Ryn Weaver came out of nowhere last summer with “OctaHate,” a soulful electro-pop song that earned her a million SoundCloud plays in just over a week.
The natural next move for the 23-year-old would have been to try to repeat that success.
Instead, Weaver went in a different direction on her debut album “The Fool,” drawing on influences that range from pop to folk to classic Broadway musicals.
amNewYork spoke with Weaver about her music.
You’ve described “The Fool” as being about wandering. What was going on in your life as you wrote these songs?
Travel was a big thing for me. I was living out of my car for a while. I was dating a guy in New York who was not good for me. It took me a while to realize it. … I realized I need to run away. I wanted to touch on different themes in different genres. … I wanted [the album] to represent the flow of thought. The beginning of the record is more jilted and aggressive. As it continues, it finds this place that is very homey — for me, folk is very homey and grounded. I brought back a more avant-garde element in the last song, “New Constellations,” which is about me finding everything I ever wanted and realizing maybe that’s not enough.
Were you surprised at how “OctaHate” took off?
Beyond surprised, and also not. I was a little nervous to release it as my first song. To some people it’s very poppy. To me, the way I wrote it — and given my background in theater, I respect comedy and tragedy — it didn’t sound like a pop song. It’s basically the stages of mourning. … It’s more like a play. The verses are very poetic. It’s an adult way of handling mourning, like trying to sort through it. The chorus is a tantrum.
How did you hook up with producers Benny Blanco and Michael Angelakos [of Passion Pit]?
Benny, he found me and said, “I feel like you can change music,” but he wanted to help me be more pop oriented in [my] production. He was like, “You can be an avant-garde artist. You can change the world, but I want the masses to be able to hear you.” I was lucky to find someone who believed in me on that level but didn’t force me to make music that was digestible. … [Michael] is very much on my pace of doing whatever the hell I want.
Are you working on new material?
The new record is going to be about fame and success and the chasing of that and the sacrifices you make along the way. … It’s very weird when you’re in the scene, you’re surrounded by so many people who are fame-hungry that you get distracted from what really matters. I wanted to escape that. That’s what the next record is about.
If you go: Ryn Weaver is at Webster Hall Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., 125 E. 11th St., $25. She is at Warsaw on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m., 261 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint, $25