Ian Guerin is an R&B/pop recording artist, songwriter, and producer who has been making music since he was nine years old. Ian's sophomore album "Irreplaceable" was released in March 2019 to rave reviews. In this interview, Eileen Shapiro asked him about his inspirations, what he’s up to now, and more!
Eileen Shapiro: Since we last spoke, how is your live-life and have you written any new message driven songs about it?
Ian Guerin: It’s been amazing! I feel like my songs are finally getting the treatment they always deserved. Spotify recently premiered a Radio Playlist based on my music & I’ve been giving myself time to let validation sink in. I’d heard so many suggestions on how to be someone else personally & professionally for so many years, I was a few comments away from buying it. Worst part is I allowed people to sketch my life path time & time again while thinking: “I know in my heart I’m on the right track, it’s only a matter of time, hold on.” Therefore, when progress actually started to show (because it’s there all the time thru the grind & struggle, but it takes years of invisible work for it to show), there was peace in my heart like I hadn’t felt in years; my inner child was tap dancing.
And in response, YES I have. I just wrote what I think is my best song since I finished writing “Irreplaceable.” It has potential, yet my message is shifting, because I find myself wanting to create a bigger conscience on spirituality & the environment [which are the root to survival] not just the downfalls of love. Yet I’m human, there’s been romance so there’s songs on that too. I just wrote one that says: “stress ain’t right, day in, day out I call your name I need a break, from it all.” Yet my favorite line is “I’mma lose all my hair if I don’t stop.”
You come up with a lot of good lines when the feelings are real, & you’ve got a screaming mind about them. I never go for what fits the “hit” better, I go for what I need to say & am unapologetic about it.
Then I hope someone else out there hears my lines & thinks “Damn he said what I didn’t spot on. I like him.” It happens to me with the artists I hear, so I’m hoping it happens to the people who listen to me or else I’m screwed, haha.
Eileen Shapiro: Who are your musical influencing artists currently?
Ian Guerin: My current biggest has to be Madonna. I wasn’t as fond of her except for “Hard Candy” & “Confessions,” but her new album really had me exploring her back catalog & understanding her vision; it had me basically becoming a true fan of hers. Also, an indie electro artist called Alexander V, Anna Loos, who is a fantastic artist that my father introduced me to, and Robyn. They’re kind of Billie Eilish’s musical mothers.
I’ve also been hearing a lot of Kirk Franklin & Fred Astaire too, and somehow the mix of them all will end up in my sound. I’m a true eclectic. I can go from Fred Astaire to Calvin Harris and appreciate the core of each vision. I almost forgot I’m also a musical influence to myself lately. I dig my new album a lot —it’s truthfulness and it’s mix of R&B/Pop & Jazz. It really does mix the best of all my favorite sonic flavors. My favorites of mine right now: ‘Free Time,’ ‘Feature in Your Life,’ ‘The Place’ & ‘Cry.’
Eileen Shapiro: If you could perform with anyone in the world, who would that be?
Ian Guerin: Mr. Tony Bennett. Mariah Carey is my living favorite. But a duet with Mr. Bennett (who I secretly call uncle Tony) is a dream ever since I can remember. I know my fans will be surprised it’s not MC, MJ, Prince or Janet, but it’s Tony Bennett. Recording a duet with him as seen in his “The Zen of Bennett” Netflix Documentary, both properly suited-up, singing a standard, him telling me stories & giving me pointers & having me there cause he thinks I’m cool enough. Damn, I’m smiling as I say it. I can’t remember ever since when I want this, but I know I want it just as bad as the first time it crossed my mind.
Eileen Shapiro: Do you have any new projects that you are working on?
Ian Guerin: I’ve started working on demos for a new album and I’ve also been collaborating with other artists, both as a guest collaborator and as a songwriter. I’d never written about someone else’s feelings and it’s been quite a different dynamic, and a weird one too. The way I’ve done it is I actually think of myself as that person, not just as them in that situation, but as if I was them. I sound like an acting improv class, but I try to embody the feeling they felt so that the song doesn’t sound crafted. I don’t like crafted-sounding songs. I can spot them at a distance. That’s why mine are tailor made. I never heard one of my idols do a “crafted for purchase song,” so I don’t do that.
Eileen Shapiro: Since you’ve been in the music industry have you seen it change?
Ian Guerin: A lot. When I released my debut single ‘Bubblegum’ we didn’t have as many outlets as we do now. YouTube wasn’t as big, it was the middle of a transition between the old way & the current, so we were caught in the middle of playing shows, sitting outside the A&R’s office, and becoming Youtubers. There is literally over-night success chances nowadays. There wasn’t for indie artists back in 2010.
There was a much needed quality filter, but there wasn’t a chance for everybody. The thing is that label quality filters didn’t necessarily always net in the best, so many good ones were rooted out & now everyone has a chance. Over all its been a positive change, we don’t need links between us and the fans anymore. The downside is there is so much material, not all of the High Quality ones get as deeply appreciated as before. Ones for others I guess, but survival takes adaption so it’s all about adapting & creating yourself.
Eileen Shapiro: Will you be playing in the US soon. (New York). Hint Hint?
Ian Guerin: I very much hope so. I don’t know if there’ll be time to do NYC in 2019, but there’s no doubt in my mind I will play it in 2020! I want it to be perfect for the fans & I have so many ideas about what I want the show and their experience to be like that I’d rather take the right time to develop it.
It’ll be our 1st date, it’s got to be perfect! Plus 2020 will sound epic in my memoir... “I first played NYC in the summer of 2020...”
Watch the Free Time music video by Ian Guerin here:
"Irreplaceable" is a lyrical journey through reminiscence, introspection, empowerment and emotional growth as a consequence of experiences through the ups and downs of love, life and living.
Download your copy of Irreplaceable on iTunes in the United States here:
Follow Ian Guerin on the web:
Ian Guerin Album “Irreplaceable” Streaming https://songwhip.com/album/ian-guerin/irreplaceable
For interviews or more information contact [email protected]