about 8 and I think that was the moment I knew singing was what I wanted to do.
CD? My first CD was far from the sounds we are making now but I loved it! It was a trance-house track, ATB, ‘9pm Till I Come’.
DOWNLOAD? My first download was Beautiful Lies by a Manchester artist called Dan Fable. This was only about a year ago. I met Dan through a grime rapper I had been working with a while back called Voltz. Dan and I did some work together for a while too.
SO, WHEN IT ALL GOES RIGHT AND YOU’VE GOT A MANSION AND A SUPERMODEL PARTNER, WHAT WILL BE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INDULGENCE?
I could buy some awesome guitar or piano, attempt to play it or look at it for years then give it to Will – haha! Seriously though, I would love to help create another artist and open the doors that I have learnt are so hard to open!
SO, WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG AND YOU’VE ACRIMONIOUSLY BROKEN UP CITING HUGE MUSICAL DIFFERENCES, WHAT DO YOU FALL BACK ON?
When I say this I’m saying it for all of us: our family and friends is what we would fall back on because that’s what our musical journey and lyrics are built on. Which is a solid foundation and should hold us up if times get hard.
CITE SOME INTER-BAND MUSICAL DIFFERENCES…
Well, Will is a wannabe rock god at heart, Rhys fancies himself the next front man of Panic At The Disco, Danny may leave us at some point to join McFly and, to be honest, I’ve always fancied filling in for Michael Flatley – haha!
WHO ARE YORKSHIRE’S FINEST IN CULTURE, SPORT AND MUSIC?
If you want the truth I don’t have a clue! I have only lived here for the past 3 years so the other lads are the ones to ask. What I have seen of sport since I came here is Carlton and Rothwell Giants Under 10s football team. We are very proud to be sponsoring and supporting them at the moment! If you listen to our music you will see why we got involved with them and the message we are giving to the young team!
NAME YOUR SUPERGROUP – WHO’S PLAYING WHAT AND WHO’S ON VOCALS?
That is a hard one! Lead vocals – Paolo Nutini. Lead guitar – Mark Knopfler. Drums – Dave Grohl. Bass – Flea.
GO SEE THIS FILM: Madagascar.
GO READ THIS BOOK: The Gruffalo.
GREAT LOST BAND/ARTIST: Don’t quite know what this means, but Gil Scott Heron was a great loss to music!
WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT DEAD SUPPORTING: Justin Bieber.
LONDON, L.A OR LEEDS: Leeds.
AND FINALLY… AS YOU LEAVE THE STAGE, WHAT ARE YOUR PARTING WORDS.
Peace and love.
For more info visit: facebook.com/newfamiliarband
All photos: Chris Lever at clevershot.co.uk
Editor’s note: In 2020 Skinny Living changed their name to Newfamiliar