Ryan Janeiro, originally from small-town Cross, S.C., has lived in Charleston most of his life. In 2010, he formed and fronted rhythm and blues group New Galaxy to compete in a competition hosted by 105.5 The Bridge. After winning the competition, New Galaxy gigged all over the state and gained solid footing on Charleston’s formidable wedding circuit, covering everything from Prince to 2Pac.
Janeiro put out his first solo project, T.H.I.S., in 2012 with help from New Galaxy. Now, almost 10 years later, he is ready to release his second solo project, T.H.A.T., with help from the local crew in Little Bird on April 30.
Janeiro’s debut EP features two brand-new tracks accompanied by songs developed in last year’s lockdown, pieced together from inklings he’s had over the last four or five years, he said. Janeiro created the final product in Little Bird’s home studio, a.k.a. Mega Hot Records. The members all had a hand in the project, with Jay Hurtt as lead engineer and instrumentation by bassist Ben Mossman, keyboardist Noah Jones, guitarist James Rubush and drummer Oleg Terentiev.
The six tracks on the new EP bring you through a dream sequence as it jumps from scene to scene.
“Each song will have its own particular feel to it,” Janeiro said of the alternative R&B he weaves throughout the tracks, integrating influences from Outkast and Stevie Wonder. New Galaxy’s Stella Rae contributes vocals and local rapper Ray Deezy rhymes on “Teardrops,” complementing Janeiro’s words as he laments a lost lover.
The listening experience ends with the song “This Cloud,” in which Janeiro is your flight attendant welcoming you: “Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as we’re not here for a long time, but here for a good time.” Then he sends you off with the closing line, “Please gather all your belongings, but please be sure to leave all your worries and your cares behind.”
“The need to escape is big for me — the grind of working all the time and feeling like you want to go elsewhere or experience other things and take some time to celebrate your life — that’s what inspires a lot of the songs,” he said. The pandemic gifted Janeiro that time to celebrate, along with the space to develop his art not only in the studio but also with live performances at Tobin’s Market in Jones’ side project, The Psycodelics. Building on Charleston’s appetite for creative collaborations, Janeiro hopes to get himself out there as a producer for others’ work.
“My goal is to work with as many different artists as I can,” he said.