Who are you? Ian Mahan
Location: Denver, CO. My family originally hails from Rockford, IL. I don't personally own a studio, but I do the majority of my recording projects with Randall Kent at Deaf Dog Studios in Nashville, TN. The rest of my recording I am fortunate enough to do with JD Raab here in Denver, CO at Park Church in the recording studio that he has helped facilitate and build upon for the church.
What do you do? I am a singer-songwriter. I have spent the last decade plus creating music that I hope connects with people in some way shape or form.
What are you currently listening to? I am always listening to Ryan Adams and Damien Rice. Currently as far as new releases go, I am listening to Noah Gundersen. His music just rips my heart out of my body and I think that is what he intends to do when he writes. There is a lyrical sharpness to him that isn't present in a lot of music. Lyrics are the parts of songs that drive me to fall in love with them the most. It's where I find God and where he is trying to speak to me.
Where do you want to go with your career? Ultimately, and though I feel this is cliche, I would love to perform my music for anyone and everyone that wants to listen, but ideally, that's not where I want to stop with my career. I would love, and I mean truly love, to have my songs be placed in movies and TV shows. My favorite movie growing up, and still is my favorite movie is Rocky. I am the staunchest believer that that movie would not be what it is without the music that plays throughout it. Take the music out of the movie and you have a relatively boring movie about a broke boxer in Philly. Add in the music and you have one of the greatest soundtracks ever made. That is where I am so fortunate to work with Randall Kent as he helps bring a thematic presence to my music and helps me create the visions that I see.
One piece of advice for people about life or music: I think this translates to all facets of life, but the biggest thing I would attribute to doing what I have done in music is to be nice to everyone. I have been asked to play shows simply because I went out of my way to do something for an artist to help promo or work merch at a show. I don't want to be difficult to work with in this industry. I would never want someone to say they don't want to work with me because I wasn't pleasant. That seems like the easiest thing to do in music is just treat someone with respect and kindness.
Something you learned the hard way: There is always someone who wants something more than you do. If you aren't willing to work endlessly to be the best at something, someone behind you will ultimately be the person that gets it. I have had to learn this so many times that if I am not constantly trying to improve myself and my music, I will be left behind in the industry.
Something you're proud of:
I am super proud of my last release Rockford,
2017 has been an incredible year of music for me: I have opened sold out shows for Lisa Loeb, Nina Storey, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band. I have also played with Lewis Watson, and James McCartney, the son of Paul McCartney, and toured with Stu Larsen.
Connect with Ian and check out his tunes below....
Photos taken by Jesse W. Spencer, see more here: https://www.facebook.com/jesseandmegan/